Monday, December 10, 2007

A Marshmallow World

I don't know if I've had a different experience than you this holiday season, but I haven't been bombarded by Christmas music everywhere I go. Be it at the mall, big-box store or one of my favorite places to eat, not every song is of the yuletide variety. All of the Christmas gifts I purchased were bought in stores, but alas, the number of Christmas/holiday-centric songs seems less.

I'm not complaining here; I'm just making an observation. I wonder though: has a backlash against wall-to-wall Christmas music been the reason for this?

I'm not bringing all this up in fear that people hate Christmas or Christmas music; rather, I think it's how certain people don't want to hear Christmas music all the time. Personally, I like Christmas music, but prefer it to not hijack my regular playlist on my iPod or CD player. I think the key difference between being stuck in rush hour traffic listening to a radio station that's all Christmas music and being stuck in a line at a department store: you have the option to turn the music off.

I'm thinking more of these places will play more Christmas music until Christmas Eve draws near. Burnout will seem less, right? Well, I remember a time when this method was used across the board, but I'm not so sure this is a throwback to days gone by.

For me, I like to spin songs like the Pogues' "Fairytale of New York," Mojave 3's "Candle Song 3" and Chomsky's rendition of "Christmastime is Here." Plus, I like to pull out Jeff Giles' mixes he put up on his well-remembered blog, Jefitoblog. Now with the Phil Spector Christmas album and the Charlie Brown Christmas album in my collection, I'm pretty set.

But as of late, I haven't really listened to that stuff. As a matter of fact, in the last few weeks, I've been listening to Botch, Dillinger Escape Plan, Zao, At the Gates and Scott Walker more than anything else. Simply put, that's the stuff I've really wanted to hear. Of course, that stuff is given a rest when it's time to wrap presents.

I do enjoy hearing Christmas music, but in the last few years, I've received an earful from people who detest it. Now all these years later, I'm wondering why I'm having to bear the grunt of their misery. Yet for me, it's just notes and rhythms with a certain holiday cheer.

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