I really, really, really don’t like Christmas music. I’m not talking individual songs, which I can enjoy on occasion. I am talking the endless parade of music that usually starts sometime around Thanksgiving in this area and continues until Christmas day and sometimes a day or two afterwards. It is like they have trained us in much the same way as Pavlov’s dog. He heard a bell and would drool expecting food. We hear Christmas music and we are supposed to be in this fabled land of Christmas cheer and go out and shop.
I am beginning to feel like the proverbial scrooge in many ways. I hear the music and I see the shopping displays and the Christmas lights and I think ugh, already! This year the stores started to “get ready” before Halloween. I was lucky this year. Fortunately I didn’t see many if any displays around the neighborhood until just a day or two before Thanksgiving. Alleviated some of the irritation I usually feel.
During times of economic depression or when we are having a time of high anxiety I kind of understand everyone wanting to push the whole idea of holiday cheer. But as I have gotten older I have less tolerance for the forced cheerfulness of this particular holiday. Funny part is I am almost always a cheerful person. But wither it is some sort of subliminal message being pumped into us or just the cultural forced happiness of the season or whatever, the Christmas music thing just grates on me.
And this from someone that grew up in this culture. I can imagine how oppressive it can be to others from different cultures.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas. I enjoy every moment I get to spend with my family and friends. I especially love our family traditions around Christmas. Which by the way include almost no religious trappings. That’s not what Christmas is about for us.
But I don’t need to shop for two months, I don’t need to find that perfect gift every year for every person in my life. A thoughtful gift that reminds me of that person is what I find perfect. And for me Christmas holiday feels most comfortable for maybe a week. With the whole thinking about shopping thing for maybe a couple of days and then shopping maybe 2 or 3 days before our gift exchange. I used to hate the crowds in the malls and stores. But that was when I bought into the whole hype about Christmas and shopping thing. Now I just like to go to the mall and watch everyone else stress out about shopping. For me it isn’t stressful. Like I mentioned I start my shopping 2 maybe 3 days before Christmas. I always find something nice for the ones I am shopping for. And I just don’t have the stress. But that dang music that plays almost everywhere ugh! Chestnut may be great roasting over an open fire and Santa may be a jolly old elf (which is kind of creepy in a way considering our fairytales about elves), but after more than a month listening to those songs repeated until your brain just wants to hurl…. Ugh!
Maybe that makes me a selfish insensitive person. Maybe others stress so much about finding the perfect gift because they just care so much more about those around them than they do about themselves. Maybe. Maybe it is that I find the time I get to spend with my family and friends is more precious than making sure I find the absolutely perfect gift. Or maybe it is just that the subliminal messaging or programing didn’t work for me and that Santa’s helpers are coming to reprogram me.
I always imagine the Zombie apocalypse happening during the Christmas season… with the zombie’s walking the mall forever. Kind of creepy but I am sure you understand. And it helps me get thru the season. Oh look it’s the Andersons out shopping again, they are looking awfully festive in that new shade of green….greenish brown…. Oh listen to the music, we must shop some more.