Everyone has their favorite holiday classics to sing along to while trimming a tree, wrapping gifts, baking cookies, or traveling to be with loved ones. But has anyone ever stopped to think about what’s actually behind most holiday songs?
One in particular has always struck me as incredibly confusing. “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” is heard all over the world in many different iterations, but the gist is always the same. This is the least-festive holiday song ever! Someone’s grandmother is killed in a freak accident, and their first question is what to do about her presents?! It’s like the Asshole National Anthem.
The whole accident could have been avoided if they didn’t let their grandma walk through the woods unaccompanied. Nothing is less festive than dealing with the loss of a loved one around the holidays in the first place, but why is the song so upbeat?
I’m not an animal expert, but reindeer just don’t seem all that vicious to me. Usually they appear docile and are herbivores. Maybe they become violent when provoked, but what grandma would taunt and provoke a reindeer? Grandmas are by definition sweet and lovable. Sure there is eggnog involved, but the earlier question stands as to why the family didn’t take responsibility for grandma. Did anyone go outside to look for her? Did anyone offer to go with her to try and convince her to come back inside? I work in a nursing home and older people who are showing signs of dementia can often be re-directed fairly easily.
Ostensibly I think the song is supposed to be humorous, to offer some comic relief for people who may find the pressures and potential for emotional strain frustrating. The idea just doesn’t seem funny, though. Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t see what’s funny about any of the elements of the song. Some people might say I’m reading too much into it and that the holidays are not a time for cynicism. I don’t understand what other way there is to read it when the fucking song is titled “GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER.”
That’s pretty much all I have to say on the subject.