The Unofficial Christmas Carol Awards

The moment we swallow the last morsel of Thanksgiving dinner, the Christmas season officially begins.  We’ve barely cleared the table and fallen onto sofas clutching our bloated bellies, when radio stations begin their non-stop barrage of Christmas carols.  There is no gentle transition; the switch is about as subtle as a T-Rex in a tutu.

There are two kinds of Christmas carols: Real and Fluff.   Real carols celebrate the birth of Jesus.  Whenever you hear words like “reindeer” and “Santa,” you’re usually dealing with more Fluff than a peanut butter sandwich.  Most radio stations are too afraid of offending the secular crowd with mentioning Jesus, so they become giant Fluff factories during the holiday season.  After about an hour, they have run the gamut of un-Christmas carols, so they start repeating the same playlist over and over again.  Emergency rooms become flooded with retail employees who slammed their heads on the cash register at the thought of listening to “Jingle Bells” one more time.

Ladies and gentlemen, here are the UNOFFICIAL Christmas Carol Awards:

BEST SQUISHING TOGETHER OF LYRICS IN A CAROL

From “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”

With th’angelic host proclaim

It’s hard to go through a day without using the popular word th’angelic, isn’t it? (“Where are you going, honey?”  “To put th’angelic kids to bed.”) Almost every great carol uses a technique for dealing with too many syllables to match the music notes.  Solution?  Smush ’em!  You always know it’s Christmas when ordinary words become pow’r, heav’n, and o’er.  Could this have been a precursor to texting?

MOST MISUNDERSTOOD LYRIC

From “Silent Night”

Silent night, holy night, All is calm, all is bright.

Round yon virgin mother and child, Holy infant so tender and mild.

This is NOT saying that Mary was “round,” as in carrying some post-partum weight.

Runner-up:  “Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing”

My four year old had a good point when he asked, “Why are the angels named Harold?” 

BEST CAROL ONLY DOGS CAN HEAR

“Angels We Have Heard on High”

Beautiful music and lyrics, but if you’re not careful you can really hurt yourself singing this song.  Be sure to sing this one with tissues nearby – not just for the tears, but for the possible nosebleeds that can occur from the high notes. 

BEST CAROL ABOUT AN UNKNOWN PERSON

“Good King Wenceslas”  Who?

Also wins Most Difficult Name to Pronounce in a Song.  He was probably a great man; too bad his name wasn’t Bob. 

BEST FILLER LYRICS IN A CAROL

“Deck the Halls”

Fa la la la la is a great filler for when you can’t think of more lyrics.  Maybe the lyricist was under a time constraint and he threw these words in, little realizing how popular they would eventually become. 

BEST CAROL PEOPLE ONLY KNOW THE TITLE TO

HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING, “GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING!!!!!!  hmmm hmmm hmmm la la la mild, hmm hmm hmm la reconciled, la la la la la la la la  hmm hmmm hmmm hmmm HARK! THE HERALD ANGELS SING, “GLORY TO THE NEWBORN KING!!!!!!”

People make up for slacking through the verses by boisterously belting out the chorus as if to say, “See, I know how this song goes.”

BEST NEAR-RHYME IN A CAROL

From “Joy to the World”

He rules the world with truth and grace, and makes the nations prove

The glories of His righteousness and wonders of his love.

Christmas is the only time we allow near-rhymes in our favorite songs.  Prove does NOT rhyme with love, but hey, they LOOK like they rhyme. 

BEST CAROL THAT DOESN’T EVEN TRY TO RHYME

“The Holly and the Ivy”

The holly and the ivy, when they are both full grown,

Of all the trees that are in the wood, the holly bears the crown.

The rising of the sun, and the running of the deer,

The playing of the merry organ, sweet singing in the choir.

There is something bold and rebellious about having no rhymes in your Christmas carol.  My three year old asked for the song about the poison ivy, and that could also be a marketing problem for this song.  Referring to verse 3, The holly bears a berry as red as any blood, he explained, “You know, the song with the bleeding bear.” 

MOST REPETITIVE CAROL

“O Christmas Tree”

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Thy leaves are so unchanging.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Thy leaves are so unchanging.

Not only green when summer’s here, but also when ’tis cold and drear.

O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, Thy leaves are so unchanging…

…and so are these lyrics.  With three out of four lines of the verse exactly the same, you have to wonder if the lyricist developed writer’s block and was rushing to get to a hot date. 

CAROL REQUIRING THE MOST OXYGEN

“The 12 Days of Christmas”

Is it an underwater diver coming up for air? No, it’s just the collective gasp of people finally reaching Five golden rings. You need 12 days just to finish this song. 

MOST UNSELFISH CAROL

“All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth”

…and the entire toy section of the Sears catalog (but that didn’t rhyme). 

COOLEST USE OF PUNCTUATION IN A CAROL

“Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”

That’s! very exciting to put an exclamation point right at the beginning of the song! 

MOST UNFORGETTABLE CAROL

“Carol of the Bells”

The melody of this carol stays in your head for so long you may have to have it surgically removed after the holidays. 

BEST INVISIBLE LYRIC

From “Jingle Bells”

(laughing all the way) Ha ha ha!

The words are not actually in the song, but EVERYONE sings them anyway!

 CAROL THAT SHOULD BE LEFT TO PROFESSIONALS

“O Holy Night”

If you have ever attempted to sing this carol in a group, you know what I mean.  

BEST GRAMMAR USAGE IN A CAROL

“Angels We Have Heard on High”

Why your joyous strains prolong?

What the gladsome tidings be which inspire your heav’nly song?

If Yoda could have written a Christmas carol, this would have been it.  

BEST INVISIBLE AIR DRUM PERFORMANCE

“The Little Drummer Boy”

Pa-rum-pa-rum-pum!

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One response to “The Unofficial Christmas Carol Awards

  1. Hilarious and true – you are one wildly talented and funny mom!

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