Friday, December 12, 2008

The Best Gift In The "12 Days Of Christmas."

Don't assume, from the fact that I'm providing you with great nontraditional Christmas song after great nontraditional Christmas song, that I dislike traditional Christmas songs. I don't dislike them at all. I have a healthy like of them -- until I hear them 332 times in one day, that is, and then spend a month trying to point out to people that there are more than 3 Christmas songs, and maybe we should play some of those others?

But I do like the old Christmas songs -- who wouldn't? They're festive and jolly and they lend themselves to being sung, offkey, to the Babies! while we sit in the car waiting for Sweetie to get shampoo from the drugstore, and they lend themselves, then, too, to not only singing them to the Babies! (in a British accent, no less) but also, while singing them, realizing that some of those old Christmas carols are just ripe to be made into new Christmas TV specials, which would then someday become old holiday traditions, which is why I am pleased to introduce today's nomination by first giving you a rundown on my newest idea, which is:

The Twelve Days of Christmas: The Movie!
A newlywed couple (Brandon Routh and Alyson Hannigan) are celebrating their first Christmas together. Brandon, though, is a law school graduate studying to pass the bar exam, and can't afford to give Alyson a present at all. Alyson, meanwhile, is working as a teaching assistant during the day and at a convenience store at night to make ends meet while Brandon studies for his exam-- which will be given on Christmas Eve, as it turns out.

Just a little before Christmas-- 12 days, to be exact-- Alyson has to work overnight at the convenience store and Brandon is decorating their tiny tree. As he puts the star on top, he wishes it was the real Christmas star and that he could give Alyson everything she deserves for Christmas. He then sings "The Twelve Days of Christmas" as he finishes the tree and then falls asleep waiting for Alyson.

He awakens on the next morning with Alyson shaking him and saying he shouldn't have gotten her a present. Groggily, he looks around to see that there is a present near the tree: A small potted tree, and in that tree, a partridge!

As the days go on, each day a new present arrives. On day two, Alyson comes downstairs to find two turtledoves in a fancy cage. Day three, they are joined by three french hens in a coop outside, and she is awakened by four calling birds.

She gets angry when there are five golden rings, telling Brandon that they should not have spent that money right now. He finally says that he's not the one doing this and has no idea what's going on.

Then, when six maids a' milking follow Alyson to work one day -- milking and all-- mayhem begins to break loose! Brandon must study for the bar exam while being followed by Lords A Leapin' and Alyson gets jealous of the Ladies dancing...

Will Brandon and Alyson learn the true meaning of Christmas in time to make the Lords and Maids and Pipers go away and let Brandon pass the exam and begin his career? Will Alyson get fired from the convenience store by the bored and overtired owner? Tune in to find out, as we celebrate The Twelve Days Of Christmas! -- The Movie!

You know you'd watch that.

The thing about the Twelve Days of Christmas is that it's so over the top. Who would give all those presents? Who wants Lord A' Leapin' and all those animals?

Here's one thing I've always wondered, too: Is the giver of the gifts giving all that stuff each day, so that day two the recipient gets the two turtle doves, and another partridge in a pear tree? So that at the end, there are twelve partridges in twelve pear trees? Because if so, that's even more expensive than many people think -- the giver would have to give forty gold rings -- 5 each on days 5 though 12. There would be 22 pipers piping on that twelfth day, and 30 lords a leapin'. There would be forty maids a' milkin. That's a huge crowd.

Also: Be honest: When you sing the song, don't you picture a guy giving the gifts to a girl? We all do, right? That's pretty sexist.

There are, frankly, not a lot of good gifts in the twelve days of Christmas. The five gold rings, sure, those are all right. Ladies love jewelry, after all. But they're not diamond rings, so they seem kind of chintzy, the kind of jewelry that you get for $15.99 in a "doorbuster" on the day after Thanksgiving.

And all those animals? Sweetie has laid down the law: no more pets. That's a rule people probably follow in most houses, I bet.

So that leaves the people, which poses a slight problem what with the 13th Amendment and all, but let's assume they're there voluntarily. One of the groups of people has to be The Best.

Eight maids a milking? I considered getting Sweetie maid service for Christmas. She might like having someone come and clean up the congealed mass of "Lucky Charms Marshmallows" that now make up 98% of the floor covering in our house. But if they only come and milk, that seems not very practical.

Nine ladies dancing? Not likely. Here's why: About 12 years ago, I mentioned that I liked the song "Gentleman Who Fell," by Milla Jovovich. To this day, Sweetie, everytime anyone mentions Milla Jovovich (which occurs more often than you might imagine, given that Milla Jovovich has, to my knowledge, not done anything since recording that song), whenever anyone mentions Milla, Sweetie will say "There's your girl." Sweetie also gets jealous that I thought Lisa Loeb was pretty in her glasses. SoNine Ladies Dancing, is probably the least acceptable thing on this list.

Then again, if I don't get Nine Ladies Dancing, then Sweetie doesn't get 10 Lords A Leaping. I don't need some rich nobleman who's able to leap giving me competition when I am (a) not rich (b) not noble and (c) nearing forty and not able to "leap." Most days, I'm barely able to get out of bed.

Twelve drummers drumming would be unbearable. Drums are not cool. Sorry, drummers. You are not cool. Remember that guy in high school who was a jerk or a nerd but whose parents weren't home a lot so you went to his house a lot to drink (e.g., me?). Drummers are that guy only in a band. They need to be there, but they've got nothing to do but keep time. They don't jump around. They don't stage-dive. They don't even stand up. What's rock and roll about sitting? The only guy less cool than the drummer is the keyboardist-- and, no, the keytar doesn't help. It hurts.

By eliminating those all, we home in on the best gift: Eleven Pipers Piping. Why this is The Best Gift In The "12 Days of Christmas" can be explained in one word:


Bagpipes are awesome. Bagpipes are hard to play and rarely-seen and can be used to portent doom and in summary sound great. Listening to bagpipes play calls to mind misty Scottish mountains, battles, the Loch Ness monster, that one song by Slade about a chameleon or something, and Sean Connery. All very very cool things. I am enthralled with bagpipes, all the more so because I own a set of bagpipes and tried to learn how to play them. And failed, one of the few things I've failed at in life, but a failure which makes the bagpipes all the more enticing, because they are more than forbidden fruit, they are impossible fruit.

So, anonymous gift-giver of traditional songs, you struck out on 11 of 12 days, but when you sent those Eleven Pipers Piping to your lady-love, you gave her reason to overlook the cacophony of all those birds (why were they all birds? Why no other animals?) and maids and lords, and gifted her with something she'd never want to regift-- making those pipers The Best Gift In The "12 Days Of Christmas."

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