The Simpsons “White Christmas Blues” is their almost-non-denominational holiday offering this year and both Santa’s Little Helper and Snowball II are put to work.
Marge really spoke to me this episode when she proclaimed “No second verses.” She’s right, Christmas songs do get all weird and religious in the second verse and they have always creeped me out. And I always felt the same way about “Good King Whatshislips” even if it did open a Beatles Christmas. It’s pretty much the same when people know the second verse of the national anthem and the second verse of “Happy Birthday” is downright frightening. I couldn’t sleep for weeks. I never celebrated a birthday again. Candles, never blow out the candles. Don’t get out of the boat.
But I still celebrate Christmas. It’s not about some kid born in a manger 2,000 years ago. It’s about what presents we’re getting now. The town of Springfield makes no bones about that. Because of a strange and unlikely coincidence, all the scientists are right about global warming and there will be no snow anywhere in America. When the local atmospheric nightmare that surrounds the small town makes it the only place in the world where there is snow, or at least something that looks like snow, they declare tis the season to gouge tourists who’ll want to stay in their hotels, slop their spaghetti and die in their hotels. That’s Christmas, especially in cartoons. The Peanuts, who derided the commercialism of Christmas, pretty much invented mass merchandising. I get a Simpsons toy of some kind every year for Christmas. What would baby Jesus do? He’d probably gouge the tourists too. He did attend the Cornell School of Hotel Management.
Marge is a big Jesus fan, except for the run-on Christmas carols, so she follows in His sandaled footsteps by opening a Bed and Breakfast. Luckily this kind of crazy scheme is exactly the kind impulsive behavior Homer wants to encourage, and it’s not like he’s going to have to put on pants or miss football, so he’s all in.
Reverend Lovejoy’s sermon is good. “Black Church good.” And that gets to Lisa like a good “Bleeding Gums” Murphy riff. Lisa doesn’t need much of an excuse to turn something fun like Christmas into a holiday about spiritual growth. For Christmas, she gives Homer seeds, not pot seeds, radishes. Radishes, the most hated part of the salad. Salad, the most hated part of dinner. Lisa gets Maggie Binkytime Patches to kick her pacifier habit (do not operate busy box while wearing.) For Bart, Lisa passes on the usual stores The Art of Slingshot, Prank of America and Burp Barf and Beyond to give him a real holiday treasure, but not the plastic bubbling vomit he wanted.
Krusty finally gets to see an Itchy and Scratchy episode (“It’s a Wonderful Knife”) sober and realizes the amount of violence he’s been pushing on a kiddie show. That cat and mouse team have only kept that clown afloat for the past 25 years and he wants to cancel it. When did everything start turning to crap? If Krusty gets a conscience he could wind up as a let-it-all-hang-out standup. Again. I don’t think they’ll return to it, but the very idea of future Krusty shows without Itchy and Scratchy bugs me out more than an eye in a nutcracker.
When I smoke candy canes, I see colors too, but if you do it long enough, you burn out your corneas and will only be able to see greens and reds. I’ve been trying to convince my family for years to just put Santa hats on our Halloween decorations. You should see our tree. “The Snow King Who Ate His Children” would be a welcome holiday special in our house.
But It All Went By So Fast: When Abe is sitting in the snow in the opening Christmas credits, the sign he is wearing says “Still warmer than nursing home.” The sign that usually says how many days there are since the last accident in the nuclear plant now reads “93 days till March 28, actual birth of Christ.” The Bijou in the Itchy and Scratchy Cartoon is running the movie The Postman Always Brings Mice. Mayor Quimby’s opponent is named Petrovichnyamilenkossarian.
Frosty The Hitman game opens such titles as: The Shark Week Before Christmas, Boxing Day, Here Comes Snooki Claus, The Girl with the Santa Tattoo, A Kardhashian Kristmas with Kwanzaa by Kanye, Jingle Bell Spock, A Zombie Christmas featuring Elvis, Bing Crosby and 1932 All American Football Team, Claus Encounters of the Third Kind, Hitler’s Christmas in Hell (I think South Park did that), No Country for Fat Old Men, A Cowardly Noel with Noel Coward, An Easter Bunny Christmas, Real World Bethlehem (Season 3), The Dreidel Will Rock, The Ornament That Wanted to Be An Angel, I saw Mommy Frenching Santa Claus, The Year With No Christmas Specials, Weird Al Sings Pringle Bells, The Three Scrooges, Manger Danger, Citizen Kane, Three Wise Men and a Baby, SNL’s Most Mediocre Christmas Sketches, and Christmas with the Simpsons.