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You know the song “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”?

How messed up is that song?

It’s undeniably fun, but wow. The plot of the story is that Grandma got wasted at Christmas Eve, tried to walk home and was discovered dead the next day. The singer and his grandfather are convinced Grandma was run over by Santa’s sleigh.

The end.


Obviously, this song is a gag. It was actually written by a Dallas resident named Randy Brooks and first recorded by a comedy duo named “Elmo and Patsy” in 1979.

Brooks said he came up with the song when, at a Christmas party, he watched a relative who’d had too much to drink.

I don’t want to make too much of a silly song that’s clearly meant to be a gag in good fun. But I’m fascinated by the song’s popularity. It’s more than just the catchiness of the song.

It’s also transgressive in the way good comedy is, working on several layers at once.

Christmas songs aren’t supposed to be about death. Quite the opposite – Christmas is all about new life!

And the song is about a hit-and-run, but this one allegedly perpetrated by Santa?! Of all the things Santa Clause is known for, vehicular homicide isn’t on the list.

All of that is underscored by the playful tune that’s really at odds with the subject matter.

That surprise is where we need to spend some time. After all, it’s Christmas Eve, and woven throughout the Christmas Story is surprise.

Join us Sunday as we explore how God surprises us, especially at Christmas!

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