The Holiday Shift - Remixed & Remastered for 2018

by Hot Breakfast!

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tl;dr: We recorded this EP shortly after election night of 2016 - emotions were high. We self-produced and -engineered and mixed it ourselves but weren't thrilled with the results. So in 2018 we remixed and hired Cliff Hillis to master and it sounds a lot better. Pay what you will. $0 works. ✌️➕❤️

- - - -

'The Holiday Shift' is a little glimpse into how Hot Breakfast! sees the winter holiday season. Sometimes, it brings out the worst in us; we behave badly ("The Holiday Shift") and resent having to shop for presents ("Don't Get Me Anything"). But sometimes, it fills us with joy, whether we're just driving around with a good friend in need ("I'll Be Home On Christmas Eve") or letting the sight of snowflakes fill us with innocent wonder ("Everyone's A Child When It Snows").

We wrote most of these songs in the summer and early fall of 2016. But we had scheduled our recording session for November 9, 2016 - a day that happened to follow what we can safely call a deeply stunning and wildly historic night. In fact, we were stunned into wildly historic silence, and we realized we needed to put our project aside for a few days. This wasn't the most practical option, as our EP release party was less than five weeks away, but it was certainly necessary.

We finally shook out of it and got to work. But while the recording sessions were fun (there are few things we love more than recording), we really had to hustle. We recorded in our home studio, so we could work all night if we wanted. But it takes a highly skilled professional to engineer and mix music, and while this wasn't our first roldeo - we engineered and produced our first EP, and half of our debut album '39 Summers' - it's a tremendous challenge, especially under the pressure of a time crunch.

Bottom line: we were happy with the results, but not thrilled. 'The Holiday Shift' was always intended to have a loose homemade sound, but we really struggled with it. Some of the songs just didn't have the sonic coherence we were hoping for.

So this year, we decided to do something about that.

We made two crucial decisions. The first: we wouldn't record any new tracks for these songs, an excellent declaration of artistic integrity which we immediately broke it by adding our newly acquired baritone saxophone to "The Holiday Shift." The second: we wouldn't change the arrangements, alter the performances or (crucially) clean up any mistakes. Our goal wasn't to make the SONGS better - we just wanted them to SOUND better, while still sounding like the same songs.

But really, what we needed was someone to Master the songs. Mastering is a specialty that requires someone with the ears, the thoughtful consideration, and the technical skills (and tools) to bring mixes to life. Especially when those mixes, like ours, are sincere, but flawed.

Enter the amazing Philadelphia-based musician, singer, songwriter, and producer Cliff Hillis. Not only was he a joy to work with - he put up with our many re-re-remixes and answered all our neurotic questions - but he made our mixes shine in a way we never could.

So many, many thanks to Cliff Hillis. And to Ritchie Rubini for recommending him.

Finally: our liner notes from December 2016 read, in part, "as we head into 2017 filled with anxiety, fear, and even a little hope, knowing that New Year's Day changes nothing but the calendar date, we remind each other - and ourselves - that this season really can be a time of renewal, of love and respect for each other, and peace on earth - no matter what we do or don't believe."

That's all still true. The anxiety and fear we lived with two years ago is still with us, growing deeper, poking us whenever we dare to relax and get comfortable. It's a drag, but the hope - that's still there too. And it's growing deeper, too.

So please have a happy, healthy, hearty, and safe holiday season. 'The Holiday Shift' is currently free, because the best present you can give us this holiday is letting us be a part of yours.

Peace, Love, and Dork-Rock,
Jill and Matt

And oh yeah - don't be like us. Get your shopping done early ("An Idiot For Christmas").


released November 24, 2018

Jill Knapp: lead & harmony vocals, drums & percussion, recorder, melodica, keyboards
Matt Casarino: guitars, vocals, bass, mandolin, keyboards, drums, programming

Joe Trainor: piano solo on "I'll Be Home On Christmas Eve"

All Songs written by Matt Casarino & Jill Knapp

Produced by Hot Breakfast! at Knappshack Studios (Wilmington, DE)
Mastered by Cliff Hillis


all rights reserved



Hot Breakfast! Wilmington, Delaware

Matt Casarino and Jill Knapp are Hot Breakfast! - Delaware's premier acoustic dork-rock power duo.

