Friday, December 7, 2012

What Do I Want For Christmas?

Most people know Elmo Shropshire, aka Dr. Elmo or half of Elmo and Patsy, for his mega-successful, counter-culture holiday hit "Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer," which continues to get airplay every Christmas season, and even had an animated special based on it that has been shown on both Cartoon Network and Kids' WB.  Shropshire may be quite the "one-hit wonder," but he has some other songs that, though they are little-known, are actually quite humorous.  Not only does his one hit have two sequels, "Grandma's Spending Christmas With the Superstars" and "Grandpa's Gonna Sue the Pants Off of Santa," but, in my opinion, his best song--that I know of, at least--is "Santa Ain't Comin'".  It starts off with Dr. Elmo, as Saint Nick, saying, "Listen up now, kiddies! Yo, it's Santa here, and, no, I won't be coming down your chim-en-ies this year! The elves and Mrs. Claus and I have almost given up! It seems we just can't satisfy your need for all that stuff! No matter what I bring you, it's never quite enough!" Then, a chorus of kids begins saying, "Gimme, gimme, gimme; I want, I want! Mmm-mm, mmm-mm; more expensive! Na, na, na, na; oh, please, Santa?" Throughout the song, the jolly old elf expresses his frustration with the greedy young people of the world, with quips such as, "I've had it up to here!", and "All this wantin' and this wishin's just a big pain in the neck!"
I'm pretty sure Dr. Elmo, who writes his own songs, penned that track to make fun of materialism, especially in young people.  Unfortunately, it seems to be a growing problem, especially around the holidays.  I used to have a big problem with it; almost every time I got my hands on a catalog from pretty much anywhere--the Warner Brothers Studio Store, Humongous Entertainment, even a school supply catalog my mom got just because she was a school nurse--I'd immediately start nagging my mom and others to buy it for me.  Some of the items were ones that I really didn't have any use for; when I was a Cub Scout, I got a Scouting supply catalog with a poster titled "The Merits of Scouting," which had every merit badge you could earn as a Boy Scout, and I wanted it, even though I had no plans to progress past Cub, why would I need it?  Even without a catalog, I still begged and prodded others for what I didn't have; I drove my mom crazy with my repeated requests to have a larger collection of Beanie Babies than my friends had.  She gave me two chances to work for them--one by doing household chores, the other by running laps around our backyard to better my physical fitness--and they never went anywhere, because I was too lazy to stick to them.  I just expected everything to be handed to me; why did I need to earn it?  As you can imagine, I loved this time of year back then, only because that was when I got what I wanted.  My birthday is February 10, only 1.5 months after Christmas, so I got a double whammy of gifts in a short period of time.  Sometimes I got what I asked for; other times, I didn't.  I always had a "Gimme, gimme, gimme; I want, I want" attitude, but, this time of year was when it got even worse.
However, things have changed since then.  Not only have I matured, but I'm an adult with a job, which means that I can--and do--work for what I want.  It's true that most of what I've obtained over the past year has been bought used and/or on the cheap, including at yard sales, thrift stores, and similar places, but I still had to earn the money to purchase it somehow, and I couldn't have done it without being gainfully employed.  I'll admit that I did make a Christmas list this year, but, to be frank, there is nothing on it that I absolutely have to have under the tree by December 25.  If I don't get it, I'll just see if I can find a good deal on it after the holidays, if I even do that.
So, to answer the question in the title: What do I want for Christmas? A date with Victoria Justice.  I'm kidding, people! Seriously, though, I'm content with what I have: a large media library, a slew of technological devices such as Victoria the iMac and Danielle the iPod Touch, and, more importantly, a bunch of friends and a family who are constantly looking out for me and helping me out.  As the Westlife song says, "What I want is what I've got."  Sure, I may be sans relationship and still living with my parents, but sitting there pining for what I want but don't have is very childish.  Despite what the media would have you believe, if you can be content with what and who you already have, then you will have a truly Merry Christmas.
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