Tuesday, December 8, 2009


[From the STMcC archive; 2005, November 13th.]

A Review Of The Compact Disc . . .


Thanks to the magic of modern communications, I am able to share with you this E-mail I recently received from Santa Claus in response to a letter I sent him. I copied and pasted it below for your perusal.

Deer Stephen:

I thank you for the kind letter and many compliments. To allay your fears: no, I do not suspect you of "kissing up" to me (as you so delicately phrased it).

I have looked over your Christmas Wish List and regret to inform you that we have never made those types of things up here at my workshop. You'll need to seek out another source. We're a little more "family" oriented, don't you know-ho-ho?

I can, however, happily fulfill your request for my most highy recommended Holiday music. I'll be brief beclaus - I mean, because - this is my busy time of year, what with overseeing the work at the elves toy factory and coal mine, and with the Missus constantly shoving food at me and insisting that I "Eat! Eat!"

Mrs. Claus and I have always been partial to the JOHNNY MATHIS renditions of most Christmas standards. The Missus says they're "Wonderful! Wonderful!" And though It's Not For Me To Say, Chances Are you'll enjoy them, too. Little Johnny's voice is a "gift" that originates from regions even higher than the North Pole!

THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC OF JOHNNY MATHIS: A PERSONAL COLLECTION is a readily available single-disc compilation of songs personally selected by Johnny from his previously released Christmas albums.

There are a few songs that were regrettably overlooked - most notably, his emotionally stirring, O HOLY NIGHT from his first release, 'MERRY CHRISTMAS.' Leaving that off nearly landed Johnny on my "Bad Boys" list! And there's no I'LL BE HOME FOR CHRISTMAS, nor THE CHRISTMAS SONG. That's ho-ho-horrible!

Missing from the album 'FOR CHRISTMAS' is Johnny's spirited JINGLE BELL ROCK. Also, GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN which - while too slow - concludes with two indescribably joyful notes!

I think we can both agree that JINGLE BELLS is overrated beclaus - I mean, because - it is too simplistic and has been played to death. But Stephen, did you ever hear Johnny's version from the 'CHRISTMAS EVE WITH JOHNNY MATHIS' album? It's even superior to the rendition that the Jingle Dogs barked out many moons ago! It has a marvelously updated arrangement that makes me want to stuff the Missus into the sleigh and go for a Winter ride. Alas, we can't BOTH fit into the thing side-by-side anymore. But then JINGLE BELLS isn't included on this disc either.

To really do Johnny's Christmas music justice, this should have been conceived as a two-disc set. Nevertheless, what IS included is truly classic Holiday music that's been widely celebrated and publicly played since you were nose-high to an elf. We deerly love it up here at "The Pole." Of course, the elves don't pay much attention to it; they're forever singing their nerve-racking elf songs. But my reindeer team just can't get enough of it - especially Rudolph! You should see his face light up every time the Missus puts it on! Why I even saw it bring a smile to grumpy ol' Blitzen once. (Or else he had gas, and that was only a grimace.) You really should own all of Johnny's Christmas music. But if you're inclined to buy just one Christmas music CD, this disc is the way to go-ho-ho.

Well, I'd better close now beCAUSE we're way behind schedule as it is, and I've got trouble brewing over at the toy shop: two elves recently got caught sniffing snow; one elf ran off to become Denver's most diminutive dentist; another one has a ribbon fetish, and yet another is in therapy because she insists that she's a reindeer. And the whole lot of them are threatening to unionize! Yeah, ol' Santa's got his troubles, too.

I hope this letter has been some help to you. Stephen, be a good boy between now and December 24th, and perhaps you won't be unwrapping another lump of coal this year.

- Saint Nicholas

P.S. - Please don't forget to leave some milk and cookies this time. A heavy man gets hungry flying around the world in one night, and Mrs. Claus says that I must "Eat! Eat!"

~ Stephen T. McCarthy

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