Christmas Music

For the past month, I’ve continued to be bombarded with this wild fancy to start playing my Christmas music and playlists; and quite frankly, it scares me. I’d never really gave it much thought in past years; and the urge rarely came up until the start of the Advent Season. As a child, Mom would always take a couple days off to do her Christmas preparations – full-scale cleaning, decorating, cookie mixing and baking (at least 12 different kinds every year!) – all of which was done with a stack of Christmas LPs on the record player blaring through the house.

But that’s the thing. That music never surfaced until AFTER Thanksgiving.

Even Thanksgiving Day had music of its own in our house, and none of it was Christmas. And we weren’t watching Christmas specials, either! The one thing we looked forward to seeing every year around Thanksgiving was The Wizard of Oz on my grandparents’ color television (yes, we’d pile into the car on the night it was scheduled to be on, because this was loooooong before VCRs and video tapes and DVRs, and head to Grandmom and PopPop’s house just to see it because all we had was a black and white television).

Yikes!

In this digital age that we live in, we no longer have to wait for anything. It’s all instantaneous and at our finger tips. I remember a time growing up just waiting for the special holiday programs to come on, then hearing the all-familiar: “Our regularly scheduled program will not be seen this evening in order to bring you the following special presentation.” My pulse would quicken and my eyes would glaze over as I submersed myself in the fantasticness that was the seasonal television specials: The Charlie Brown special, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus Is Coming to Town… It was magic unfolding before our very eyes and in real time. We adhered to a schedule and there was no veering from it.

But now we can digitally watch anything we want whenever we want. Christmas in July? Why ever not? Just pull out your DVDs and have at it! No need to wait for the networks to air those specials anymore when you own them for yourself. You can be your own network! Just stand up next to the flat screen TV and announce, “Our regularly scheduled program will not be seen this evening in order to bring you the following special presentation.” Then hit the “Play” button!

And the more I think about these things, the more I’m understanding how the holidays have gotten mashed up like they are today, with no distinction between them (Happy Christmahannukwanzadan!). I used to think it was the stores and businesses pushing the holidays closer together in order to make more money and cash in. But we did it to ourselves! We threw the holidays under the bus! We can have any kind of music we want in our ears at all times with the frequency of all sorts of digital devices, all we need do is tap and listen – or tap and watch. We don’t even have to wait until we’re at home to watch those specials on the television – we can do it on our phones while riding the train home!

As for me, however, I’m still going to resist the urge to listen to those Christmas playlists until AFTER Thanksgiving. At least for one more year…

But next year, all bets are off!

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