As much as I embrace Christmas, I do not embrace all of Christmas–the really odd, the grossly commercial or the genuinely creepy. I tend toward traditional Christmas carols, Advent wreaths, and midnight Mass; therefore, despite the fact that we are practically neighbors (we live in the same Baltimore metropolis), I don’t think I will ever receive a John Waters annual Christmas greeting–I’m not on his A- list of 2,000 recipients.
Waters, who is famous for writing and directing Polyester (1981), Hairspray (1988) and Cry Baby (1990), has thrown a holiday party the weekend before Christmas for the last 50 years (according to an interview with The Baltimore Sun). I’m not on that guest list either. I’d love to experience the weirdness, just once.
I have a better chance at seeing his one-man Christmas show, which toured 10 major cities this year, finishing at the Baltimore Soundstage on December 19 and 20. If you find Waters’ irreverent humor, well, humorous, check out some of his past Christmas cards and a link this year to the Baltimore Sun Magazine‘s photo gallery of Waters’ Christmas decorations.
Tonight, Roger and I were happy guests at Courtney and John’s magnificent “Real Bawlmer Weddin’” held at the Museum of Industry in the Inner Harbor. In addition to feasting on a French fry bar, crab cakes, crab soup and Whoopie Pies, I chatted with a beehived mistress of ceremonies, Darlene.
Coincidentally (because don’t all things lead back to Christmas?) my new-found friend regularly performs with “Crabs for Christmas” singer David DeBoy as one of “da Hons.” (This is only understandable if you speak Bawlamerese.) Last year, the group lit the Baltimore official Christmas tree, and every year they make many special Christmas appearances.
“Crabs for Christmas” is a hit single DeBoy recorded over 20 years ago, but this song is only one of many on his latest Live! album released last year. Check out “Biggest Star in Hampden” and “Baltimore Hon.” Anyone who is not a Maryland native might find our zeal for steamed blue crabs a little odd, especially at the Christmas dinner table, but for those with Old Bay spice in the blood, Christmas without the bare minimum, crab dip, just isn’t a holiday.
Other cities and states have their Christmas songs, like “Christmas Eve in Washington” written by Maura Sullivan, but “Crabs for Christmas” has a unique following.
Darlene reminded me that HonFest, a celebration in the Hampden neighborhood, is just weeks away, June 9 and 10. If you’re looking for an adventure, and opportunities to purchase unique Maryland Christmas gifts for the locals on your list, you’ll want to tease you hair, invest in some groovy glasses and practice your Bawlamerese. I’ve provided the necessary links here to get started.