So I was having coffee with Friedrich Nietzsche the other day (in my imagination) ((this could of course only happen in my imagination because his crippling indigestion would probably dissuade him from indulging in the caffeinated arts and he’s also been, you know, dead for 137 years)), and he raised some interesting concerns about secular celebrations.
Polly: ‘Sup, Friedy. How’s it hanging?
Friedrich: Nothing new, just wrestling with the paradoxical coexistence of master morality and slave morality within the same population.
Polly: So Salome turned you down, eh?
Friedrich: I don’t want to talk about it. But it’s utterly unreasonable for this one holiday season to champion the morals of the weak – generosity, gratitude, humility – in an atmosphere dominated by the master ideals of monetary success, competitive spirits, and craftiness.
Polly: That’s the magic of the secular holidays! We can show appreciation and love for our neighbors, express gratitude for our blessings, lie to gullible children, spend irresponsible amounts of money, and celebrate Christianity’s proud history of adopting and overtaking pagan rituals all at the same time! Oh that reminds me, did you find a gift for your nephew?
Friedrich: I couldn’t come up with anything so I just sent him a letter informing him that Santa is dead.
Polly: Friedrich! You don’t need to abandon your atheist beliefs to immerse yourself in the secular spirit! And you’re going to need some holiday cheer if you want to come up with a good gift for your nephew in time.
So to help my good friend Friedrich embrace the holidays, I compiled a playlist of my favorite secular songs that can be enjoyed by all!
Baby it’s Cold Outside The original version, written by Frank Loesser for the film Neptune’s Daughter starring Esther Williams and a young Kahn (Ricardo Montalban).
Holly Jolly Christmas Yeah, maybe this song is painfully repetitive, but Burl Ives IS Christmas. So quitcher whining.
Christmas with the Devil Written and performed by my absolute favorite fictional band, Spinal Tap. They turn the spirit up to 11.
Dig that Crazy Santa Claus Brian Setzer can do no wrong.
Welcome Christmas From How the Grinch Stole Christmas. I still don’t really know what they’re saying but my heart melts anyway. “Christmas Day will always be, just so long as we have we!” Awwwww guyyyys.
You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch Less adorable, but three sizes more clever. And if you don’t agree, your soul is an appalling dump-heap overflowing with the most disgraceful assortment of deplorable rubbish imaginable, mangled up in tangled up knots.
The Christmas Song Frank Sinatra, Imma let you finish, but no one does this song better than Nat King Cole.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas I DARE YOU, Bublé detractors, to watch this duet between my favorite Canadian and Oscar the Grouch without shedding a sentimental tear. He can knock on my garbage can anytime. If you know what I mean.
I’ll be Home for Christmas By Barbra Streisand, one of the best authorities on secular Christmas. I love you, Babs. I saw Meet the Fockers for you.
Blue Christmas It isn’t a Marshmallow World in Tennessee. The King knows.
Sleigh Ride Because this song thinks whips are musical instruements. Performed by the Boston Pops Orchestra which is always perfect.
Feliz Navidad Gracias, José Feliciano, por su espiritu fantastico. ¿Dónde está la biblioteca?
Oi! To the World Originally written by The Vandals but perfected in glorious faux-ska fashion by No Doubt. Because nothing says Christmas like gang fights!
But I can’t end the list with gang fights so…
What Do You Get a Wookie for Christmas For those who’d rather not sing about hokey religions.
(Ed. Note: Penny is a humbug and does not approve this message.)