Sunday, December 4, 2011

Ghost Stories at Christmas?

You hear it all over the TV and radio starting every November and continuing through the end of December. According to Andy Williams and Johnny Mathis and Staples, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year.”

Not sure about you, but I love this song. It’s so corny and over-the-top cheery and fun to sing along to at full, cheeseball volume.

Most of the lyrics are sweet and jolly and easy to relate to – unless it’s 12:18am on Black Friday and you’re battling for the last Barbie Xtreme Rocker Goddess for Wii at Walmart. I mean, how can you hate “the kids jingle-belling and everyone telling you be of good cheeeeeeeer!”

However, there’s a dark side to this song. Check out this stanza in the lyrics:

There’ll be parties for hosting
Marshmallows for toasting
And caroling out in the snow.
There’ll be scary ghost stories
And tales of the glories
Of Christmases long long ago.

Scary ghost stories???  Wait… what?  Really??  Is this a Christmas tradition that we’ve been missing out on?  Was it a historically recognized holiday custom that somehow was phased out during the late 60s as part of the hippie movement?

And what would have been the purpose of telling scary ghost stories at Christmas? Was it a way to keep kids from opening their gifts early? “So, kids, if you try to open your gifts before morning, that murdered man’s disembodied hand will be waiting inside the wrapping paper and gift box to get you!!”

Now that I think about the whole stanza, who toasts marshmallows at Christmas? Toasting marshmallows… telling scary ghost stories… did the writers of this song confuse Christmas with a camping trip?

I don’t know. It’s all very surreal to me. What are your thoughts?


  1. I don't get the marshmallow part. Wouldn't chestnuts have worked there? And the ghost stories? Uh. I don't know. Maybe they're talking about Scrooge and ghosts?

    What about Baby It's Cold Outside? Sounds like the dude is trying to give the girl some roofies or something.

  2. You're right, Heather. When you listen to it, Baby It's Cold Outside is like the peer pressure/date pressure anthem.

  3. Totally agree about the Baby It's Cold song. My guess is the ghost stories is Dicken's A Christmas Carol. Love that story.


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