I’m gonna be upfront with you here: I’m a goddamn grinch. I hate the Christmas season and all resulting culture that surrounds it. Maybe it’s because I grew up as a Jehovah’s Witness, and had to spend every grade school Christmas party sitting in the hallway by myself with a dollar store coloring book. The decorations are tacky, are music is dreadful, and the whole month of December is stressful to everyone involved.
So when Patrick asked me last night to write about a televised Christmas special on NBC from local ventriloquist Darci Lynne, I immediately said yes, because the only other thing I could think of to share with you was a story about how Oklahoma jails are now collecting DNA samples from people who have been arrested. As it turns out, a white teenager from Edmond is more compelling for y’all, so read up!
In case you were as clueless as me and had no idea who Darci Lynne is, we briefly wrote her up a year ago just before she won the 2017 season of America’s Got Talent. She’s a 14 year-old ventriloquist, singer and comedian, and in 2018 managed to get her own holiday special on prime-time on a major network, so I’ve got nothing bad to say about her. Making a living in entertainment is difficult enough, let alone having your gimmick being puppets…
But my soul is black and here I am, ready and willing to just spit foulness over this whole thing because of the holiday it belongs to. Jesus’ birthday was nowhere in the bible, consumerism is a rampant disease in our culture, and there ain’t a single Christmas song that slaps, so it can all get outta here.
ANYWAYS- I tuned in halfway through, because that was when Patrick texted me that I really gotta write about this holiday special. By this point, I’m three beers deep into escaping from my day job/panicking about this writing assignment. Darci and her puppets were giving personalized Christmas gifts to the America’s Got Talent hosts, and for some reason, they gave Howie Mandell a whole bunch of hand sanitizer, which was so icky that I felt like there should have been a content warning for the scene.
Apparently, Pentatonix and other people that are famous because of YouTube were featured, but I really missed most of it. I did, however, perk up at the end when some other Oklahoma legends took the stage. First, Kristin Chenowith performed a duet. It was some kind of Christmas song mash-up with ‘What A Wonderful World. Kristin was wearing black leather pants with gold stars, and my girlfriend really loved them. Kristin also stood the same height as the 14 year-old girl. That’s all I’ve got about that.
After that, Darci and her puppet performed a duet with none other than local celebrity/famously drunk Toby Keith. He wore a cowboy hat shaped like a crispy taco shell that also conveniently blocked out his bloodshot eyes. Of course, Toby gotta show up with some fuckin’ song about Santa driving a hot rod, because he can only wrap his creative energy around topics like beer, cars, and the troops. At least have the guts to admit that Santa was a Marine.
After that, the duo did an obligatory run-through of ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ where Darci did ventriloquist singing through her puppet and OH MY GOD MAGIC IS REAL. I can’t sing, let alone talk without moving my lips. Ventriloquism may be a quaint, vaudevillian act these days, but it’s still impressive as hell, and I like seeing people like Darci with such weird talents getting featured like this, even if I loathe the message.
Anyways, other shit happened, like a puppet that looks like Reba McEntire, some white dude with a pre-teen mustache doing a bad r&b impression, and similar things that would have been more tolerable if I’d swallowed a handful of benzos beforehand. During Pre-Teen Mustache’s song about “A Very Special Christmas,” I came away with a take that has been lingering deep inside me for years, but finally and fully manifested…
Christmas is a way for Christians to chase the dragon. Even (and especially) if you’ve never taken drugs, that first good Christmas you remember was that crazy initial hit of the good stuff. You got a Nintendo and ate a bunch of desserts, and even though it’ll never be like that again, you still continue to repeat the cycle, following tradition, hoping that one day you can have another Very Special Christmas. Maybe the family members slightly change, but otherwise, it’s the Very Same Christmas every year.
Just like that first hit into your lungs creates a high that is unable to be recreated, so are holiday memories imprinted onto your soul. If your parents bought you that Ninja Turtles playset when you were 5 years-old, you probably look forward to Christmas, but what makes any of them special days if we’re just forcing them year after year?
So… anyways… Share your favorite holiday memories in the comments down below, an bah humbug!