Saturday, June 03, 2017

Song #21: "Christmas Wrapping"--The Waitresses (1981)

In the early 1980's, it was fun to listen to the radio during the holidays. There were not all-Christmas music formatted stations, stations began playing a few tunes after December 1st, and ramped them up later in the month. The perfect mix.

Top 40 and Rock formatted stations were just beginning to get Christmas songs that better suited their format, so they wouldn't have to segue between J. Geils Band and the New Christy Minstrels. One of those songs made its first appearance over the holiday season in 1981.

It takes a bow, to a point, to Blondie's "Rapture" from earlier in the year, where Deborah Harry didn't mind doing a little rapping in a seminal early 80's dance tune that zoomed up the charts. But the vocal prowess of Patty Donahue was much better suited for a genre such as this, and the first time you heard her belt out, "Bah Humbug, now that's too strong, 'cuz it is my favorite holiday....", you immediately dropped what you were doing, and asked, "what is this??" in a very favorable way.

It took no time for this to become an instant Christmas classic for my generation, the story of a star-crossed couple who never had the time, or opportunity, to spend time with each other until, suddenly, one Christmas Eve, Patty's character went out to A&P because, well, they provided "the world's smallest turkey".

Alas, while it was ready in the oven, nice and hot, she realized she forgot the cranberries. After arriving at the all-night grocery store in the eleventh hour, she ran guessed it. And the rest is history.

After programming an All-Christmas music station for eight years, I still, twenty years removed, can't listen to much of it. It was simply a case of overload. My Christmas playlist is short, but from the "secular" side of all things Christmas, this song is at the top of my list.

We dedicate this one to the late Patty Donahue, who left us way, way too early back in 1996, and, to her world's smallest turkey.  :)

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