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(The final) Robinson Family Xmas,
RFX 2013!

Well, Amelia initially thought she had grown too cool for Christmas and was refusing to participate in our annual musical greeting this year. Lila had abandoned it years ago, and Aileen has never wanted to do it (in fairness, all of this did begin as something of a joke at her expense). While many have romanticized this tradition of ours like we are some amazing example of family togetherness, harmony, love and the Christmas spirit, truthfully, it's an enormous source of stress and conflict almost every year... at least until it's released to the world, and then everybody is pretty psyched we didn't blow it off. Amelia has long been it's biggest proponent, so I (Brad) was pretty bummed out about her reluctance this year, and I whined about it to my in-laws one night at a dinner gathering. Little did I know, my sisters-in-law have long been waiting to pounce on any opportunity to get in on some RFX action, themselves! A few nights (and at least a few sips of wine) later, Aileen's mom and sisters came over to lend their exquisite vocals to this year's offering... and despite their initial declarations, Aileen and Amelia couldn't resist joining in. Of course, Lila was quite content to just sit and laugh at us all.
So, we must thank the inimitable Maroon Tabernacle Choir for saving Robinson Family Xmas for just one more year... a fitting finale to our 15-year family tradition.

Perhaps you have asked yourself, "What if the Macklemore & Lewis hit gay-rights advocacy hip-hop song 'Same Love' were to be voiced from the perspective of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer?" Well, you need not wonder any longer...

"Same (Nose) Love"

stream it:

or right-click to download:

"Same (Nose) Love" (mp3)
(6:00 / 8MB)

As a special bonus, this year's lyrics (below) include footnotes for those of you unfamiliar with references made throughout the song – some of them are admittedly a bit cryptic or arcane. Actual lyrics borrowed from the Macklemore and Lewis song are in bold type. The introduction was (obviously) lifted directly from the song "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" by Johnny Marks, and it was performed by a 3-year old version of Amelia for RFX 2004. The refrain at the end is adapted from the Impressions' "People Get Ready" by Curtis Mayfield. All other lyrics are original (albeit largely derived from "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" and the original stop-motion tv special of the same name). The backing track was produced by Zoom Karaoke but edited a bit by me. I truly hope that the sentiments expressed in our song (along with the obscurity it will likely enjoy) will render all potential lawsuits and claims absurd.


You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen
Comet and Cupid and Donder and Blitzen
But do you recall
The most famous reindeer of all...

When I was just a young buck
Back in the day
They thought there was something wrong with me
Reindeer games they never let me play
I knew I was different
Bright as the nose on my face
I never quite felt at home
Never felt I had a safe place... to be me... red, shiny and fabulous
Now some will try to tell you it's just a decision
A disease that can be cured by treatment and religion
A willful re-wiring of a pre-disposition, playing God

But nobody knows my nose like I knows it, nobody
How bout I worry bout my body and you worry bout your body?
"God loves all his children" is what we seem to be negatin'
Like the real point of this Christmas thing that we're all celebratin'

and I can't change
Even if i tried
Even if i wanted to
and I can't change
Even if i tried
Even if i wanted to

My nose my nose my nose
It keeps me warm
Shines through the storm
It keeps me warm
Shines through the storm

So skip the Hallmark Christmas cards this year
And don you now whatever apparel you wanna now don(1)
You glow your way and i'll glow mine
And may all your Christmasses be righteous from now on
We press play, don't press pause
Keep flyin' high your own freak sleigh(2)
and keep believin' in your own personal Santa Claus(3)
He sure believed in me that one foggy Christmas Eve
Just as sure as this Pope is Catholic(4)
Just as sure as there will be plenty of misfit toys(5)
at the Winter Olympics(6)
Just as unsure as the Obama-nable snowman was about it
`til he felt history's touch(7)
...and by the way, I don't know about you but
Methinks Vladimir doth protest too damn much(8)

and I can't change
Even if i tried
Even if i wanted to

My nose my nose my nose
It keeps me warm
Shines through the storm
It keeps me warm
Shines through the storm

Kids are walking around
Plagued by pain in their hearts
A world so hateful
Some would rather die
Than be who they are

Maybe an old Christmas story and a new rap song
Ain't gonna solve it all
But they're a damn good place to start

No tune is gonna change us
We have to change us
Whatever God you believe in
We come from the same one
Strip away the fear, underneath, it's all the same love
About time that we rise up
and shout out with glee
Live on! And be yourself! Let's all go down in history

and I can't change
Even if i tried
Even if i wanted to
and I can't change
Even if i tried
Even if i wanted to
My nose my nose my nose
It keeps me warm
Shines through the storm
It keeps me warm
Shines through the storm

Love is patient, love is kind...
I'm not cryin' on Christmas...

