A Merry Christmas to one and all! We hope your holiday season has been as jolly as ours; and I’m about to tell you exactly what I mean by that.
We read your story, The Gift of the Magi, and we said to each other, “What a touching and heartwarming story.” We loved the comic irony when Mrs. Young sells her hair to buy Mr. Young an accessory for his watch, not knowing that he has sold his watch to buy fancy accessories for her hair. They end up destitute with a bunch of useless garbage, but their sacrifice has brought them closer together.
Well, it might interest you to know that we had our own Magi experience for Christmas this year. I wanted Mrs. Emutape to have a new enamel glaze for her dentures, so I sold my wooden leg to pay for it. And wouldn’t you know it: the next night she walked in and handed me a replacement knee for my wooden leg. “I fought you needed vis new knee more van I needed teef,” she said. “So I sold my teef to buy it.”
If you’ve visited this blog during the holidays, you know my feelings about Christmas music. It’s my tradition to unleash a primal, Munchian scream against the unbearable, tinny, maudlin, manipulative, manufactured dreck that the Sentimental-Industrial Complex annually sees fit to inflict on us. But this time, science is here to help us.
Morning. The Yogurt Lady arrives. She wants to show me a catalog of Christmas decorations. One of them is shaped like a pickle.
“Is that a cucumber?”
“Yes. It’s Germans tradition at Christmas time. In German families they put a pickle on the Christmas tree. The night before Christmas they put it somewhere inside the tree. Then the kids, they have to find this. Whoever find it get an extra Christmas gift.”
“So you’re saying German families celebrate Christmas by playing Hide the Pickle.”
“Yes, exactly, they play Hide the Pickle. Exactly.”
Does Christmas music really get worse every year? Or is it just an illusion, and it’s always been this awful? Oddly enough, I think both are true. Let me explain.
I take it for granted that everybody agrees Christmas music is terrible. If it weren’t, you’d listen to it all year. But you spare yourself that torment for roughly eleven months each year, because you can. (Those few of you who are now getting frothy flecks of Cheetos all over your screens by shouting “I listen to it all year” should find each other and form a support group.)
(Note: We hereby abandon the Editorial We, except when issuing official pronouncements on behalf of WLHQ, or when we feel like it. It was stupid and annoying. We apologize.)
I’ve never liked Christmas music. There, I said it. There are various reasons for that, foremost the forced march Christmas caroling that I was frequently made to do as a kid. I was raised in a church where the adults loved nothing more than to herd the kids up in front of everyone, at the point of electric prods if necessary, and force them to perform music. It can leave one with an aversion. (On a quick tangent: if you’ve never been part of a troupe of four grade schoolers made to perform “Dona Nobis Pacem” in front of a church on a clarinet, a trumpet, a violin, and a drum kit, yes, a drum kit, you are luckier than I was, And if you were an adult in the congregation that day, I blame you for doing nothing to stop it.)