a Christmas song

a Christmas song 

I’m sure it’s a nefarious plot, it’s a commercial campaign calculated to make us hate Christmas, starting with the first “Little Drummer Boy” in mid-October and ending with “Santa Baby” sometime in late December. For a solid two months, you can’t turn on the radio or step into a store without hearing the tinny strains of “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” or “O Little Town of Bethlehem”.

The Christmas Top 40 played in public venues includes a range of secular and sacred, sublime and ridiculous. You might be lulled into nostalgia by “White Christmas”, or feeling virtuous singing along with “Do They Know It’s Christmas (Feed the World)”, but then “Holly Jolly Christmas” or the “Chipmunk Song” jars you into annoyance once again. I have to admit, some renditions of old and new carols make me grit my teeth and head for the nearest exit as fast as humanly possible.

But for all my grinching, I can’t help but be caught up in the Christmas spirit, especially when the decorations are lit up at night and there’s a dusting of snow to make everything look picture perfect and it really does feel like “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”. And those songs, well, deep down I really love them all.

Photo taken on November 26, 2010

{Edit: Thank you Lori for pointing out that it was Grandma who got run over, not Santa!}


6 thoughts on “a Christmas song

  1. I thought I was almost unique… I actually listen/notice what they are playing in the stores … not only for Christmas. We were in Mark’s Wearhouse the other day, and they kept playing some stupid song where the chorus line was «I don’t fit in» … over and over. Akk..

    I have a love/hate relationship with John Lennon’s «So this is Christmas». It brings me down to no end, both that ad on TV, for donating money to starving children in Africa, and hearing it played in a place like Walmart the day before Christmas, when everyone is running around there like poisoned rats, all stressed out. The lyrics of that song can also bring me down on a personal level. It all depends…

    • A clothing store, with a song playing “I don’t fit in”? — now that’s a strange fit! It makes me wonder where stores get their soundtracks, and if anyone actually chooses the music or if there’s a commercial radio channel that plays a constant stream of supposed non-offensive buyer-enticing music. And I know what you mean about the John Lennon song, it’s really ironic how it gets used to service consumerism — you’d think it would make people decide to spend their money more charitably, but I suppose it just means that people don’t really hear the words.

  2. Shopping malls seem to be the worst for bland Christmas music. Do you have some favorites? I always like The Holly and the Ivy, The Huron Christmas Carol, Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas, and my all-time favorite, the Carol of the Bells.

    • I don’t have a list of favourites, but I do know that the Christmas carols I like most aren’t on the mall playlist. For example, there’s a wonderful carol by Canadian composer Robert Fleming called “No Crowded Eastern Street”, and I’ve always loved “What Child is This”. I’ll think about this question over the next few weeks while we listen to the Christmas CDs in our collection.

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