Some of you may get mad at me for this one.
I love Christmas music. I really do. I’m a first tenor in the Jasper Men’s Chorale. Most of the songs we sing are Christmas carols.
Are you with me so far? Good.
Gird your loins and lend me your ears. This may get a bit rocky.
When, exactly, is Christmas? If you answered, “December,” you get a lollipop. If you said, “December 25th,” you get a lollipop and a smiling Santa sticker.
Has there ever been a time in history when Christmas was nationally celebrated in any month other than December? Think carefully.
And how many months of December do we have each year?
ONE December per year.
Still with me? Good. So, we’ve—hey you. Yeah, you in the back. Sit up. And stop snoring. There will be a test on this later.
To sum up, Christmas is December 25th. There is one Christmas per year. Are we on the same page?
Well, light your torches and get your pitchforks ready, because it’s coming.
Give me some Nat King Cole crooning about chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Give me Bing Crosby dreaming of a white Christmas. I’ll take a heaping helping of Merry Christmas, Darling by The Carpenters with a side of Bruce Springsteen’s Santa Claus Is Coming to Town. And how about some Christmas in Dixie by the guys from Fort Payne? Top it off with Amy Grant’s It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
I love Christmas music.
Just to clarify, I have no problem with Christmas songs being played the day after Thanksgiving. In fact, I seem to remember that being the way it was done in years past. Then a certain Birmingham radio station (you know the one) started playing them a couple of weeks before Thanksgiving. I recall voicing my opinion in an email to them. They were politely dismissive and didn’t seem to give two turtle doves if I agreed with them or not, or if I chose to take a long stroll off a short pier. Since then, I think they may actually have even started playing them earlier.
I don’t know. I don’t listen anymore.
I love ice cream. I love seafood. I’d donate a lung and a kidney for some blueberries. However, I don’t want to eat ice cream or blueberries or seafood every single day for two months straight. Does that mean I don’t like them at all?
No. It means that these are special to me. It means that by enjoying them in moderation, they retain their uniqueness. It means that too much of anything good dilutes that specialness and renders it ordinary and stale.
Which brings me to my point. Christmas Day is special. So is Christmas music. It brings back memories. It conjures up postcard images of snow-covered hills full of kids on sleds. Multi-colored lights twinkling in windows at night. Presents under the tree with colorful bows. Horses pulling sleighs.An Official Red Ryder, Carbine Action, 200-Shot, Range Model Air Rifle.
The smell of fresh pine trees. The creamy taste of eggnog. Handel’s Messiah. Jimmy Stewart running through the streets of Bedford Falls in glorious black and white, yelling “Merry Christmaaaaaas!” at the top of his lungs.
But after two straight months of It’s Beginning to Look A Lot Like Christmas, it begins to look like I’m reserving a room with those nice mattresses on the walls.
And don’t get even me started on those Hallmark Channel Christmas movies. Ack.
Mad at me yet?
Some people call me Scrooge for suggesting that maybe we put a hold on the Kringle tunes until the remaining Thanksgiving turkey is in the fridge for a few hours. Some nerve you have, they say.
This year, I have one request. Let’s save the Christmas carols for after Thanksgiving. Then you can deck the halls to your heart’s content. I’ll happily join in the hall decking with you.
That’s my Christmas wish this year.
And if it’s not too much trouble, maybe an Official Red Ryder, Carbine Action, 200-Shot, Range Model Air Rifle. 78