Sunday, December 02, 2007

Christmas Music

I like to listen to Jazz Brunch on the local radio station. It's a Sunday morning thing to return from church and listen to tunes that I don't generally hear. Sadly, this ritual works only 11 months of the year. After Thanksgiving, the DJ picks non-stop Christmas Jazz tunes. And it's a lot better to hear Larry Carlton do "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" than someone else.

My problem is that today's date is December 2nd. Christmas is 23 days from now. Even if I love a genre of music, being force-fed it for three weeks suffices to turn me into a Grinch or a Scrooge or whatever term signifies "zeitgeist non-participant." I remarked to my beloved wife moments ago that I appreciate Christmas songs on the weekend-of Christmas. Then they make sense and I rather enjoy them. But by that time, all the radio stations are utterly burned out on the subject and can only play zombie-like the most shopworn of the standards.

My thought, unspoken, was "Why can't they wait until the weekend of?" And the answer came to mind with the wings of Mercury, shocking in its immediacy. All the Christmas shopping has been completed by that point. There's the rub.

Consider the Peanuts TV special with its "Christmas ought not be commercial" message, but it mere presence reminds us to go shopping. Anti-commercial "meaning of Christmas" message is all good and fine, but that should not get in the way of our shopping. If radio stations were serious about the "meaning of Christmas" message, they wouldn't run Christmas carols non-stop until everyone's sick of them and, coincidentally, all opportunities for shopping are exhausted.

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