I Can’t Fight This Season Anymore

It may not have been clear in Thursday's post, but while I don't want to hear Christmas music just yet, I realized that it is December, and the season is upon us no matter what mood I'm in. While Darrell echoed my sentiments, nailing exactly how I feel when the radio offers me no other choices, thegreek felt strongly that we do need the season, need to start it as soon as possible, and that I shouldn't be such an “angry elf,” warning me of three spirits. His comment, a blog post in itself really, was something I was oblivious to when I returned to the office from lunch on Friday.

In a section on the other side of my cubicle sits a woman who often mumbles to herself, humming incoherently to whatever she's listening to on her headphones, oblivious to the fact that we can hear her. It's easy enough to drown out with our own headphones most days, but Friday afternoon I could actually hear her music for a change, not just the insane chanting. “Of course,” thought I, picking out the unmistakable tones of Christmas carols. It was just loud enough for me to hear, but otherwise nagging background noise. I did my best to shake it off and get focused on more important things, such as my infinite to-do list.

After a few minutes, the song ended and was replaced by what sounded like commercials. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't a CD; she was listening to a radio and actually getting reception, and bad reception at that. The volume is always louder on advertisements, and the crackle was really starting to get to me. I was just about to put my headphones on, when something about the quality of the sound and the proximity struck me as odd. I turned around in my chair and cocked my head to one side. I stared for a moment at the unused radio on my desk, inherited months ago when Rey left the company, a ghost of the past. I stood up and walked over to it. I saw a faint red glow in the display, but I wasn't sure if it was a reflection. I clicked a switch, and was met with silence. On the other side of the wall my neighbors, including the one I was blaming, both sighed in relief. I nearly apologized aloud before realizing what had happened.


Though I didn't yet know of the lesson he had planned, I knew his sense of humor, knew that after reading a post about Christmas music annoying me, the temptation to set some up in my cubicle while I was at lunch would be far too great. For good measure, I traced the wire under my desk and unplugged it once more, solving the problem, as far as I knew.

As expected, within twenty minutes he appeared to inspect his handiwork. I continued working while he made idle talk and checked around my cubicle, rattling the chains on a toy gorilla on my shelf. He fumbled with some things by the cord, and I told him I unplugged it. He feigned innocence for a moment, then there was a click, then Nat King Cole was belting out The Christmas Song.

“You plugged it in again?!” I exclaimed, lunging for the cord as he yanked the radio away. The cord came free of the casing in my hand. The music continued as he stepped back in triumph, raising the volume. I've had that radio for nine months, and never once checked to see if Rey had left batteries in it. The past didn't matter as much as the present, the poltergeist raising the volume and keeping the radio out of my reach.

He relented once the song concluded, and called my attention to the comment he had left. Mischief aside, he had sincere opinions about the spirit of the season, maintaining it for the future. He made some valid points, but I knew in some part they fell on deaf ears. I'm not a kid anymore, and I don't have kids yet, so I found myself in between the two times in life I thought the holiday meant the most to people.

The rest of the day was quiet, more or less. The gym was free of Christmas songs as was my ride home, at least the first twenty minutes of it. Flipping from station to station, I found nothing but commercials on all but one. There was no escaping it. I couldn't fight the season anymore, and found myself listening to a rendition of White Christmas, even singing along with it.

Late Friday night, later than anyone in my house would answer the phone, our phone rang. A musician from one of my bands left a detailed message about a Christmas gig on Sunday for some band I've never played for, and out of state. I haven't decided if I'm taking the job or not; I'll have to call him back. No matter what though, Christmas is upon us. I'll brave the stores, wrap my gifts, and enjoy the lights on all of the houses. I actually never had a problem with decorations, and have been marveling at some of the streets on my commute home, lit up nearly to the extent of daylight. The music was what bugged me, but I can't fight it anymore. The spirits have taught me their lesson.

So in closing, I'll leave you with some holiday songs that don't suck:


Blogger Wendy said...

My three favorite Christmas songs are "O Holy Night", "It Came Upon A Midnight Clear" and "What Child Is This". My favorite pop version of "O Holy Night" is Tevin Campbell's version. My least favorite version is Neil Diamond's version because he doesn't ever really sing. He just kinda talks it, and that just irritates me. You shouldn't attempt that song unless you can really pull it off.

Barenaked Ladies did a really good cover of "Do They Know It's Christmas" a few years ago.

My kids love "The Twelve Pains of Christmas." They think it's hilarious.

And I think "Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo" is a classic.

So now to chime in on the whole Christmas swallowing Thanksgiving situation. It starts earlier and earlier each year. This year right after Halloween ended, people started decorating. My mother in law had her tree up by the beginning of November.

I don't mind the month of Christmas music because I know that if there is nothing to listen to on the other stations, at least I have Christmas music to listen to. In fact, there are two stations here that are doing it. It was nice to listen to Christmas music on my way to do Black Friday shopping because it put me in the mood.

But we haven't decorated yet because I just don't want to. It's just a hassle that I don't want to bother with yet. Because once we decorate then we have to fight the dogs and the tree. In all honesty, though, I'm just not as excited about Christmas this year as I have been in the past.

12/02/2006 10:31 AM  
Blogger b13 said...

I always liked "Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy" that David Bowie did as a duet with Bing Crosby.


12/02/2006 6:52 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Oh, but I must disagree! Springsteen's version of "Satan Claus Is Coming To Town" is the single most overplayed Christmas song of all time! A pox upon it, and upon thee, sir!

I'd not have minded Buster Poindexter's "Zat You, Santy Claus?" ... but I draw the line at Springsteen.

12/02/2006 7:48 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

I love, love, LOVE the title of this post! In fact, I'm a little jealous I didnt think of it first. I dont know if you'd recall, but for the past two years or so now I try to post what I call my very own "classic" Christmas posts each year. It's along the lines of the Frosty the Snowman tradition. Anyway, I have a post I wrote a few years back that has the same sentiment. I dont mind Christmas music so much, I just wish that someone would say something new for a change. If I hear one more "new" rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas or a thousand others just like it, I'll scream.

12/02/2006 11:12 PM  

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