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Track Name: Don't Get Me Anything
You ask me what I want for Christmas
What a thoughtful thing to do
Giving's such a lovely way to live
But I still have a plastic bag
That's all filled up with last year's swag
So how about we give the gift of
no more gifts to give - in fact:

Consider this song your Christmas present
Load it in, and then forget it
Play it anytime you wanna hear
Maybe it's not that much better
Than cotton socks or a tacky sweater
Still my words could not be more sincere
Please don't get me anything this year
Ooh oh oh

I don't want a thing for Christmas
No kitchen tools or fondue sets
Or toys that hug my inner child too. (No.)
But if the concept hurts your brain
Just donate something in my name
Or send me some new music like this
song I made for you

Consider this song your Christmas present
Copy, paste, and then forget it
Play it on December first each year
Or if you find you just don't need it
I won't mind if you delete it
If you change your mind I'll be right here
Please don't get me anything this year

Now I appreciate the thought
Some thoughts should just stay in your head
Why don't we take back what we bought
Call it even, say goodnight
and we'll all go back to bed

All year you give to someone else
But none of us are blessed with wealth
So take what you would spend on me
And give back to yourself

Consider this a lifetime present
To make your holidays more pleasant
The gift of one less gift to give away
Maybe we can go the distance
And formulate a gift resistance
Start a new tradition where nobody has to pay

This song is your Christmas present
Load it in, and then forget it
Play it anytime you wanna hear
Isn't this a little better
Than Santa socks or a reindeer sweater
Served up by an underpaid cashier
Please don't get me anything this year
Please don't get me anything this year
And next year
Every year.
Track Name: The Holiday Shift
Got your invite, I got your letter
For your holiday get-together
"Let us celebrate, please save the date
We would love it if you'd come"
It's a beautiful invitation
But I'm out for the duration
While you're drinking hot-buttered rum
I'll be navigating pandemonium

On the Holiday Shift, working five to three
(the holiday shift), yeah lucky me
While you party here's my parting gift
Watching morons shoppin' on the Holiday Shift

And you tell me "This is outrageous!
It's a sickness and it's contagious
It's a family day and they shouldn't make you
Go to work today"
I appreciate your kind wishes
But I wish you'd mind your business
Cause I like the extra pay
Just a bit more than my family anyway

On the holiday shift, at your favorite store
(The Holiday shift), watch 'em storm the floor
If there were no demand, it would not exist
But buyers' gonna buy on the

Holiday shift - Where you and I will be sharing the same pain
If you catch my drift - cause your party and
my job are just the same

And here's how:

Everyone's friendly at the start of the night
But the longer they stay, the more they fight
They get in the way while we multi-task
They give their opinions when we didn't ask
We'll both need a week to convalesce
From the noise, the smell, and the epic mess
When the night is over we can't believe
How some people don't know when it's time to leave

The holiday shift - while you celebrate
(the holiday shift) - they'll be at the gate
And ready to throw down to prove their thrift
The holiday shift - but while you're drinking wine
(the holiday shift) - I'm making double-time
I'll think of that when I can use a lift

On the holiday shift, it's a long 10 hours
(the holiday shift), but I hold the power
I rule my register with an iron fist

Holiday Shift - you got a chip on their shoulder?
(The holiday shift) Yes I can move slower
So don't you get your panties in a twist...

So while you drink and dine and exchange your gifts
Raise a glass to me on the holiday shift
Track Name: Everyone's a Child When it Snows
It don't matter where you live or where you work
If you're the boss, you're middle management or clerk
If you're scraping by or wearing corporate clothes
Everyone's a child when it snows

It don't matter if your collar's white or blue
If you're first in class or low man on the crew
Once the dusting starts to rise above your toes, I propose
That everyone's a child when it snows

Sliding cars and stupid trucks
Man this traffic really sucks your joy away
But though this drive home is a trial
Look outside, you can't help but smile
And once you make it home okay

Catch the weather news with one eye on the clock
You just know the plow is gonna skip your block
Just turn away and let the window meet your nose, it only shows
That everyone's a child when it snows

And your back is gonna scream
When you're shoveling, you'll dream of snowball fights
Building forts and racing sleds
Running wild into snowy beds
Till you're called in for the night

So tell the boss that you ain't going anywhere
Throw your boots on or just nestle in your chair
And let the snowfall melt the memories you once froze
That's how it goes
Maybe you said goodbye to childhood long ago
And maybe this is not the life you thought you chose
But everyone's a child when it snows
Track Name: I'll Be Home On Christmas Eve (2018 Remix)
So this was not your best year
And you just want to hide stay in bed
Until the first of next year
Then maybe you’ll poke out your head
But like it or not, the season’s here
You can’t avoid, you can’t stay clear
So when you’re tired of tryin’ to hide
Just step outside

And look at all the colored lights
Don’t they brighten up this night
Don’t they make you wanna just believe
But if Silent Night can’t set you free
You can drive around with me
I’ll be home on Christmas Eve

You’ve done no decorating
You’ll never get your shopping done
You’re not participating
In all the office party fun
And all the pressure to be nice
And all the Rankin Bass advice
Could crush the soul of any man
I understand...

But look at all the colored lights
Don’t they brighten up this night
Don’t they make you wanna just believe
But if "Silver Bells" can’t set you free
You can hang around with me
I’ll be home on Christmas Eve

Whoa-oh-oh well it’s okay
To turn your cynic’s eyes away
To let it go and feel all right
If only just for one good night
Hey hey hey!

