It’s that time of year. Every time I get in my car, I play a game of Quick, Change the Station Before Whitney and Mariah Catch Up To You And Start Singing “All I Want For Christmas is You To Hear What I Hear Over and Over and Over and OVER and…Oh Crap, Here They Are. It’s the festive Christmas version of Find Justin Timberlake!, in which I try to guess which JT song is currently playing, and on which station. If I win I get to smile knowingly; if I can’t find him, the radio is broken. QCTSBWAMCUTYASSAIWFCIYTHWIHOAOAOAOAOCHTA is pretty much the same, except with less smiling and more radio-breaking. The only time I like Christmas music is on Christmas, and sometimes not even then (like when the church decides Christmas requires trumpets, even during Silent Night). Nothing makes me feel less Christmas-y than Christmas music, because it does not provide the soundtrack of quiet nights with family and friends and blessings and the miracle of Christ’s birth. That soundtrack is provided by my brother playing Queen and Meat Loaf on the piano. No, Christmas music provides the soundtrack of the near-death experience that is the mall parking lot the day after Thanksgiving. It brings to mind bills and bitterness, not love and laughter.
I do love Christmas, though. Just not the tunes. And pretty much every year, without fail, my list-loving brother asks me for my top five best and worst Christmas songs, secular and religious. I struggle with this, but since my motto for personal sanity this year is Start Early, I’m thinking ahead. Here’s what I’ve got so far:
1. Little Drummer Boy (believe what you want about Christ’s birth, or Christ in general, but let me tell you this. There were no f*ing drums)
2. Silent Night with special Lutheran trumpets
3. Do You Hear What I Hear
Get back to me on this. The music from A Charlie Brown Christmas has a nice lead, mainly because it has no words with which to torment me, but I’m not sure it actually counts.