The Magic of the Holidays

I was originally going to write about why hearing my mom exclaim to my father on Christmas morning, "Get a picture of Meg with the outfits for her cats!"has inspired me to get knocked up and married to the next person I meet. But that seemed a little too on the nose....
Not to be a total grinch, but nothing sends me into more of a blind rage during the holiday season than Christmas music. Especially contemporary Christmas songs. Especially when they're on the radio, or at a store, or being sung on an airplane before I've had my Xanax. Even on Christmas.

I really can't explain why hearing Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas" makes me want to hurt small animals. I've never understood the appeal of any of it, but I think there must have been a time before I was totally dead inside that it was tolerable to me.  But at this point I swear to God, if I turn on an alternative rock station to listen to the sweet nostalgic hits of the late 90s/early 2000s one more time and hear the peanuts kids cooing, I'm going to lose my shit.

I remember the time my sister made us listen to a Clay Aiken Christmas album on the way to midnight mass (I'm dating myself)(no pun intended), and it was a strange sensation to want to murder someone while on the way to church. The music grated on my nerves so intensely that I finally screamed at her to turn it off. Which she, being my loving older sister, did not. Instead she turned it up. Touché, Sis. This led to an all out shouting match, and my mother began to cry. Which in turn made us laugh. So it ended up being a Merry Christmas after all.

That instance of bad behavior: holiday music edition is second only to the time my sister and her family stayed at my parents house for Christmas a few years ago, and the kids were all waiting for Auntie Meg to get up so they could go downstairs and see what Santa had brought them. It was 7am, and they were crawling out of their skin. Thinking she was cute, my sister woke me up by yanking the covers off of me, and I screamed at her to "Fuck off!" Tis the season!
Needless to say the kids see their gifts from Santa without me now....

In an ironic twist, my first job in LA was filming the Christmas Yule log for the Hallmark channel. I can only assume I was hired based on my cheery disposition and penchant for the subject matter... You know that steady shot of a burning log in a fireplace that plays for 24 hours straight with Christmas music constantly playing in the background? If you take a look at the credits for that year's Yule Log, you'll see my name in all its glory. Meg Fallulah Dudley.

God forbid anything be done quickly or easily on a production. Instead of simply purchasing the songs we needed on iTunes, part of my job was to pick through used Christmas compilation cds, one by one, reading the song list on the back, song by song, at Amoeba Records FOR 8 HOURS in order to find the exact song, sung by the exact artist from our detailed list. For those unfamiliar, Amoeba Records is 31,000 sq ft and occupies an entire city block on Sunset Blvd. They have a dedicated Holiday section which holds over 800 million Christmas cds. Ok that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not by much. I took a 30m lunch break to go across the street to the Jack in the Box and treat myself and the homeless guys that hung out there with the teddy bear to 2 tacos for 99 cents. Because everyone deserves to partake in that joy.

For two days I had to rip the albums onto my computer and listen to each song to make sure the quality was good enough, there were no scratches or skipping. Then I sent the selection to the music editor, and went to return all the CDs to Amoeba, lying through my teeth to the beacon of independent music about why a multi billion dollar company couldn't spend $50 on a music budget.

By the grace of God, we did not have to listen to the music during the shoot. We filmed at Sid Kroft's hobbit bungalow in the hills, ate Fat Sal's, and smoked a bunch of weed with him and his African Grey in his treehouse. He has a waterfall that goes from his second story bedroom into the pool down below. #puppetrygoals.

But the permanent damage to my soul had been done. And THAT kids, is why I receive outfits for my cats for Christmas.


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