November 22, 2016

Enjoying the Silence Before the Christmas Music Begins

The Essential Now That's What I Call ChristmasI went to the grocery store on Sunday morning, as I do almost every week. It is the least busy time by far, and I can usually manage not to go more than once a week if I give some thought to what I need ahead of time. Since this is likely to be the last time I'll be in a grocery store before Thanksgiving, it hit me that this was likely the last time I won't be aurally assaulted by Christmas music while shopping for some time.

I understand why virtually all stores play Christmas music as much as they can prior to Christmas. They want to remind their customers to buy garbage for people who neither need or want much of it because...consumerism and...Jesus! It wouldn't surprise me in the least to discover that there is some scientific evidence out there showing that people spend more in stores playing Christmas music this time of year than in stores that do not (if there are any that do not). It has a different sort of effect on me - it leads me to get out of the store as quickly as I can.

It is true that I used to enjoy Christmas and the week or two leading up to it; however, I have to go all the way back to early childhood to get to that time. And even then, I do not ever recall enjoying Christmas music. This isn't really an atheist thing either. I didn't like Christmas music when I was a Christian, and I do not currently dislike Christmas music with blatantly Jesus-focused lyrics much more than the more secular variety that focuses on Santa and so on.

I think the main issue I have with Christmas music is that most of it is just bad music. I feel the same way about it as I do most of the pop music one used to hear on top 40 radio (I have to say "used to" because I have not listed to top 40 radio since I was a teenager). While I can appreciate something like Handel's Messiah, the sort of bubble-gum Christmas songs blaring over store loudspeakers this time of year are something else entirely.

The bad music, Salvation Army bell-ringing, and Boy Scouts tree lots are only just starting up, and I've already had my fill. I have not been planning to participate in the war on Christmas this year, but I'll have to wait and see. This is the last Christmas we'll have before President Trump may begin carrying out his pledge to force us all to say "Merry Christmas."
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