There’s nothing quite like this time of year. Lights envelop State College with color and hope and optimism. The air is filled with the sound of happy, impatient children and the occasional chiming of sleigh bells. Snow falls ever so peacefully, blanketing every street corner, as if to even further remind you of the true beauty of the holiday season.
If anything written above has made you feel nauseous or makes you feel the need to throw your computer/phone across the room in unexpected horror, congratulations — you’re a scrooge.
And that’s okay! The Grinch exists for a reason, and Santa has plenty of coal to go around every year. We at Valley don’t judge you too much if putting up a Christmas tree evokes feelings of raging despair, or if seeing children playing in the snow singing “Jingle Bells” makes you want to lock yourself in your dark bedroom with only your blog for company.
In case any of this sounds too familiar, maybe you could use some sad Christmas music to further enhance your feelings, and we’ve got you covered.
1. “River” – Joni Mitchell
This song is somehow a classic, despite its extremely depressing chords, piano riff and all around general message. With lyrics like “I made my baby cry,” this strange Christmas song about killing your chance of having a happy holiday season due to the fact that you were a terrible person might be exactly what you need to pass the time avoiding jolly activity. Also, the metaphor for a “river” doesn’t make sense, but if you’re a naturalist you might find some comfort. Put it on repeat if necessary, especially if you’re a terrible person that makes people cry.
2. “Christmas in Prison” – John Prine
Sometimes, it feels better if you know of someone that has a worse situation than you; even if you’d rather give up Starbucks forever than celebrate another darn Christmas, at least you’re not in prison. With lyrics like “The search light in the big yard swings round with the gun, and spotlights the snowflakes like the dust in the sun” flowing through this song about missing your girlfriend while you’re in the slammer, you may feel a little better about your Christmas blues knowing you’re not going to be locked into a cell block anytime soon (we hope).
3. “Christmas Without Daddy” – Loretta Lynn
One of the best parts about Christmas is the fact that it brings families together from all over the country. If the idea of seeing cousin Suzy from the midwest for the one time a year or the crazy uncle from up North who drinks too much egg nog on Christmas Eve makes you want to claw your eyes out, perhaps this song could ease the pain. Why anyone would write a song with lyrics like “Christmas without Daddy, we’ll be blue and all alone” may cause skepticism, this tear-jerker may make you appreciate said crazy family members more.
4. “Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis” – Tom Waits
Just the title of this song and the fact that it exists alone should make you feel a bit better about your Grinch-like tendencies. The song is literally about receiving said Christmas card from said hooker and the lyrics are written in the format of a letter. Even if you hate the holidays, at least you’re not receiving anything with the lyrics “He says that he loves me, though it’s not his baby” or that nobody is telling you that they “think about you every time they pass a gas station.” A gas station has got to be the worst reminder of a ex-boyfriend or girlfriend of all time.
Photo by Jessica Korch