Santa Baby history (mine)

Posted on 12.03.2011


My favorite Christmas Carol of ALL TIME is Santa Baby.

Hello, I’m female.

But there’s a story behind this song. I didn’t always love it. In fact, for a long time I loathed ALL Christmas music, thanks to my parents.

There are two, maybe even three separate stories involved here.

The first part is about my family and our Christmas decorating habits. My parents LOVED decorating for Christmas. If any of you ever lived in Marywood II in the 90’s, then that was MY HOUSE. We were those people, the ones that National Lampoons modeled an entire Christmas story after. No joke, my house looked a LOT like the one below:

But, it wasn’t WE, I would like to state for the record that it was most certainly THEY. While my parents waved from the window proudly as people literally stopped their cars to take pictures of our house, I was hiding in my bedroom and dying slowly of embarrassment.

There was even more to this, that you can’t see in the picture. Really. My dad had so much Christmas music and SO MUCH Christmas spirit, that he had to make sure people could SEE and HEAR it. Accompanying all of the bazillion lights in our yard was a fricking loudspeaker that was wired to the stereo.

I am not even joking. He was broadcasting xmas music into the wee hours every year. And all of you radio fans out there know that Xmas music starts on just about EVERY radio station on Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving), if not sooner. I hated hearing Xmas music on my birthday (Nov 16). Why couldn’t they let me celebrate my birthday in peace???

So anyway. For over a month every year, there was Christmas music in our house, on full blast, and you couldn’t escape it by just walking outside since dad had wired the speakers to play outside as well. Jebus. For an angst-ridden, Garbage-loving teen, there was no further definition of the 9th circle. None.

And now everyone in the damn world (or suburban MD neighborhood, at least) knew that my family loved the Chipmunks Christmas Album.

… Alvin? .. Alvin? … ALVIN!!! OOOOOOOO KAY!

Enter, part 2 in our saga to WTF is this actually about???:

My first Christmas away from college, 1999. I thought I was safe. Artists don’t do crazy shit like play Christmas Carols, right? We’re all anti-everything, right?


Not only did my (art) college manage to host some weird, contrived version of a Homecoming dance where everyone dressed like they would have if their parents hadn’t forced them to dress well for the pictures, but the crew of kids I was hanging out with had GIRLS in it.

Real “girls”. Not girls like me. Girls that liked to wear bright pink ‘fashionable’ things, get wasted and screech loudly, simultaneously laughing and falling into things while hugging for the millionth time.

And their favorite song? In November? Santa Baby.

Because I loathed them and Christmas carols in general, I loathed the song. Even if the version they loved WAS by Madonna, whom I have always loved.

Staying true to my ‘angry scorned Scorpio’ act that I did so well back then, after my friendship with them ended (like two weeks later that year, pretty fast for being in college for only three months), I never listened to the song again. In fact, it was banned from my car radio. Along with Dave Matthews band and Mr. Bigg (see where the chair throwing comes from, Drew?).

I couldn’t yet admit to myself that I loved the lyrics and the idea of the song, because it was still attached to my memories of those two mean, screaming girls.

Part three:

Me and Santa Baby have come to terms. We’ve reached an agreement where IT no longer associates itself (in my mind) with drunk bitches and in turn, I give it my full love and respect.

This didn’t happen quickly. In fact, it took a few years.

My murderous rage inspired by Xmas songs still comes out like the Hulk if I hear the tunes before my birthday, but after working in retail since about the beginning of time, Santa Baby was and always will be a welcome oasis in a sea of sappy BS music. ESPECIALLY the cute Madonna version.

I am relatively certain that my hatred of mopey country music comes from Country artists singing Christmas Carols, especially that one about the sad military man that’s alone shivering in a cold room. Way to go, catholic guilt: make everyone hate themselves for enjoying the holidays. I will not dignify the song by giving its name up.

Part three and the actual WHY of this post comes right about now.

I couldn’t imagine that Santa Baby was created by Madonna when I finally admitted to liking it, so I did the research. It was originally sung by Ertha Kitt. I fell in love with the original instantly.

I recently went to iTunes to download it, since my version appeared to be missing from my library. I have no idea what happened to it. Thank you, iTunes for teaching me a valuable lesson that day, which is:

Always make sure you wait until the page is finished loading in iTunes before clicking BUY.

I bought the wrong version of Santa Baby by accident initially last year, because there are like 50 different options for the song. No joke. For the record, did the Pussycat Dolls really need to remake the song into the soundtrack of a Strippercize workout? really PCD? Couldn’t you leave awesome alone?

When I went back to buy the right version, I stumbled upon Santa Baby, as performed by the Christmas Cats. I am not even joking. People make this stuff. The link wasn’t working, so you can find it in the MOG library by searching ‘CHRISTMAS CATS”.

Um. Cats Meowing Santa Baby? Ridiculous and effing Hysterical. Of course I bought it and promptly sent it to Kristi. Since we love cats, and she has ours now that we’re no longer living together, it had to be done. One of the cats on the track sounds a lot like ours.

So Kristi upped the ante by sending me THIS gem.


Posted in: music