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Thursday, January 12, 2006

The Christmas Music Conundrum


We here at Ramblin', being a registered librarian and all, not to mention active Presbyterian, deign to take on all matters of interest, even if no one has asked. One Fred Hembeck writes in his column of January 10:

Three weeks is generally the accepted amount of time one expects to host a live Christmas tree indoors. Coincidentally, three weeks is also the generally
accepted amount of time that most folks play Christmas music...
Here's what I realized this year: ninety-nine per cent of folks--even me--end their Christmas Carol-athon no later than early evening of the December 25th, but
virtually no one takes their tree down on the 26th. So, if you play Elmo and Patsy, Bing and Bowie, John and Yoko, and all the other seasonal crooners during the three weeks leading up to Christmas, and you trim your tree (like us) only a week before the big day, and then leave it up as the New Year approaches and eventually arrives, thereby totalling two full weeks left standing after the presents have been unwrapped... that means there's but one single seven day period in which we find the sounds of the season piping out of the stereo speakers alongside the colorful illumination of the Christmas tree! One short quick over-before-you-know-it week!

I understand the conundrum, Fred, but I disagree with the conventional wisdom on this. Why is it that the seasonal music can only be played in that period just before Christmas? It isn't even Christmastime, it's Advent. Christmastime is that period from Christmas leading to January 6, Three Kings Day, the beginning of Epiphany.
"The 12 Days of Christmas" FOLLOW from Christmas, not lead up to it. So the MacKenzie brothers, Bob and Doug, were partially right. Boxing Day, New Year's Eve and New Year's Day ARE part of the 12 days. The two Christmas albums I received this year feature Auld Lang Syne, the epitome of New Year's Eve.
Certainly, "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" should be played on the days leading up to the holiday. But what of "We Three Kings"? It's not really applicable until AFTER the birth.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of songs that could just as well be played at the end of January (Jingle Bells, Baby It's Cold Outside).

I have some 80 Christmas CDs - and I spent 10 hours listening just to the one disc you sent me. So my listening doesn't end until January 6. It's theologically justified. And your Christmas tree will be so much happier. (Ours went down, finally, on Sunday.)

Of course, in order to maintain domestic tranquility, you may want to start playing the seasonal music somewhat LATER. I don't want Lynn Moss angry with me...
***
And speaking of being helpful, I want to thank Polite Scott for answering my query about medically-induced comas.

1 comment:

Fred said...

Lynn's not buying into your Christmas music timing analysis, and if I want to continue living here, neither am I. Sorry--nice try, though....