A Sideways Glare at Contemporary Society
How cool is Christmas? Christmas is so totally cool that it has its own Playlist. No other holiday has a catalogue of special songs you never hear any other time of the year. For example, they don’t start playing Valentine’s Day music in the middle of January and drive you crazy for an entire month until finally you just wanna kick the … but I digress. My point is, unlike every other holiday on the calendar, Christmas is such a Maximum Celebration it has its own musical genre. Every year from midnight October 31st until midnight December 25th it’s wall-to-wall deck the halls – “White Christmas,” “Blue Christmas,” “Don’t Eat the Yellow Snow.” Then there’s “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” “Daddy, Don’t Get Drunk On Christmas” (which is a real song, BTW) “Christmas Island,” Christmas Kisses,” ”Christmas Lullaby,” “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Christmas in Killarney” and OMG, “Christmas Carols by the Old Corral.” There’s just no end to it.
Plus, there’s all the novelty songs. These are those stupid little ditties that they trot out every year cuz somebody thought they were funny back in 1951. Crap like “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer,” “I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas” and the second-worst Christmas song ever written*, “All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth.” These unholy staples of AM radio have been haunting the holidays ever since Gene Autry, the Chipmunks and “Jingle Bell Rock” ruled the airwaves.
However, the thing that kicks Christmas through the goal posts of Super Holiday Stardom is its weird ability to act like a super vortex and suck a bunch of ordinary winter song into its musical orbit. Think about it! Do you ever hear, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Winter Wonderland” or “Jingle Bells” in January? No, you don’t. Even though these songs have absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, never even mention the holiday and were quite possibly written to celebrate a February week-end in Vermont, they are all de facto Christmas songs. As well as, “Let it Snow,” “Sleigh Ride” and the recently disgraced, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Why? Nobody knows. Christmas just came along and said, “This one’s mine. This one’s mine. And this one’s mine.” And nobody was brave enough to say “No!” That’s some holiday cojones, boys and girls.
Personally, I think there’s too much Christmas music, and I like to stick to the old favourites. I have a general rule of thumb that if it hasn’t been covered by the Vienna Boys Choir, I’m not really interested. Although I do have a special place in my heart for Harry Belafonte’s “Mary’s Boy Child.”
*The worst, of course, is “The Little Drummer Boy” which was written specifically to vex me.