The Most Over-Hyped Time of the Year

Christmas shopping-frenzy checkoutOnly eight days till Christmas, and I’m immersed in the holiday spirit. But there have been past Christmases when I was mired in depression or feeling very “bah humbug” about the holidays. I’m well aware that this season conjures up a wide range of emotions in shades from joy to despair, and that December can be a problematic time for many people, especially those living alone or with emotional, physical or financial problems – and doesn’t that include just about everybody? 

Julie reading at the Nitty Gritty Slam

Julie reading at the Nitty Gritty Slam

For this night’s Nitty Gritty Slam at Valentine’s in Albany,** I wanted to write something new to read at the open mic that precedes the actual poetry slam. Tonight’s theme, in keeping with the holidays, is the “Annual Airing of Grievances.” On my car radio, even the country station has been playing Andy Williams’s inescapable “Most Wonderful Time of the Year,”*** and I’ve been thinking of writing a parody substituting “horrible” for “wonderful.” But I didn’t want to focus on negativity – not completely, at any rate.  

But walking my dog by the lake this morning, I came up with “over-hyped,” and by the time he’d finished pooping, I had the beginning of these lyrics in my head. Feel free to borrow them for your local sing-along. Or if you’re coming to Valentine’s, print them out or save them on your smart phone so you can join in.



It’s the most over-hyped time of the year.

So you’d better be happy, and best make it snappy

Or people will jeer.

It’s the most over-hyped time of the year.


All your family will want lots of gifts.

So you’d better go shopping, and don’t dream of stopping

Or you’ll cause a rift

If you don’t spring for pricy new gifts.



There’ll be parties each night and if you’re not invited,

Then you can just stay home and mope.

Drink your brandy-spiked eggnog till you’re in a deep fog.

You’ll wake up a hung-over dope!


It’s the season they sing about snow.

But you can’t shovel white stuff ‘less you’ve got the right stuff.

Head south now, just go –

Oops, you can’t, ‘cause you don’t have the dough.



Hang those lights, deck those halls. If being cheery seems false,

Just keep wearing that shit-eating grin.*

This will pass soon enough, just hang in and stay tough

Till the January bills trickle in!


(dramatic key change)

But for now, eat and drink, have no fear.

Though this season’s depressing, more turkey and dressing

Will fill you with cheer,

And you’ll gain ten more pounds for New Year!


(Repeat first stanza if desired)

*Substitute “big phony grin” as needed

blue Christmas tree in grand hall** For more about the Nitty Gritty Slam, visit This is the last slam of the year, and by next Christmas, Valentine’s will have been demolished to make way for a huge parking garage for Albany Med. Right now, the snow’s coming down hard, and I may not make it to tonight’s event after all. But I just poured some eggnog, and I can always sing this at “Poets Speak Loud” next Monday at McGeary’s. You can find info on that at the same website.  

***The song was written by Edward Pola and George Wyle for the Andy Williams TV show and premiered in 1963. It wasn’t an overnight smash, but he sang it every year and it slowly gained popularity. Now, love it or hate it, it ranks among the top ten Christmas songs. Andy Williams died in September, 2012.


6 thoughts on “The Most Over-Hyped Time of the Year

  1. Bah! Humbug, Julie! I love Christmas and this is the first one in years we’ve had real snow! It’s beautiful outside and there’s not a much more beautiful sight than seeing a red cardinal on a snow-covered pine tree. Of course, I was lucky and as the two youngest in a large family my memories of Christmas morn is coming down to find toys for me and my brother covering half the large living room. The Xmas tree is all ready up in the family home and I still love getting presents — and giving them! (My bro. and I used to put together our coins and buy Mom a very small blue bottle of Evening in Paris… have you seen the price on that now????) Then there’s the roast beef and Yorkshire pudding to look forward to….
    Cheery ME

  2. Did I come across as totally bah humbug? I didn’t mean to – well, not entirely. This year I’m loving it, other years not so much. I wish I could have some of your roast beef and Yorkshire pudding – they used to serve that at Radcliffe, but I haven’t had it in years.

    BTW I’m calling my Katie Couric-type heroine Gloria Kemp – is that OK by you? The book is almost finished – should be out in January.

  3. The Nitty Gritty people have cancelled tonight’s event because of the snowy weather. Next slam is on January 7th in the New Year.

  4. Hi Julie, No you didn’t come across as totally bah humbug. You sound playful and mischievous. You said this year you are enjoying the Christmas season. I enjoyed your little spoof. I cannot think of the name of the song you’ve set those words to though. I can almost sing it in my mind. What is the name of the real song?

    ***Your note with ***. Does it refer to the song I can’t think of the name of to which you’ve set the words above?

    You’ve made me smile. Sorry your event tonight is cancelled. It would have been fun to have a group sing your song with you!!! Have a merry, merry Christmas. Snowing hard here too. We’ve had at least 4″ new snow today. Betsy

  5. Hi, Betsy, thanks for the feedback. The song is “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Andy Williams did t first, but many others covered it, including Johnny Mathis. If you want to check out the lyrics, just Google the title in quotation marks.

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