And you don’t have to play in snow
Or watch some Lifetime picture show
And you can fight the righteous fight
Just not tonight…not tonight…

And look at all the colored lights
Don’t they brighten up this night
Don’t they make you wanna just believe
But if Darlene Love can’t set you free
You can drive around with me
I’m coming home
I’m coming home

Yeah come on man, now it’s all right
You can feel alive tonight
Cause I’ll be home on Christmas
I’ll be home on Christmas
I’ll be home on Christmas Eve
Track Name: Christmas Is For Believers
Christmas is for the believers
That's what they tell me on certain news stations
They say Christmas is for the believers
And we're fighting a battle, and there's only one winner
But I see the lights on the rooftops
And wreaths on every door
And I can't accept this incredible feeling
Could ever come down to me versus you
Reduced to some silly war

Now I know the origin of Christmas
Is sometimes disputed - it gets complicated
A star light, a birth in a manger
Or simply the solstice, and a mythical story
But right now, the snowflakes are falling
It's almost Christmas Eve
And so in the spirit of this festive season
I bet we can blend in your faith with my reason
So here's what I believe

I believe in artists and all their creations
My friends, my family and our celebrations
in teachers and leaders who share what they know
In farmers and gardeners who share what they grow
I believe in drama that stays on the stage
I believe in the fiction you shared on the page
I believe in people who search for the truth
I believe in scientists searching for proof
The activists fighting to keep people warm
Those studying radar predicting the storms
I believe in the planets, yes Pluto counts too
I believe in you, yes I believe in you
So I'm a believer, too

Now I know some people will tell you
This day belongs to them
But I say just look all around us
The shopping, the music, the anticipation
Department store Santas, and bad decorations
The trading of presents, the bells and the chimes
And watching that movie you've seen 90 times
You say that your holiday isn't for lost ones
Well sorry, you shouldn't have made it so awesome
So tell me I'm doomed, like all the forsaken
Even though all the good stuff you took from the pagans
Then pray for my soul, and pray for my saving
Then come pick me up, cause I've got a craving
We'll drink Irish coffee in winter apparel
While looking at houses and singing some carols
Like Joy to the World, and War is Over
And maybe this battle can bring us some closure
Cause I know in the end

Christmas is for anyone
Christmas can be for anyone
Track Name: Clean Blank Slate
In with the new, say goodbye to the old
Hello to warmth, say goodbye to the cold, and
Hello peace of mind, peace of heart and peace on earth
Hello and goodbye to the thirty-first

Say goodbye to pain, say goodbye to hate
Hello New Year's Day and a clean blank slate
And a clean blank slate

We all agree it was a terrible year
Just a few more hours and we're all in the clear
All of our faults, all our problems, all our rage
Are getting thrown away with the calendar page

Say goodbye to fear, say goodbye to hate
Say hello to love and a clean blank slate
And a clean blank slate

Wouldn't it be great if it really worked that way
If we could reboot our lives on New Year's Day
Wouldn't it be grand if this song were really true
If December's problems weren't following you
If November's troubles weren't January's troubles too

But in with the new, say goodbye to the old
Goodbye to copper, hello to gold
Goodbye broken hearts, goodbye sadness, goodbye fear
Hello to the start of the perfect year

Say goodbye to fear, say goodbye to hate
Say hello to love
Say goodbye to pain, say goodbye to hate
Say hello to love and a clean blank slate
And a clean blank slate
Track Name: An Idiot for Christmas
All the leaves are nice and green
The air conditioner's cool
And hear the sounds of happy children
Jumping in the pool
It's 92 degrees outside
But don't you get me wrong
Cause even though it's summertime
This is still a Christmas song…

Cause I'm not gonna be an idiot this Christmas
This year I'll start buying gifts real soon
You think I'm over-dramatic, but I'm avoiding panic
I won't be shopping in the snow, I'll be kicking it off in June
I'm making up a list down on the boardwalk
And stopping at the outlets on the way
I'm not gonna be an idiot this Christmas
I'll have my shopping done by Labor Day

So okay I bought no one gifts this summer
Shopping in the heat is hard to do
Besides who can think of Santa, when you're still chugging Mylanta
Cause you ate too many chili dogs at Uncle Henry's Barbeque
I still have lots of time to look for bargains
I'll buy the finest gifts you've ever seen
I'm not gonna be an idiot this Christmas
I'll have my shopping done by Halloween

Well now December's almost gone
The time just disappeared
And it's too late for Amazon
To get a package here
So I'm scraping off the windshield
Wrap a scarf around my ears

Cause it turns out I'm an idiot this Christmas
I never did that shopping after all
It turns out I'm an idiot this Christmas
I'm spending Christmas Eve at Christiana Mall