Pandora Blog

10 Thumbs Ups For Christmas

Guest blogger and current Pandora Comedy Spotlight comedian Dan Cummins muses on the holidays…

Christmas stresses me the hell out. Let’s start there.

I feel like every year I end up rushing around at the last minute to buy gifts, terrified that I’ll spend way too much money on a bunch of poorly thought-out doodads everyone will just hate anyway.

I worry that my two kids Kyler and Monroe will LOVE the presents they get from their mom (my ex-wife), and that my gifts will quickly fall into the pile of undesirables which will be almost immediately placed in the bottom of a closet where they will remain until given to Goodwill in untouched, mint condition. Ugh.

I worry that my fiancé will get me a WAY better gift than I’ll get her, and I’ll be so riddled with shame and guilt that I’ll barely be able to enjoy my third helping of mashed potatoes and gravy. And I really worry that there won’t be enough mashed potatoes and gravy for me to have a third helping.


One of my least favorite things about Christmas is the music. I don’t like it! There. I said it (or at least wrote it.) But what was I to do when the good people at Pandora asked me to write a Christmas music blog? So I thought, “There has to be some Christmas song I like.” And after a little digging, I rediscovered “Christmas Wrapping” by the Waitresses. And I listened and I remembered…I LOVE THIS SONG!! So much! A great little new wave pop number released over 30 years ago in 1982 that still sounds fresh today about a girl who thinks she’s gonna spend Christmas alone. But on Christmas Eve she runs into the guy she’s been thinking about all year at an all-night grocery store, and they make plans to spend it together. Adorable. And it sounds DOPE.

So, I built a Pandora Station based on this song because it’s 2014 and that’s just what we do now. And the first song that pops up is “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon. So great! A beautiful culmination of two years of anti Vietnam war protests by Lennon and Yoko, and I totally forgot about it this season. Thumbs up! Next is “Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty. What!?! Tom Petty made a Christmas song? And it’s phenomenal? Mind. Blown. Definite thumbs up.

“Linus and Lucy,” that magical instrumental from A Charlie Brown Christmas is now playing, and the Christmas spirit is infecting me. I’ve watched that movie every year since I was born, and I always enjoy it. Triple thumbs up! “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” that great track from Band Aid – a collaboration of artists from U2 to Duran Duran to Sting to Phil Collins – who raised money for an African famine in 1984 – is another solid thumbs up, as is “Wonderful Christmas Time” by Wings (Can Paul McCartney make a bad song!?! He’s only been writing them for about 200 years now), “All I Want for Christmas is You” by Mariah Carey (don’t you dare laugh – you know you can’t not smile when you hear it too), “Step into Christmas” by Elton John and so many more.

All in all, I ended up giving a very enthusiastic thumbs-up to the first 10 tracks on my Waitresses (Holiday) station, and would’ve kept going, but I had to stop and finish this story.

As it turns out, I do like Christmas music. I just don’t like BAD Christmas music (I’m looking at YOU, “First Noel”).

Enjoy the holidays everyone. And, if you’re just slopping it on your plate to fill in the blank space between the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce – take it easy on the mashed potatoes and gravy. You’re ruining somebody’s Christmas.

By Dan Cummins, Pandora Comedy Spotlight