A Nashville Christmas sounds terrible to me. I feel like I’ve seen snippets of these Nashville Christmases, though the image in my mind of Kenny Rogers riding in a sleigh, wearing a Christmas sweater and smiling, that might just be something I imagined without having ever actually seen it. I picture a country farm, with bright lights in the trees and large horses plodding through the fresh white snow. I picture the Nashville Country Christmas appearing on screen, lit as with twinkling white lights, and I see Kenny singing with his friends, Dolly and Reba, those sorts. I don’t know if this has ever happened, but everything I know about television, Nashville, and country music stars of a certain age tells me it has.
But it’s all a lie, that Nashville Christmas. It doesn’t snow like that in Nashville. The horses down there would freak out if it did, because they also know that the snow is fake, not for them, not for Nashville. It’s for television, like Dolly’s puffed lips and Kenny’s new chin, and that sleigh isn’t a sleigh at all but rather a stage prop that will now immediately and dangerously crumble after being exposed to so much fake snow. Those lights aren’t really that bright, it’s the lens on the camera, made to blur them into a twinkle so we don’t notice Dolly’s exposed skin. And that singing, it can’t be real because it’s too good, and why is Kenny talking to Dolly while they’re singing? Who told Reba she could even be there?
The hot chocolate isn’t necessary, not at all. It’s 61 degrees as of that filming, and no one has ever gladly drank hot chocolate when it’s 61 degrees outside. Little kids wouldn’t even do that, and we know Kenny and Dolly can’t taste anything anymore, the injections long ago killed off that sensory staple. Why is Reba wearing those black jeans, and why doesn’t she look like Reba anymore? Who told the horse to stop neighing?
This whole thing is crap, really. I can see behind that barn and there’s green grass. It’s mostly brown, but there’s some green in it and a stage hand smoking a cigarette. And why do the carolers have rosy cheeks? Why are they sweating so profusely in those winter jackets? Why is the one kid drinking from a gatorade bottle instead of from the hot chocolate mug? There’s no way that’s hot chocolate, because it’s 61 degrees outside and those horses are jostling the sleigh around so much that any chocolate would have already spilled all over Kenny’s Christmas sweater. Reba is standing now, crouching a bit in the way that singers of a certain age crouch when they sing. She’s singing Let’s Give Them Something To Talk About, but it’s set to the tune of Jingle Bells and neither of those songs are hers.
Christmas in Nashville has been a huge disappointment. I prefer Christmas in Lake Geneva, but it’s raining here now and the trees are budding and it’s only a matter of time before that Magnolia tree on Geneva Street shows its bright, gaudy blossoms. If I wanted a rainy Christmas I’d move to Nashville, because I know that’s what it does there and this television special I’m not sure I’ve ever seen was probably filmed in Wisconsin.