Feliz Navidad

Feliz Navidad

A(n American) Christmas Carol

Merry Christmas from the Family
Robert Earl Keen

Mom got drunk and Dad got drunk
at our Christmas party.
We were drinkin' champagne punch and homemade eggnog.
Little sister brought her new boyfriend.
He was a Mexican.
We didn't know what to think of him
until he sang Feliz Navidad.

Brother Ken brought his kids with him-
the three from his first wife Lynn,
and the two identical twins
from his second wife Mary Nell.
Of course he brought his new wife, Kay-
who talks all about AA,
chain smokin' while the stereo plays
Noel, Noel, the First Noel.

Carve the turkey, turn the ballgame on.
Mix margaritas when the eggnog's gone.
Send somebody to the Quik Pak store,
we need some icing and extension cords,
a can of bean dip and some Diet Rite,
a box of tampons and some more Burl Ives.
Halleluia everybody say cheese,
Merry Christmas from the Family.

Fran and Rita drove from Harlogen.
I can't remember how I'm kin to them.
But when they tried to plug their motor home in,
they blew our Christmas lights.
Cousin David knew just what went wrong
so we all waited out on our front lawn.
He threw the breaker and the lights came on
and we sang Silent Night, oh Silent Night.

Carve the turkey, turn the ballgame on
Make bloody marys cause we all want one.
Send somebody to the Stop 'N Go,
we need some celery and a can of fake snow,
a bag of lemons and some Diet Sprite,
a box of tampons and some Salem Lights.
Halleluia everybody say cheese,
Merry Christmas from the Family.

Feliz Navidad...

I love Robert Earl Keene because he's a great storyteller and does such a great job of conveying americana. This song always reminds me of Christmas time with my dad and his wife's family. The image above is from a Christmas about 8 or 9 years ago at their place in Red Lodge Montana and the picture to the left is of my dad's wife's grandkids. I used to refer to it as Commie Christmas; all of the boys would get the exact same gifts, which were "boy-like" (read: jackknives, fishing gear, hunting gear etc) and all of the girls would get the exact same gifts, which were "girl-like" (read: perfume, clothing, make-up etc.). This was a total insult to me since as a young child the gifts that I appreciated the most were jackknives (I wittled a lot) and rock hammers (I was an avid rock collector -- and insect collector) and both my parents were total supporters of these interests. But it all made for good laughs.

I stopped celebrating "Christmas" years ago and actually hate this time of year more than any other because of the pressure, shopping and giving purchases as a symbol of love, the herd mentality etc. My favorite experiences at this time of year have been spent X-country skiing with family. Though the meditation retreats are a close second.

Skiing with dad, Red Lodge Montana

My brother Stewart, dad, and me, Red Lodge

My brother Stewart and me -- I'd just taken a really bad fall and screwed up my knee