Several readers have recommended "How To Make The Gravy" by Australian singer-songwriter Paul Kelly. One writes:

It has depressing, slightly schmaltzy subject matter (man in jail missing Christmas writes a letter to a family member), but leaves you really appreciating what we often take for granted during Christmas.  Throw in a recipe for gravy (light on the specifics, but good on the general idea) and references to Nina Simone and Junior Murvin and you have, IMO, one of the best damn Christmas songs ever. 

Lyrics after the jump:

Hello Dan, it's Joe here, I hope you're keeping well


It's the 21st of December, and now they're ringing the last bells


If I get good behaviour, I'll be out of here by July


Won't you kiss my kids on Christmas Day, please don't let 'em cry for me

I guess the brothers are driving down from Queensland and Stella's flying in from the coast


They say it's gonna be a hundred degrees, even more maybe, but that won't stop the roast


Who's gonna make the gravy now? I bet it won't taste the same


Just add flour, salt, a little red wine and don't forget a dollop of tomato sauce for sweetness and that extra tang

And give my love to Angus and to Frank and Dolly,


Tell 'em all I'm sorry I screwed up this time


And look after Rita, I'll be thinking of her early Christmas morning


When I'm standing in line

I hear Mary's got a new boyfriend, I hope he can hold his own


Do you remember the last one? What was his name again?


(Just a little too much cologne)


And Roger, you know I'm even gonna miss Roger


'Cause there's sure as hell no one in here I want to fight

Oh praise the Baby Jesus, have a Merry Christmas,


I'm really gonna miss it, all the treasure and the trash


And later in the evening, I can just imagine,


You'll put on Junior Murvin and push the tables back

And you'll dance with Rita, I know you really like her,


Just don't hold her too close, oh brother please don't stab me in the back


I didn't mean to say that, it's just my mind it plays up,


Multiplies each matter, turns imagination into fact

You know I love her badly, she's the one to save me,


I'm gonna make some gravy, I'm gonna taste the fat


Tell her that I'm sorry, yeah I love her badly, tell 'em all I'm sorry,


And kiss the sleepy children for me

You know one of these days, I'll be making gravy,


I'll be making plenty, I'm gonna pay 'em all back.

All the best, and a good end-of-year celebration for you

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