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Today I went to check out a new teahouse nearby and do some writing. I was going to write (for later posting here) ten things I hate about Xmas. But then I thought better of it. I mean, this time of year is shitty enough for me without purposely concentrating on the very elements that bring me the most vexation. Why spend the time and energy organizing my thoughts about exactly why I hate all the dead trees and light displays and junk and greed and waste? And far better authors than I have tackled the issue of commercialization, so I really don't have anything to add on that front, either.
So I'll just leave you with this: The reason people don't listen to xmas music year 'round is because it is fucking awful. Every last note of it. Xmas music is all either solemn hymns of a tradition I no longer subscribe to, or shrill novelty records that rightfully should lose their appeal to anyone past toddlerhood, or obnoxiously faux-cheery anthems to snow and cold and Norman-Rockwellian family harmony that never actually existed anywhere. Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, fuck off.
And the very worst thing about xmas music is its relentless omnipresence. Even if one is not fulfilling one's government-mandated, economy-rescuing holiday shopping, one is subjected to these horrifying ditties blaring out of grocery stores and pharmacies, doctor's offices and elevators, El platforms and street corners. There is no escape! Vocal arrangements, classical arrangements, cheesy-ass synth arrangements (death to you, Mannheim Steamroller!) or even the dreaded children's choir -- Good King Dentalfloss and O, Holy Shit and that particularly appalling one that goes "RINGgothebellsHEREarethebellsUPwithyourbellsYOURfuckingbells..." and so on for, I think, ever. It's all fucking crap!
And that's my holiday rant for this year.
Replies: 14 Confessions
You're right about xmas music, with the exception of Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas music. Why'd he get xmas music right? Because a lot of the Charlie Brown music sounds like how you feel after a punch in the stomach. For most people, xmas is a letdown of thoughtful gifts unrecognized, familygatherings tarnished, and expectations unfulfilled. He got that. It's the only xmas music I like.
Shylo! @ 12/07/2002 06:54 PM CST
OK, but that's the only exception. And actually, just the instrumental Charlie Brown xmas stuff for me. "Linus and Lucy" rocks.
amyc @ 12/07/2002 08:13 PM CST
I only listen to Ren & Stimpy’s Crock Full O’ Christmas during the holiday season, because it is, without a doubt, the best form of mockery toward every and any holiday song ever made or sung.
And if I hear any Adam Sandler tune again before the end of the year, I will take people out with a leftover fruitcake-turned-brick.
jhames @ 12/07/2002 08:46 PM CST
I suppose this is the wrong time to wave the flag for dead white guys? Ceremony of Carols? Lo How a Rose? For unto us a child is born from the Messiah? Whether you buy into the particular tradition or not, the ideas about this being the time when we lay up with our folks, get quiet and inner, to prepare for the coming cold and fruition next spring seems perfectly OK with me. You wanna hate something, hate Easter. Easter is creepy. But the whole solstice thing works just fine for me. Go, Mithra.
elavil @ 12/08/2002 10:33 AM CST
>>the ideas about this being the time when we lay up with our folks, get quiet and inner, to prepare for the coming cold and fruition next spring seems perfectly OK with me.
And Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer fits in with this exactly how?
Got no problem with the sentiment behind the winter holidays of various traditions. I still send year-end non-denominational holiday cards to the folks I love. I love to give presents (ask Jim -- I can never even wait til the 25th, although I don't see why I should, actually).
But I hate xmas songs and I hate not having a choice about whether or not I get to hear them. Every time I leave my frickin' house from Halloween through New Year's, I have to listen to xmas music. Ick!
amyc @ 12/08/2002 11:50 AM CST
Yes, yes, it's the whole vibrato in the dingdong thing, plus the really good music never gets played in the malls. BTW, if yr trying to avoid the Christ in Christmas, that X is from the Greek, and stands for Christ. Around here we call it emas for Elvis, whose birthday is early in January.
elavil @ 12/08/2002 12:00 PM CST
I know about the X. It's just faster to type.
amyc @ 12/08/2002 12:31 PM CST
I use the x in xmas not to allude to Christ (which, of course, it stands for) but more to make the holiday sound like a meal deal at McDonald's. "I'll have the xmas, please. Could you supersize that, too?"
Shylo @ 12/08/2002 12:55 PM CST
Or you can use the X as in "kriss"
"Giddy-up, giddy-up, giddy-up, fuck off." is one of the funniest things I've heard all week.
My one xmas music allowance: Duke Ellington's "Three Suites." Sugar Rum Cherry is good background music all year long. Mmmhm.
Jessica @ 12/08/2002 03:08 PM CST
Dude! Jingle Cats!
fksche @ 12/09/2002 07:07 AM CST
I think Shylo is right about Vince Guaraldi's album. Phil Spector's Christmas album has its moments too. And Amy! What about "Happy Xmas (War Is Over)"?!
Erick T. @ 12/10/2002 10:46 AM CST
Oh, alright. That one can stay, too. But to be fair, Vince Guaraldi and John Lennon almost never get sung by children's choirs or converted into cheap-ass electronic tunes that play from animatronic light displays at the mall. They aren't ubiquitous enough to be maddening.
amyc @ 12/10/2002 12:01 PM CST
And if I hear "The Little Drummer Boy" again I think I may just start randomly shooting at anything that moves.
Marcus @ 12/12/2002 08:37 AM CST
There are only 2 christmas albums I allow to be played in my house. The Elvis Christmas one, and James Brown Funky Christmas. Good God Y'all....
Dave @ 12/12/2002 11:13 AM CST