Festivus Night Music Byte
“Christmas Wrapping” (sometimes misspelled as “Christmas Wrappings” ) is a Christmas song written by Chris Butler and recorded in 1981 by The Waitresses (best known for the song, “I Know What Boys like), featuring vocals by Patty Donahue. It was first released on the 1981 various artists holiday compilation album A Christmas Record on ZE Records. The group also included the track on their 1981 EP I Could Rule the World if I Could Only Get the Parts. It has since been included on numerous holiday compilation albums, including Now That’s What I Call Christmas!: The Signature Collection.
The song was written soon after the birth of rap music in that style, hence the word Wrapping in the title.
The song has had a huge following in the UK although it only reached number 41 in the charts at that time,being played on all the radio stations, both local and national. However in recent years due to it not having a promotional video it has not received as much airplay. The song also became a classic on the Canadian modern rock radio station CFNY-FM and is regularly played during the Christmas season.
The song is narrated from the point of view of a busy single woman who is adamant that she will try to sit-out the exhausting Christmas period, not participating in the traditional Christmas activities (except for making dinner, see below).
She reveals that, during the course of the year, she has attempted to meet up with a man she encountered in a ski shop the previous year. Despite the couple’s attempts to meet, a succession of mishaps conspires to keep them apart.
Finally on Christmas Eve, the protagonist (after stating that A&P provided her with “the world’s smallest turkey”), in her haste to prepare dinner, realizes that she forgot to purchase cranberries. She runs to a local convenience store, and ends up running into the man. In a wild coincidence, he, too, was making dinner and also forgot to buy cranberries. This coincidence hints that the narrator, and therefore the listener, shouldn’t completely abandon their faith in the magic of Christmas.
I have to admit that this is one of my favorite non-traditional Christmas songs.