Good day everyone! People who know me know that I'm not generally a big fan of this time of year. Some have stooped so low as to call me a Grinch. That I am not. Perhaps a Costanza, but not a Grinch. 
With that subtle reference to Festivus, I now feel the need to reflect upon the parody, an oft loved, yet little respected form of music. It is folk music in the extreme, a variation of the highest order.
Weird Al Yankovic is, far and away, the person I consider to be the king of all parodies. Not only can he craft witty alternative lyrics to just about any song, making them culturally relevant, he's also a fantastic musician. His original compositions are great. He parodies song styles, parodies people, parodies holidays...yes, THE holidays..Christmas At Ground Zero is not only a great Christmas parody, it's also a pretty biting, yet humorous look at our society during the cold war. The Night Santa Went Crazy could be interpreted as a look into all of our work-life balances, and what happens when we don't take enough time for our friends and family. Also, it looks at the horrifying outcomes of what can happen when anyone has access to high powered, military grade weapons with large capacity magazines. Weird Al is just great.
But Weird Al does not have the best Christmas parody album out there, yet. That has to go to Bob Rivers. Twisted Christmas is the finest holiday parody album out there. From altering traditional carols to writing such classics as There's Something in the Chimney, every piece on that album is a classic.
My brother acquired the cassette tape of Twisted Christmas sometime around my 5th or 6th grade year, I think. As with any silly album, the two of us took to memorizing every lyric and singing it incessantly (we almost wore out his original copy of Weird Al's first album by rewinding My Bologna over and over again until we could get the belch in the exact right spot). Finally, here was a guy who recorded some Christmas carols the way we wanted to, with the kind of inappropriate lyrics we'd make up, and frequently get in trouble for. This guy was living the dream.
I have a special connection to Twisted Christmas, and not just the amount of hours I've spent listening to it. Years later, my brother and I found ourselves in Ft. Myers Beach in Florida around the holidays. It had been a long car trip. We were on the beach and it started to rain. We ducked into a coffee shop and there on the wall was a gold record, Twisted Christmas to be precise. The lady who owned the store sang on the album and it was her daughter who sang Something in the Chimney. I felt like we'd met Elvis. 
I lived in Seattle for awhile. I was pleasantly surprised to find that Bob Rivers hosted a morning radio show on KZOK. It was a pretty good show and I listened to it regularly, even becoming a regular caller who would argue, I mean, discuss the virtues of Frank Zappa. 
So grab a copy of Twisted Christmas, gather round the fire, and memorize the entire album. It will be sure to bring warmth and calmness to your crazy holiday season. You will hear parts of yourself in every song, and I hear the voice of Mrs. Roberts, my middle school chorus teacher, reminding me to stop screwing around and sing the right words.