I’m in the Christmas mood.
This isn’t the case every year. Oh, it usually kicks in at some point, but that point might be Christmas Eve or even Christmas Day, especially when you reach a certain age, and then the whole Christmas thing is on the way out for the year. But I got into the spirit rather early this year. Maybe it was when it started to get cold. Maybe it was when I was organizing my DVDs and came across the holiday movies. Maybe it was when the supermarket put the Christmas decorations on the same shelf as the Halloween candy and the back-to-school supplies.
Actually, I can pretty much pinpoint it as the day the Music Choice channels on Comcast added their annual “Sounds of the Seasons” channel. Well, they always have the channel and play the music of whatever holiday it happens to be (the Arbor Day music is particularly boring). The Christmas music started a few weeks ago and I’ve had it on ever since. I don’t know if I like it more or less than the SIRIUS XM holiday channels but it’s more convenient to listen to.
I’m a Dean Martin/Perry Como/Rosemary Clooney/Nat King Cole/Jo Stafford/Peanuts Christmas music guy. I don’t want to hear any Christmas songs by The Beach Boys or Jimmy Buffett or that awful rendition of “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town’ by Bruce Springsteen that makes me want to kick a puppy. It makes me hate everything and everyone, which is one of the many reasons I’m happy I don’t listen to stations that might play that song around this time of year (there’s an upside to being closer to 50 than 25).
I don’t think there has been a great Christmas song written in the past 40 years, though I do make an exception in my rotation for “Jingle Bell Rock” and Darlene Love and that “Christmas Wrapping” song by The Waitresses. But that’s where I draw the line on the rock/Xmas spectrum.
There is something that bugs me about Music Choice though: the trivia. It’s just as bad as that awful trivia they have at the start of movies nowadays (at least they used to – when I went to see Skyfall it was replaced by 350 commercials). It’s either unbelievably obvious (“Did U Know…Natalie Wood played Susie in Miracle on 34th Street?” – YES, EVERYBODY KNOWS THAT), or lame (“Did U Know…In 1997, in the United States alone, the toy industry had annual sales of $22 billion?”), or completely wrong. They keep running this trivia tidbit: “Did U Know…It’s A Wonderful Life is shown over 300 times every year?” Thank you, trivia from 1991! (It’s only shown a couple of times a year since NBC bought the rights many years ago.)
But it’s entertaining and a great thing to have on in the background while you’re typing and smelling the pine candle (by the way, feel free to use “smelling the pine candle” for your next Twitter or Facebook status update).
In other news, yes, The Letter is coming. I didn’t get the first one out by Thanksgiving like I wanted to, but it will definitely be in your mailboxes before Christmas. And hey, it makes a great gift for that special someone on your list!