Why Christmas Music Makes Me Homicidal
I stated before that I love the Holidays. This is true, Chanukah & Christmas are awesome. I’m also a big fan of St. Lucia’s day (shout out to Tanya who got me one of those candle crowns to wear!), and the year I got to celebrate Kwanzaa was totally sweet (I was dating Saki whose family only celebrates Kwanzaa and not Christmas). Seriously, Kwanzaa rules– you have to MAKE stuff for people! It’s a holiday I can completely get behind! Unfortunately, I’m not of the demographic that can celebrate it with a clear conscience. Oh well.
Anyway, though I do think that this is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (except perhaps Groundhog Day), I must say the music blows. I enjoy singing Christmas carols, so I tried to figure out exactly what I hate about Christmas music. I think the answer is: you shouldn’t be listening to it. It’s not a spectator sport. I wracked my brain and tried to think of what kind of Christmas music I enjoy. The contemporary rock stuff makes me want to rip my eardrums out, as does the Frank Sinatra-oid spectrum, but in a different way. Choirs singing carols are just boring. So, what? The answer is I only like singing Christmas carols. It doesn’t matter how bad you sound, when you get together in groups and belt out “The First Noel,” it’s not about the sound, it’s about the process! I don’t want to listen to other people interpreting songs!
Since I’ve been working retail for December, I’ve heard a lot of Christmas music. Seriously, if I hear Cyndi Lauper’s Christmas album one more time I think I will go postal. Not that I dislike Cyndi per se, just that popular Christmas albums seem to fall into two categories: the ones that try to make the songs “fun” and the ones that try to make them “cool.” Now call me a traditionalist, but there is nothing fun about “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” unless you are singing it. “The Holly and the Ivy” may possibly be the most un-cool song out there; making it jazzy is just going to make it worse. Sing, people! It’s kind of like soccer is for me. I really don’t want to watch it on tv, but it’s fun to play with your friends.
I suppose it’s mandatory that you hear X-mas music in the background while you’re in every store this season, though. What kind of music would enhance my shopping experience? Maybe some bland, quiet instrumentals. That way they could hint at festivity, but wouldn’t be flogging you with a sodden lump of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” all day. In my ideal world, there would be more of the indication of celebration, and not someone else’s interpretation of Celebration itself.
Now comes the curmudgeonly part. I really don’t like any Christmas songs written after 1900. OK, I lied, I like “Fairytale of New York,” and “Christmas in Hollis.” However, the Rudolph-Frosty-Jingle Bell Rock spectrum gets on my nerves. Maybe it’s because people who record these songs feel the need to make them extra cheesy because they’re supposed to be “fun.” Maybe it’s just because Christmas albums are tailor-made for the masses and therefore bland and soulless, and pop music made to be Christmasy is a double whammy of lame. I don’t know. Maybe I’m just a Scrooge in training.
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