"The right word may be effective, but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause." -Mark Twain

Worst Christmas Album Ever? A Rubber Band Christmas

In the late 90s, I unknowingly started a family tradition by creating a digital slideshow of pictures to show during our annual Christmas party. Back then it took a lot of technical wizardry to output computer video to a television — I think I had a PCMCIA card for my laptop that output composite video that did the truck. I also had a small directory full of Christmas mp3s that I randomly played in the background.

Each year it gets a little easier to pull off the slideshow. Wireless networking made things a lot simpler, allowing me to stream pictures and songs from my server. This year, in theory, I could run the audio from one of the digital cable Christmas channels and display pictures off a USB stick connected directly to my television. Things have changed a lot over the past 15 years.

After that first year, and back when Napster was all the rage, I set out to create a huge collection of Christmas music. And I did. The directory’s roughly 20gb in size and contains just over 5,000 songs. (It actually used to be slightly larger before I removed a bunch of “adult” Christmas songs from the directory. Nothing says “you didn’t screen these songs” like “I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus” popping up during the evening’s festivities.) The directory contains rips of all of my old Christmas CDs, all of Susan’s, and lots and lots of random Christmas goodness — some of it great, a lot of it so/so, and a few of them, downright awful.

The problem with most novelty albums is that the joke wears out before the music does. This is certainly the case with those Christmas albums where dogs and cats respectively bark and meow their way through Christmas classics… but A Rubber Band Christmas might take the cake when it comes to “Worst Christmas Album Ever.”

A Rubber Band Christmas, which I’ve since read started out as a joke, contains fourteen Christmas classics, performed by twanging rubber bands. Anyone who has ever held one of a rubber band in their teeth and varied the tautness of it while boink-boink-boinking it with the other hand knows just how this sounds. It sounds a lot like boink-boink-boink renditions of Christmas tunes, usually almost partially in tune.

The album contains rubber band renditions of such classics as “Rubber Bells,” “Little Rubber Boy,” and “Rudolph the Rubber Nosed Reindeer.” I lightly chuckled as the rubber bands ploinked away at the notes of “Deck the Halls with Rubber,” but by the time I got to track six — “Feliz Rubberdad” — I was pretty much done with the joke. And there are 14 tracks.

After rounding out the stable of classics with “Rubber Claus Is Coming To Town,” “Rubber To The World,” and “Rubber Bell Rock,” the album concludes with “Rubber Night (Ode To Jimi),” a fuzzed-out version of Silent Night that will leave you wanting more (silence).

The physical version of A Rubber Band Christmas has become somewhat of a collector’s item in recent years (no doubt due to low sales) with used copies currently selling for $10 on Amazon and new copies listed for $60+.

My opinion? Spend a few bucks on some booze and a package of rubber bands and make your own.

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