I was in a car about eight years ago with my sister and her family, going to a Christmas Eve party. Dean Martin’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” (one of my favorite songs of any season) came on the radio, and I turned up the volume. Everyone laughed at me.
Why have so many of us become cynical about Christmas music? Somewhere along the way it became hip to dump on it or declare it all sappy “Muzak.” But I’m secure enough to admit that there are very few things in life that I like more than Christmas music. I also like bright copper kettles, crisp apple strudels, and snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes. If you gave me a choice between having the Internet and Christmas music, I’d choose Christmas music. If you gave me a choice between having the looks of Brad Pitt or Christmas music, I’d choose Christmas music. If you gave me a choice between having $10 million or Christmas music … I’d pick the $10 million.
So of course there are limits. I also don’t like all Christmas music. I’m traditional over modern. My tastes run more to Perry Como than to The Beach Boys, Rosemary Clooney more than Jimmy Buffett, A Charlie Brown Christmas sound track over Weezer. Rockified Christmas music just doesn’t cut it, the possible exceptions being “Jingle Bell Rock” and Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” and that “Christmas Wrapping” song by The Waitresses. And I absolutely draw the line at Alvin and the Chipmunks.
To those who say “bah, humbug!” to Christmas music, I say give it a chance. After all, music sparks a memory or makes us feel a certain way. It’s nostalgia and hope for the future all in one, and Christmas music embodies all of that. There aren’t many holidays that come with their own sound track. And while I don’t want to see a Christmas music channel that runs 365 days a year, I don’t mind a bit if holiday music starts one minute after the last piece of Halloween candy is given out and ends on New Year’s Day.