(people get ready, there's a sleigh a comin'
you don't need no ticket, just get on board)

Footnotes (for those perplexed by any of the lyrics):

(1) Hallmark replaced the word "gay" with "fun" on one of their Christmas ornaments this year, so it reads "Don we now our fun apparel." This caused a bit of controversy for them, and they later apologized for the decision.

(2) "Fly your freak-flag high" is an expression from the 60s meaning that one should not be afraid to be or appear different, even radically different, from those in the mainstream culture.

(3) "Your Own Personal Jesus" was a hit pop song in 1989 by Depeche Mode.

(4) The new Pope (Francis) has attempted to refocus the priorities of the Catholic Church towards the issue of poverty and away from issues of abortion and homosexuality. "Is the Pope Catholic?" is a rhetorical question/joke commonly used to indicate that something is obvious.

(5) The 1964 stop-motion tv show "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" featured characters from the Island of Misfit Toys, toys that were deemed defective due to their falling outside of societal norms. Obviously, this reference is not intended to characterize any people as "misfits" or "toys," but used here as a metaphor for all who feel marginalized or disenfranchised.

(6) The host country for this year's Winter Olympics is Russia, and Russia's President Vladimir Putin has defended his country's discriminatory laws and policies regarding homosexuality, and he has imposed significant restrictions on free expression and exercise of basic rights by those identifying as homosexual in Russia, as well as those in the press, those participating in the games and those visiting the country as spectators who might openly challenge the country's anti-gay policies.

(7) The Abominable Snowman is a character from the 1964 stop-motion tv show "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" who initially appears to be unfriendly to Rudolph but ultimately has a change of heart and comes to Rudolph's aid. Similarly, President Obama initially "struggled" with the issue of gay marriage rights before eventually making a public statement of support for those rights.

(8) The quote from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "The lady doth protest too much, methinks" has evolved from its original meaning to be used when people are so zealous in their stated objection to something that they appear to be overly defensive, thereby creating suspicion that they may be guilty of the very thing they claim to abhor so much. See (6) above for further context. If I end up mysteriously poisoned, you will know why (and that's a reference I'd rather not explain).


Here are some pics of our family enjoying our summer vacation

...at the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

...at a café on the Champs-Elysées in Paris

...on a train through the French countryside

...on a vaporetto in Venice

...conspicuously consuming in Venice

...and perhaps the greatest photo of the Swiss Alps ever taken


And for your convenience, here are streams of all tunes from the RFX-past in one place
(in Flash .swf format... iOS users must go to the specific pages for each year to download mp3s of RFX-past tunes)

1999-O Come All Ye Faithful
1999-Here Comes Santa Claus
2000-Joy to the World
2000-White Christmas
2001-We 3 Kings
2001-Blue Christmas
2001-A special message from Lila
2002-Silent Night
2002-Get This Xmas Party Started +
2002-Good St. Nick
2003-Feliz Navidad
2003-Hey Yo Ho Ho
2004-Reindeer Name Games
2004-Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer
2004-Amelia's Rudolph out-takes
2005-Jingle Bells
2005-When the Snow Comes Down to Pray
2005-Snow, Snow, Snow
2005-The Bonus Beahcer Christmas of All
2005-Diddee Kiddies
2006-T'was the (Long) Night Before Xmas
2007-It's Christmas Time
2007-All I Want for Christmas
2007-The Lost Reindeer
2008-Manic Recession Medley
2008-Get It Together
2008-Jingle Drums
2009-Robinson Family Xmas Song
2010-Don't Stop Believin'
2011-It's Christmas Day
2011-It's Christmas Night
2012-Robinson Holiday
2013-Same (Nose) Love

Check out greetings from Robinson Family Xmases past:

2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999

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