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Thursday, December 07, 2006


Velveeta Jukebox, Part III: Christmas Wrapping

There was, back in the 80s, a television show called Square Pegs. Maybe you remember it. Maybe it's on cable someplace and you're an obsessive fan of it who landed here only after reaching page 3,978 of the show's listings on Google. Anyway, the show, which starred a post-Annie, pre-Mars Attacks Sarah Jessica Parker, was about two girls desperately trying to fit in at their high school. A relatively unremarkable show, I suppose, in the vast configuration of things.

It did, though, manage to capture parts of the cultural goings-on (I was going to say zeitgeist, but it just sounded too fucking pretentious for a discussion of a sitcom co-starring Tracy Nelson) of 1982 and freeze those goings-on in amber (or video-tape) for future generations.

It featured a Valley Girl, the afore-mentioned Ms. Nelson. It had a New-Wave Kid, played by the same guy who'd go on to lack of fame portraying Kirk's son in Wrath of Khan. It had a Preppy Girl, Jami Gertz, who looked a whole lot hotter a few years later in The Lost Boys.

One thing it really had going for it was a killer theme song by The Waitresses, an excellent 80s band out of Kent, Ohio who never got the success they deserved. In fact, pretty much the apex of their success was the fact that they sang the theme song of a sitcom that lasted more than a season. They had another kind-of hit, the Newest Waviest "I Know What Boys Like", which, not at all coincidentally, they sang on an episode of Square Pegs.

Their most lasting contribution to the world of music, though, was their recording of the truly classic cheesy holiday beauty, "Christmas Wrapping".

(A word of caution to anyone clicking on the above link. You're probably a whole lot better off going to iTunes or someplace and just buying the song if you don't have it, 'cause the only video I could find of the song on YouTube was created by what appears to be a high school junior with a lot of time on her hands who basically sits in her room and lip-synchs the entire song. It's cute and I'm sure she's a very nice girl, but it's actually a little mortifying to watch someone spend five-plus minutes essentially standing in front of a mirror with a hairbrush in their hands.)

"Christmas Wrapping" is the story of an independent 80s gal who decides she's too fucking tired and depressed to spend Christmas with her friends/family/drug dealer. So she goes about preparing a Christmas feast for one in the comfort of her own apartment; a little bitter, but comfortable with where she is. As she prepares her celebration, she reminisces about a guy she's been trying to hook up with for "most of '81," but has been unable to connect with because of various obstacles that have always seemed to pop up at the last minute. On a last-minute trip to the grocery for cranberry sauce, she bumps into [SPOILER ALERT!] the very same guy she'd been thinking of and the two of them hook up for a Yuletide Sextravaganza.

This song blends together two things I really love: Christmas and cheesy pop. It's been a staple of the Wack holiday stereo since I had to listen to it on cassette. It's not really the holiday season until I've heard this song for the twelfth time. Which I'm about to do

Merry Christmas to all and to all: "Totally different head. Totally."

Next time in the Velveeta Jukebox, we celebrate possibly the greatest 80s song of all time. (Which would actually, I suppose, be just that small portion of "all time" that took place during the 80s.)

Oh, man, I guessed wrong! I thought you were gonna go all Wham's "Last Christmas."
Love that song!

For more oddball holiday music, visit and click on the "Xmas in Frisko" station 'bout half way down the page.

They stream a lot of fun tunes - currently playing Homo Christmas by Pansy Division.

Bootliquor is a great station, too.

Happy Holidays!
I love this song! MMMMmmmm cheese!
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