Unpopular opinion: You can listen to Christmas music whenever you want
Because I consider myself a bit of an expert (insert eyeroll gif here), let’s do one about Christmas music.
One November day a few years ago, I was at my desk, Pandora playing on my computer, when some customers came through the door.
“Christmas music already?” the man asked. “You should be here in March,” I answered.
The truth is, I am almost always listening to Christmas music. It’s my favorite, and it is instantly calming for me. It’s comforting and familiar, and I associate it with all things good.
Certainly there are times when I deviate, and those instances are also quite seasonal. In the fall and right after Christmas, I often listen to the crooners, mostly the Rat Pack — Sinatra, Dino, et al. Somewhere around March, I shift to the ’80s, and as the weather warms, I go straight Country for the summer.
If you’re thinking that my musical diversity is lacking, I agree. In fact, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I have purchased no more than 15 albums in my entire life.
Sure, there are some new artists who catch my ear here and there. Taylor Swift, Adele — oh, Adele. I listen to their new releases incessantly for a few weeks, memorize every lyric, and then move back to Christmas, the Chairman of the Board, or The King. I like what I like.
The nostalgia of my life is set in December …
Christmas music can be separated into two categories — hymns and carols — and I have a favorite in each. “O Holy Night” dominates the first and “The Christmas Song,” specifically the Nat King Cole version, tops the second.
“O Holy Night” is such a sweet rendition of the miracle of the season. If ever you’re in a holiday rut, stressed by the goings-on or overwhelmed by commercialization, take a deep breath and give it a listen. Find a choir if you can. It’s transforming.
With that buttery voice, Nat King Cole singing about “tiny tots with their eyes all aglow” is the sound of Christmas for me. The nostalgia of my life is set in December, and his song is the music in the background.
There’s a new horse in the race, though. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” has taken on new meaning in the last couple of years. The lyric, “Next year all our troubles will be out of sight,” keeps me hopeful, even as a new wave of COVID washes over the globe. “Through the years we all will be together, if the fates allow.”
We once again find ourselves frustrated, eager to put this all behind us. Just a couple of weeks ago I wrote that I was done. Within 48 hours, we were warned of Omicron. Fate is finicky, and I find myself becoming discouraged instead of joyful, irritated instead of generous.
But then, Christmas music. Thanks to technology, I can play it in every room, in my office, my car. I can take a deep breath and listen to Bing Crosby or Tony Bennett, and my heart rate slows, my blood pressure lowers, and I’m taken back to days when the fates allowed us all to be together.
Here’s a link to one of my favorite playlists: https://pandora.app.link/uvmSMAzV5lb.
Enjoy, and here’s hoping for snow flurries tonight.
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