Dear Poo-Poo-ers of Pre-Thanksgiving Christmas Music,
Don’t hate me, but I’ve had my radio tuned to Buffalo’s Official Christmas Music station since gleefully discovering there was such a thing 17 days ago. That’s right, you heard me. November 1st. All Christmas. All the time, baby. Some of you are gagging right now. I hear it in my heart.
And I understand your visceral reaction.
Really, I get it. The smell of Halloween candy yet lingers on your kids’ breath. The leaves have barely left, and that frozen butterball is still somewhere, out there, in supermarket land, beneath the pale fluorescent light, waiting for its gotcha day. You’ve barely decked your halls for fall, for Tom Turkey’s sake.
And now they’re shoving Feliz Navidad x 1000 down your earhole??? Seriously. What the heck happened to November, and that lovely 3 week grace period of No Man’s Land, where we could just ease our way into Seasonal Affective Disorder without the added pressure of having to remember that oh yeah, the holidays are a comin, I should probably get off the couch? Can’t we even catch our breath before jumping into the Most Wonderful Time of the Year? It’s a lot to process. I know.
To tell you the truth, I do rather enjoy some of the creative contempt I’ve seen on social media. The mocking memes. The biting Babylon Bee articles (these were particularly funny, I must admit):
We all need an outlet, and I for one respect well executed ridicule.
And yet… may I offer an alternative view? I’m not saying you’re going to agree, and in fact, in years past I, like you, was fed up to here with premature Christmas cheer… But chalk it up to, oh, I dunno, maybe the wisdom and/ or hot flashes that come along with aging… I am seeing things from a different perspective these days.
Because the thing is, I would contend, in this crazy, divisive, mixed up world we’re all mixed up in right now, we desperately Need a Little Christmas, right this very minute. Maybe not Dominic the Donkey or Christmas Shoes (nobody needs either of those things, ever), but most definitely the kind of Happiness and Cheer that only Vince Guaraldi on full blast in your car can deliver. You know I’m right. It’s ok to admit it. This is a safe place.
There’s something, too, about being immersed in a two month bubble of good will via Andy Williams, that simply can’t be beat. Try to be in a bad mood while simultaneously singing “whoop dee doo, and dickory dock, and don’t forget to hang up your sock”. Go ahead, try. I triple dog dare you. Simply can’t be done, my friend.
So yeah, there’s that. So far I think you’ll agree, I make a pretty compelling case.
But then, there’s the big issue of Thanksgiving getting lost in the shuffle; what about THAT, you ask? Shouldn’t it get its own billing, and enjoy a distinction from the commercialism and craziness that Christmas has become? Again, you make valid points. That’s just the way you are. That’s why I like you. And yet again… Here’s the thing. There was a time when I, too, was a separatist, drawing steadfast lines between the two in purist fashion… but the older (and/or hot flashier) I get, the more it seems those lines are not necessarily blurring, but blending into one season of THANKFULNESS and GIVING… almost as if to suggest there is no such thing as thanks without giving, and there is no true giving without thanks. We thank God because of what He has given us (spoiler alert: EVERYTHING), and that thankfulness prompts us to in turn be givers. It’s not an either/or scenario, but a both/and; the two have been inextricably intertwined all along… it’s just taken me this long to begin to figure it out.
So yeah, yeah, I know the official season isn’t supposed to kick off until Black Friday, but I am a-okay with welcoming the chance to ring it in asap… because I need it. The Thanks. The Giving. The Peace on Earth. The Good Will. All of it. Ok, maybe not all of it. Not Christmas Shoes, let’s be clear about that. No one needs that nonsense, not now, not ever. But maybe… just maybe… you need a little early Christmas music in your world as well. After all, Buffalo thinks so. And how could a whole city be wrong about something like that?