In 1999, I spent Christmas Eve driving through a whole night of lake effect snow in a tiny Honda Accord with my cat on my way from Louisville to New York City. I was following a pickup truck driven by my stepfather that was toting all my belongings in a trailer behind it, and at one point whiteout conditions were so intense that I couldn't see his taillights. Then my cat started screeching and clawing at the front windshield, and all I could do to retain my focus and my sanity was to turn up my car stereo as loud as it would go. I'd been playing Jon Spencer Blues Explosion's album Acme on repeat for the past two hours since I couldn't take my eyes off the road long enough to change the CD, and the song "High Gear" just happened to be playing. I never even knew it was a Christmas song until then, but it told my story back to me as I was living it that night. Kind of.
Nightmare road trips are probably not the exclusive domain of my personal mythology.; hell, they're not even restricted to motorized vehicles, as James Kochalka Superstar documents:
But alas, lest we get too suspicious of our fellow wayward travelers, especially those in big ass trucks, remember that a certain guy with lots to do Christmas Eve doesn't always travel in the sky, at least according to Red Simpson in one of my favorite weepers from his album comprised entirely of Christmas trucker songs: