Reflections on a song: “Grandma”

reindeerFor out-and-out depravity, it’s hard to beat “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer.” It has it all, including mocking a senior citizen and making light of a tragic death. In the song, Grandma “forgot her medication” and stumbled out into the snow. She was impaired from “drinking too much eggnog.” Her surviving husband takes it all so well, “watching football, drinking beer and playing cards with Cousin Mel.”

Yet I think the greater message of the song can be positive. Nobody takes “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” seriously; no family matriarchs were actually harmed in the making of this song. Rather, the song can be taken as a total repudiation of the idea that our celebration of Christmas needs to be perfect.

Consider this quotation from the original Excessmas article:

The holiday blues are a common occurrence, partly attributed to the futile quest for a “perfect Christmas.” The food must be perfect, the fire in the fireplace must burn brightly, and there really ought to be snow falling (even though the majority of our population lives where that’s statistically rare).

And the cure? We find perfection in what’s being celebrated and not in our own activities. So we can laugh about the blue and silver candles “that would just have matched the hair in Grandma’s wig,” and forget about whether our candles perfectly match the tablecloth. I wish everyone a Merry Christmas, blessed Nativity, and a pressure-free environment. Listen to “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” and lose the pressure!