Friday, December 6, 2013

The Waitresses - Christmas Wrapping (1981)

 Christmas Wrapping
b/w Christmas Fever (by Charlelie Couture)

Released: November 1981 (ZE)
Written by: Chris Butler
Produced by: Chris Butler
Album: A Christmas Record (compilation)

 U. S. Billboard Charts:
 Promo only in US

Around these parts, this wonderful song is being heard as background music for a frequently aired TV spot.  All that does is drive me to call it up on iTunes and give it a listen.  Like most songs from The Waitresses, it's an unusual but catchy song. It's definitely one of the better original Christmas tunes written during my favorite decade (with competition from Paul McCartney's Wonderful Christmastime and Wham's Last Christmas). So why don't we hear this happy tune more often on the radio??

Musically, it all works for me from the rhythm guitar to the horn parts to the unexpected chord progressions to Patty Donahue's quirky vocals.  Much like the protagonist in the song's narrative, I often have the desire to "miss this one this year" as the holidays turn from quiet reflective time to something else completely.  But then, once it gets here, I'm filled with joy and happy that I didn't miss it.  As is its nature, Christmas will find you regardless. 

Here's the story of the song from writer Chris Butler:


  1. Great song. Just heard it this week on the local all Christmas station where it was played back to back with the oddly similar (I think) "Auld Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg. (Christmas is the one time of the year I don't immediately throw in a CD or fire up Spotify or Songza when I get in the car.) Have this song on 8 different Christmas compilations, including both the long and short versions. And a few cover versions which are better left unmentioned. DOH!

  2. I LOVE "Christmas Wrapping"! My first exposure to it was on the EP I Could Rule The World If I Only Had the Parts by the Waitresses which also included "Square Pegs".

    Thanks for that Chris Butler video. That was nice to listen to. FYI - the album he was referring to that the label (ZE Records) put together is called A Christmas Record and includes fresh holiday tracks from August Darnell (aka Kid Creole), Was (Not Was), Material (featuring Nona Hendryx) and others. Read all about it here.