Christmas morning isn’t quite the land rush it used to be, but the girls still want to open their presents as they always have. Ann had some trouble going to sleep on Christmas Eve, but that was because she’d slept late that morning, rather than excess excitement for Christmas morning (though there was strong anticipation).
Gift cards, clothes, a little money, toys for Ann, a lot of sweets—it was all in the mix.
This year on Christmas and on the Sunday before, I managed to catch a few hours of a radio show devoted to Christmas music oddities hosted by two guys called Johnny & Andy on WDCB, the public radio station at the College of DuPage. I’d heard them years ago, maybe even these shows, since this year’s seemed to be rebroadcasts from earlier years.
So I got to hear “Solar System Simon, Santa’s Supersonic Son,” by one Francis Smith, which I haven’t heard in years. I’d forgotten how bluegrass-like it was. I’m also happy to report that when you Google that title, mid-2000s BTST entries turn up. Space Age Santa songs seemed to form a short-lived, and little remembered, subgenre of Christmas songs ca mid-1950s. Johnny & Andy even played a song of that exact name by I-forget-who-and-am-too-lazy-to-look-up (that guy records a lot of songs).
Other Christmas recordings played by Johnny & Andy included elf songs, Cajin-themed holiday tunes, Christmas polkas, and songs that tried to capitalize on the monster success of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” all in vain. One involved putting a light on Dasher’s tail, another had two reindeer named Percival and Chauncy becoming Donder and Blitzen, and one parody included the line, “Rudolph is lazy, tired, and has been fired.”
Even Gene Autry recorded other reindeer-themed songs, such as “32 Feet – 8 Little Tails,” and “Nine Little Reindeer,” which aren’t exactly forgotten, but hardly the hit Rudolph was. Then again, Autry recorded a lot of Christmas songs.