“Santa Claus” by The Sonics (the Wild Billy Childish cover is also great)
Everyone wishes they still believed in Santa, because what was better than that? When I was little, hearing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” was like a religious experience. I distinctly remember looking up to the sky with a tightness in my chest one Christmas Eve after hearing this song, and thinking something like “I just know I’ve been good this year. Don’t let me down, man.” Similarly, (probably in that same year) I remember my mom citing the song to remind me that Santa was watching after I pulled my dog’s tail (I did that a lot to that poor little dog, I think she had a terrible life), and having an internal monologue similar to someone who discovered his murdered friends in a bad horror movie (Something like, “Oh God… no… NO! F-ck f-ck f-ck f-ck f-ck!”).
But, those days are over, so you might as well rock out. Gerry Roslie’s sneering vocals make me think that he’s sad about not believing in Santa anymore, too. But, he also reminds us that it’s important to put on a tough, rockin’ exterior — and those are the type of dudes who get laid. Plus, now instead of toys and video games, you can hope to get cooler things like guitars and money (which also help in getting laid). So, onto your party playlist (which includes this song, of course):
“Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses
What a weird song, but it sort of has everything. Narrative that hits on every major holiday? Check. Annoyingly catchy, jingle-like chorus? Check. Synth horns? Check. Funky bass? Double check!
While this song would obviously be great during your Christmas party, I think it fits better for excited moments of Christmas party-related anticipation. More clearly, this is something you gleefully dance around your apartment to while putting up decorations, gift-wrapping, baking cookies, or putting on an ironic Christmas sweater before the person you want to sleep with comes over before your party to watch Home Alone, and you know that capitalizing on Christmas nostalgia is the only way it’s going to happen for you.
“Jingle Bells” by the Ventures
Aside from being a great track for your rockin’ party, this song also provides a great accompaniment for shopping in overly crowded malls and shopping centers. Imagine yourself expertly navigating through crowds, and gracefully running up escalators to the slinky guitar intro. Christmas shopping is nuts, but this is a holiday song that suggests you, “Keep cool, dude.” When the song is fading out, and your internal montage is wrapping up, you can pretend to wink at the camera as, during the Home Alone credits, you give the object of your affection the perfect gift you coolly bought them in a hellish environment.
Also, this song is the hilarious byproduct of a bunch of lame guys who spent too much time practicing guitar in their basement in high school capitalizing on Christmas by putting out Surf Rock versions of some of the most irritating songs ever written (Just kidding about the Ventures, kind of. But come on, just look at them). You’ll seem cooler by comparison, except you don’t have a record deal and aren’t in one of the most beloved bands from a genuinely great era of music.
“I Wish It Was Christmas Today” by Julian Casablancas
Play this as your party is warming up. Everyone’s dancing and having fun, because you’re fun.
“The Man With All the Toys” by the Beach Boys
This song is just great all around. It doesn’t rock much, but you will when, after too much eggnog, you drunkenly and loudly sing the Oh’s off-tempo between “The man… with all… the toys…” at your Christmas party. Plus, most people listened to this song a lot in their childhood, so they’ll feel pleasantly nostalgic when they hear it. So, there’s that too, I guess. Mostly I just really like this song a lot.
“Melekalikimaka” also by the Beach Boys
This song sucks, and is only good for getting people to leave your Christmas party when you’re too drunk, or when said person you want to sleep with shows signs of sticking around and you want everyone else to beat it.
“Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want to Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones
Ok, this song is great, the Ramones are great. Let’s say you turned off the object of your affections by singing along to “The Man With All the Toys,” and your intentions were too transparent when you put on “Melekalikimaka.” This song will remind her that Christmas isn’t the time for fighting. Also, it demonstrates that you’re cool because you like early punk bands, but also that you’re kind and sympathetic because you like them after they started putting out songs like this. It’s a win-win!
“Snowflakes (Demo)” by the Evangelicals
This isn’t really a Christmas song. I really don’t even know where it came from; who are the Evangelicals? I think a friend of mine put it on a Christmas playlist a few years ago, and I’ve since fallen in love with it. It’s a beautiful, wintry song. The day after your party, when you’re hung over and sad about making an ass out of yourself by predatorizing a perfectly nice girl, you can listen to this song as you watch the snowfall outside your window, because, statistically, Christmas is a great time to be sad, and this is a great song to be sad to. You’ll get ‘em next year, buddy.