Continuing with my complaints about Christmas, I have a real problem with Christmas carols
You’re going to ask, “Why, Jane?”
In the past we would start hearing them at Thanksgiving. Some radio stations began a non-stop Christmas music program at that point; shopping malls would have started it sooner.
This year, it’s begun already. Two local stations have already switched to an all-Christmas format. And I, being curmudgeonly, have reprogrammed two of my station presets.
For the next seven weeks, everywere we go, we will hear about “round yon virgin mother and child” and “joy to the world–the Lord is come” and “the little Lord Jesus laid down his sweet head” and “I played my drum for him” etc. Then, either by noon on Christmas day or by midnight Christmas night the radio will inform you there’s no sugar tonight in your coffee and that rock stars can drive fifteen cars.
Do you see the problem here? Although the shopping season of Christmas begins in mid-November, calendar-wise, we should be in Advent.
While the radio is singing that Christ has already come, we should be preparing for his arrival at Christmas. But then, once Christmas arrives, American culture treats it as if it’s over.
All those joyous songs come during a time that should be prayerful and prepatory. For the hard-core Christians, it’s even penitential. Instead the orgy of joy begins like the crack of a starter pistol the morning after Halloween, and just when the rejoicing should start, it’s over.
Americans will have the “aftershock holidays” of exchanges and spending the gift cards and then we pack it all up to prepare for Valentine’s day.
It’s a symptom of American lives lived entirely in the future. And I’m not sure what I can do about it other than playing my iPod for the entire month of December and making sure my family hears Christmas songs during the Octave of Christmas.