I’ve been accused of being a Christmas Buzz-kill. My wife has even threatened to get me a Christmas T-Shirt: Black with white block letters: “This is as Merry as I Get”. And frankly, I’d really like to have that shirt. I’d wear it with pride.
You see – “It’s that time of year…” and just starting off with that quote already has you singing a Christmas song in your head, right? And that’s both my point and my problem.
Don’t misunderstand me, there are some things I enjoy about Christmas. But one thing leads the charge in my dread of this holiday and my hope for its quick departure:
Now I’m not known for my great musical taste, and I understand that the music a person likes is a very personal thing. But my issue with Christmas music is the unending repetition. Every year someone new puts out a Christmas album and guess what… it’s the same damn songs on every other Christmas album just done their way. “Oh… he added strings to that section”. “Listen to the choir here… that’s wonderful.”
No, it’s the same thing as last year. And the year before that. And that.
Let me put it another way. Think about the Beatles. Even if you’re not a fan of them, they wrote some song you wouldn’t mind sitting through. And they wrote a lot of stuff. Classics. Iconic tunes that the world knows just by their title.
But what if that was it? What if the songs of the Beatles were the only songs available? Every year new bands would come out. And all they’d do is release an album with their version of the Beatles classics.
“Did you hear U2s new album! I love their version of ‘Let it Be’”. Dave Matthews does “I Wanna Hold Your Hand”. The Jonas Brother’s do “Sergeant Pepper”.
Interesting? Possibly. But how long until you can’t stand to hear another version of “Help” or “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” with a slightly different mix?
That’s Christmas Music. The same 20-30 songs redone indefinitely. Some like the traditional version. Some the version by Perry Como or Dean Martin or some Crooner. Or the version you first heard during Christmases with your family. I know my parents still have the albums we listened to… and by that I mean they have the records. You remember records, right… big black CDs with a needle instead of a laser? Yeah. Those things.
And this incessant repetition is inescapable. Walk through any store, restaurant, mall, car-wash, or video store after Thanksgiving and you don’t have to guess what kind of music they are playing… only which version.
So I live with my earbuds permanently planted in my ears. The iPhone/iTunes combination has liberated me and I’ve become so reliant on it that I’ve done something I never imagined… I’ve worn out my headphones.
I didn’t know you could wear out a pair of headphones. I still have the ones I used during my years in Radio. That was nearly twenty years ago and they survive til this day and still sound great. But their total hours of use pale in comparison to these little white buds that keep me from hearing Kenny G’s “Frosty the Snowman” on the elevator.
So now I need new headphones to survive ’til February when the world puts away “Santa Baby” for another eight months. But when it comes to getting new stuff I’m actually in luck… cause it’s Christmas.