Firstly I have two questions:
Does anyone get any meaningful work done in the last couple of days before the christmas break, when most things are winding down, everything is quiet and and most people have already gon on their leave?
And is the 9 minute re-mix of 'Halcyon and on and on' by Orbital the best music to drive to work to on a fine and sunny summers morning?
Mentioning music brings me to my main topic this morning:
Why do normally respectable artists succumb and produce horribly cheesy and schmaltzy christmas singles to be inflicted on us year after year?
I can normally let it abide, but when we heard a lounge version of 'Little Drummer Boy' in Whitcoulls the other day, I was moved to comment, as well as leave the store as soon as possible. Although if pressed I will admit to preferring Tori Amos' version, it is still far too twee for my liking (although I will admit to a vague affection for 'Last Christmas' for no known reason).
Then while driving somwhere else Classic Hits (where the DJ's take special courses in inane patter) announced that they were going to play all of 'those Christmas songs you love' and then launched into 'Grandma got run over by a reindeer' or whatever that particular monstrosity is called. I changed station after a few bars.
My yearly challenge of not hearing 'Snoopys Christmas' each year is well documented, although I had a close shave this weekend when active started playing a ringtone version of it (however I feel the song could be completely redeemed if say, Nine Inch Nails covered it).
I can sort of get why this genre exists, but I hate the incessant insistence that if we are considerate enough to want to buy gifts for our nearest and dearest, that foisting it upon us in our shops and malls will be somehow endearing and encouraging. I get encouraged, encouraged to avoid the malls and shops altogether, and find alternative gift sourcing opportunities.
That said, I know, out there somewhere, there are people who if the malls weren't playing christmas music, would ask why not, and request it.
Maybe we need to be reminded it is Christmas? It not like the decorations haven't been up since Halloween or anything. Maybe we won't spend money on presents if we don't have 'Mistletoe and Wine' in one ear and 'I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus' in the other?
The genre represents to me all the commercialisation and money making aspects to Christmas.
Anyway, this isn't what Christmas is about.
Setting all the 'reason for the season' brouhaha aside (which may be debatable), Christmas shouldn't be about running around packed malls stressing about the perfect gift, or organising the perfect party, or spending squillions to get it.
At the risk of getting schmaltzy, it should be about spending time with friends and family, catching up, sharing stories, creating new ones, remembering Christmas past, and not worrying too much about Christmas future.
Like the complaints division of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation says; "Share and Enjoy"
Happy Christmas wherever you are