Bells are ringing, children singing,
All is merry and bright!
I love Christmas music, all of it. From "Silent Night" to "Santa Baby," solemn hymns and cheerful carols to rock anthems and irreverent parodies, I love it all. That's unusual for someone who's been in the radio business as long as I have. Most of my colleagues OD'd on Christmas music after the first few seasons of incessant carols and bells. Not me. I've worked nearly every Christmas on the air since I was 17, and I still relish the joy of reveling in nonstop holiday music each year.
Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be
Which inspire your heavenly song?
And I, along with the angels on high and the mountains in reply, echo the joyous strains. It's a good thing for our neighbors that radio station studios are soundproof, because I sing along to all the songs I play on Christmas Day, naughty or nice.
Mama's in the kitchen cookin', her children are fast asleep;
It's time for Santa Claus to make his midnight creep, 'cause
Santa Claus wants some lovin' . . .
My unbalanced fondness for Christmas parodies like Bob Rivers' "The Restroom Door Said 'Gentlemen' " and "Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire" began in childhood, when my dad introduced me to Mad Magazine.
We three kings of Orient are;
Tried to smoke a rubber cigar.
It was loaded and it exploded - boom!
. . . Siii-lent night . . .
Stuff like that is what inspired my alter ego Tita to translate "A Visit From St. Nicholas" into pidgin.
Was da night befo' Christmas, and all ovah da place,
Not even da geckos was showin' their face.
Da stockings was hangin' on top da TV
Right next to my husband's old BVDs.
Da kids was all crashed, my old man too.
They leave all da work fo' you know who.
So me, I stay pickin' up alla their toys,
When - boom! - outside, get only big noise!
I run to da window, I open 'em up,
I stick out my head and I yell, "Eh, wassup?!"
An' den, I no could believe what I seen;
Was so unreal, you know what I mean?
One fat haole guy get his reindeers in my yard!
An' reindeers not housebroken, you know - ass why hard.
But, eh, dis Christmas, so I cut 'em some slack.
Plus, had uku pile presents pokin' out from his sack.
So I wait 'til he pau tie up da reindeer,
Den I yell out da window, "Hui! Brah, ovah here!"
An' I tell 'em first t'ing when I open da door,
"Hemo your shoes! You goin' dirty my floor!"
He take off his boots, he tell, "You know who I am?!
I go, "Ho, from da smell, must be Mistah Toe Jam!"
He make menpachi eyes and he go, "Ho, ho, ho!"
By now I stay thinkin' dis guy kinda slow.
He look like my Tutu, but little less weight.
An' his beard stay so white, mo' white dan shark bait.
He stay all in red, speshly his nose
An' get reindeer spit on top his nice clothes.
But him, he no care, he jus' smile at me
An' he start fo' put presents undaneat' da tree.
I tell 'em, "Eh, Brah, no need make li'dat.
An' watch where you step! You goin' ma-ke da cat!"
Den, out from his bag, he pull one brand new computah.
iPads an' iPods, an' one motorized scootah!
He tried fo' fill up da Christmas socks too,
But had so much pukas, all da stuffs wen' fall t'roo.
When he pau, I tell 'em, "Eh, Santa! Try wait!
I get plenny leftovahs, I go make you one plate."
But he nevah like hang, he had so much fo' do;
Gotta make all dem small kids' wishes come true.
So I wave 'em aloha an' I flash 'em da shaka,
An' I tell 'em, "Mele Kalikimaka!"
When he hear dat, he stop - an' I tellin' you true -
He go, "Garans ball-barans! Merry Christmas to you!"
Merry Christmas to you and yours, from Tita and me. May your days be merry and bright, full of music and laughter.
* Kathy Collins is a performance artist, broadcaster and freelance writer whose "Sharing Mana'o" column appears every Wednesday. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.