I’m not big on Christmas music. My wife is, but I’m not much of a fan. We have a rule in our house. She can listen to Christmas music from November 25 through the end of the year, but under no circumstances is she to play any Christmas music before Thanksgiving or after December 31. (If this seems harsh, please understand that, if left to her own devices, she would listen to Christmas music around-the-clock and around-the-calendar. Truth.) And without exception, she is not to play The Little Drummer Boy. I hate The Little Drummer Boy.
With only one exception, I hate everything about the song. I hate the beat. I hate the melody. I hate the lyrics. I hate the beginning, I hate the middle, and I hate the end. It’s unimaginative, boring, and tedious. The song plods along for an eternity and takes just as long to forget.
Written in 1941 by Katherine K. Davis (and originally titled The Carol of the Drum, which I also hate), the song remained in obscurity until it was recorded in 1958 by the Harry Simeone Chorale. Since then, the song has remained a Christmas favorite and has been covered by almost every person who can hum. It spawned one TV special in 1968, which was followed by a second in 1976, which attempted to paint The Little Drummer Boy as something of a super hero/repo man.
Like the song, both TV shows sucked. Even as a kid, I hated them.
So, with so much hate, what’s to like? The message. I love the message. Everyone has a gift, something special to offer. Even you. Even me. And it’s not my place to judge my gift. My job is simply to give my gift over and over and over until I can’t give it any more.
Everyone has a gift. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t have something special to offer the world. The problem is, more often than not, people are convinced that their gift isn’t special, isn’t good enough. And by convincing themselves of this, they seek to relieve themselves of their responsibility to give their gift. Invariably they become depressed, angry, withdrawn, vindictive, judgmental, hateful people.
And it’s because they’re not giving their gift. Rather than give, they’ve pre-judged their gift as unworthy offering.
Here’s the gig: don’t judge your gift. Give your gift. And then give it again. And again. And again. To hell with what others think. GIVE YOUR GIFT.
Give, give, give, give, give. And when you think you’re done, give some more. It’ll make you happier. It’ll make you lighter. And you’ll laugh a lot more.
And that’s the message of The Little Drummer Boy. And it’s the only thing about The Little Drummer Boy that I don’t hate.
Joan Jett? Seriously? What the hell were you thinking?
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