Sam Venable 

Department of Irony

Just Humming a Few Bars Will SufficeIf you feel like breaking into Christmas carols, fine. Make all the music you wish. Far be it from me to ruin your holiday fun. Indeed, join your friends and neighbors, traipsing house-to-house and singing yourselves silly.

It’s just that I’ve been mulling over the lyrics to some of the season’s favorites — “Frosty,” “Jingle Bells,” “Sleigh Ride,” “Little Drummer Boy” and the like  —  and I’ve scratched a furrow in my head trying to get them to make sense.

Maybe I’m too literal, but  c’mon, admit it — don’t you really think:

  • There’s no way a new mother would give permission for some kid to start banging away on a drum just as her baby was drifting off to sleep?

  • The only people who run around deliriously shouting, “Let it snow! Let snow! Let it snow!” are meteorologists, teachers, students, and grocers?

  • When people are searching for the perfect Christmas tree, they’re more interested in price than “how steadfast are thy branches?”

  • Anybody who claims to have seen a deer with a bright red nose (1) is pretty well lit-up himself and (2) has no business in the woods with a gun, bow, or knife?

  • Seven swans a’swimming, six geese a’laying, four calling birds, three French hens, two turtle doves, and a partridge in a pear tree would make one hellacious mess on the carpet?

  • Anyone named Brown who goes into the ministry would take whatever dietary and theological steps are necessary to make certain he’s never confused with a snowman in the meadow?

  • Children are listening for the ring tone on their iPhone instead of sleigh bells in the snow?

  • Sugarplums? Bah! What about gift cards to Mickey D’s?

  • And anybody who would climb atop a snowy roof and try to squirm down the chimney with a fat man wearing a red suit has click-click-clicked past the eggnog bowl a few times too often?

Yeah, I tend to wander as I wonder about these things.

Sam Venable is an author, stand-up comedian, and humor columnist for the Knoxville (TN) News Sentinel.
He may be reached at