I love Christmas music.
But sometimes I hate Christmas music.
You know, a few years ago, when radio stations started playing all Christmas music from Thanksgiving on, I was delighted. I could simply turn the radio on and enjoy my beloved Christmas tunes all season long.
Yeah, well, now I’m not so crazy about it.
Yes, I love hearing some of those songs over and over. Bing Crosby crooning “White Christmas” will never get old. Most versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” are decent; many are excellent…same with “The Christmas Song,” AKA “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” although Mel Torme’s is undoubtedly the best.
But if you’re not Karen Carpenter, don’t even try to sing “Merry Christmas, Darling.” I heard some un-named chanteuse try to do it justice the other day, and not only did it fall pitifully short of the mark, it was actually PITCHY in places!
And trust me, I will be perfectly happy if I never hear another version of the smarmy “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” much less the same-sex one that “Glee” is now offering. It’s always been annoyingly cheesey, but I think Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson’s version took it to new lows.
As for Madonna squeaking and mincing her highly annoying, cringe-inducing, faux Betty-Boop way through “Santa Baby”…well, please just shoot me now.I realize it's personal...
I understand that musical tastes are highly personal. You may have personal reasons for absolutely loving “Santa Baby” (although I have to question your judgment…just sayin’.)
My mom can’t stand Andy Williams’ “It’s the Holiday Season” because of these lyrics:With the whoop-de-do and hickory dock
And don’t forget to hang up your sock
‘Cause just exactly at 12 o’clock
He’ll be coming down the chimney
He’ll be coming down the chimney, down
I don’t actually mind the song, but I understand her annoyance.
And when I hear Barbra Streisand croon “O Little Town of Bethlehem,” I have to ask, “Exactly what significance does what happened in Bethlehem have for YOU, Babs? You're Jewish!"
My son Jonathan experienced almost complete Christmas music burn-out while working at a retail store in the mall one holiday season. I used to accuse him of being a Grinch, but I'm starting to understand how he felt.
You know what? I think the “all Christmas music, all the time” format is causing these radio stations to really have to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
"Marilyn Manson singing 'Jingle Bells'? Sure, throw it in there!" (Exaggeration on my part...there is not, that I know of, a version of Marilyn Manson singing "Jingle Bells." I do admit that I could be wrong.)
I’ve found myself avoiding the all-Christmas radio stations in favor of my own Christmas CDs. 4Him’s original Christmas album is a classic; I love every song on it. Michael W. Smith has three wonderful Christmas albums; Point of Grace’s two are both Christmas staples for me. This one's a winner
And sometimes I just love to turn off all the lights except the Christmas tree and revel in Handel’s incomparable “Messiah.”
Yes, I love Christmas music. But I have to say that now, that statement is a very qualified one.
Don't get me wrong. I thoroughly enjoy the decking the halls, silver bells, sleigh rides and chestnuts roasting as much as anyone, and that's all definitely a part of the Christmas season for me.
But nothing can beat the rousing, joyful message of a "Joy to the world! the Lord is come..." or a "Hark, the herald angels sing glory to the newborn king!"
After all, isn't that what it's really all about?
--Christmas Carolers picture viaPlease check out my book blog, Cindy's Book Club, where I'm currently reviewing Diane Noble's "The Sister Wife"