Carmen Rasmusen Herbert: ‘Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas)’ and other holiday lessons from a Spongebob Squarepants song

Carmen Rasmusen Herbert

Carmen Herbert’s kids smile at the live Nativity scene at Tuachan in St. George on a family vacation.

Our family recently traveled to St. George for the Thanksgiving weekend to be with my family. Instead of taking the minivan (aka my “sanity saver” equipped with a DVD player, three rows of seats and plenty of personal space), we all crammed in my husband’s truck so we could take home some big items from my parents’ house.

Unlike the van, there is no DVD player and no middle row and everyone is touching someone all the time. I’ve never heard so many exclamations of “Stop it, you weirdo!” Food was frequently thrown at my head. Fights were breaking out left and right. No media equals no distraction, and with no distraction comes forced family “fun” time.

Joy to the world.

When we had radio service, we’d tune in and listen to Christmas music while our 2-year-old son, Benson, screamed to listen to “Final Countdown” or the “Star Wars” title track or “Baby Beluga” by Raffi for the thousandth time (he has a surprisingly small, yet eclectic, repertoire of songs).

I typed “kids Christmas” into my iTunes music app and a song from SpongeBob SquarePants popped up, titled “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas).” My husband and I began to substitute our own lyrics for our boys, such as, “Don’t call your brothers a ‘fatso-head’ and please for once just stay in bed!” We all laughed at the humorous yet relevant message.

“Bring joy to the world; it’s the thing to do

But the world does not revolve around you

Don’t be a jerk

It’s Christmas.

“Santa brought you nearly every gift on your list

Why whine about the one that he missed?

Don’t be a jerk

It’s Christmas.”

The other day, my husband was standing in line at a taco cart downtown. A homeless man was holding up a sign for food, and my husband offered to buy him a taco. The man was grateful, but when my husband got up to pay, he realized he was about 50 cents short and the stand was cash-only. The man standing behind him overheard and offered to chip in. The homeless…

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