I know what I’m about to say might be seen as lame on Heavy Blog but I’m not ashamed to admit it: I love Christmas. There is such a special feeling in the air in the days leading up to it. Now I’m not a crazy person like some folks are. I don’t completely deck out my apartment or anything like that. Yes, there’s a fake tree in my one bedroom apartment I share with my girlfriend and her cats. There’s also a mini manger scene, and there was a solid attempt at hanging garlands before ultimately realizing a cat would ruin it. Still, I find those to be very acceptable ways for celebrating the holiday.
There is one area, however, where I am a crazy Christmas person: music. Christmas music makes the holiday to me. Everyone who celebrates Christmas has some nostalgic connection to a record. Among other things, I get a wonderful feeling from hearing Harry Belafonte singing “Silent Night” or getting a little electro-jazz from Mannheim Steamroller. However, there is one record I love above all others: Twisted Sister A Twisted Christmas. From the moment Thanksgiving leftovers are in the fridge and the final play of the Cowboys game is over, this bad boy gets blasted several times a week.
Let me set the scene a bit. In 2006, I was a sophomore at the University of Georgia. I had several music nerd friends who would trade bands and tracks all the time. It was still the era of LimeWire and Kazaa after all, so it was a little slower going and tough to find the really small bands in a way that’s super easy now. Among my many music loves, I was still very much in love with 80s music. When we discovered Twisted Sister was putting out a Christmas record, the group of us was overjoyed. Then the video for “O Come All Ye Faithful” came out. It was all over for me.
A few weeks after this amazing discovery was the Christmas party. A group of friends in my hometown in suburban Georgia would host a Christmas party where pretty much anybody who went to high school with us would come. Over the course of 7 years, we slowly revved up our game. First was tacky decorations followed by a number of holiday-related drinking games. Then came the Festivus celebrations along with our Christmas Wheel of Fun (longer story). One thing we tried our hand at was music. We would collect Christmas albums as we could but they had to be really silly or ridiculous. The first 2 years were pretty slow on that front. We had to put up with a lot of really super annoying CDs made for children. A Twisted Christmas saved the Lake Francis Christmas Extravaganza.
All night long, the album played over and over again. Fists were pumped during “O Come All Ye Faithful”. A male and female duo would sing “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” along with Dee Snider and Lita Ford. Their version of “12 Days of Christmas” was skipped pretty much every time and justifiably so as that song is easily the most annoying of all Christmas carols. Still, it was a massive hit.
The best part about this record to me is that the novelty still hasn’t worn off. I love pulling this album out every holiday season and blasting it until Christmas. There’s always a solid 4 weeks of Twisted Christmas for me every year. Sometimes Christmas carols and songs at the holidays always sound so stuffy and old fashioned to me, so this is a nice change of pace.
Beyond that, it’s just a wonderful trip down memory lane for me. Some would argue that too much nostalgia can lead to a toxic reversion in one’s thinking. There may be some truth to that, but I believe in moderation in all things. Maybe too much nostalgia is a bad thing, but engaging in a little bit is perfectly fine. Christmas and the holiday season is nothing if not for nostalgia. Many holiday memories involve good friends and family gatherings where good conversations, hearty laughs, and strong beverages are bandied about in revelry. I hope you all can put this on at your next holiday gathering and make even more happy memories. Happy holidays!