Well, folks, it’s another lovely Tuesday here at – CHRISTMAS!
Yes, I’m a Christmas dag. I love buying and making gifts for my family and friends. I love the fruit and the cake and the Chinese duck we have every year. I love cutting down noxious weeds and festooning them with pipe-cleaner spiders. It really is a wonderful season.
I have the Christmas fever something dreadful this year. All the harried nanas are coming into my work, bemoaning the stress of the season, and there’s me, radiating relentless and totally unsympathetic cheer back at them. ‘Oh dear, it looks like they don’t publish Biggles anymore, but I’ve got just the thing for your grandson! Follow me!’ *jingle jingle*
That said, there are some things about the Christmas season that can turn even me into a bit of a Grinch. So today, I’m going to grade various aspects of the silly season, in no particular order. Let’s begin with…
If you hate hearing the same tinny songs whenever you walk into the shopping centre, spare a thought for those of us working in retail. Christmas carols are dreadful in general, but for me, they fall into three categories that are varying degrees of grating.
Strangely enough, I don’t really mind the religious ones. Sure, ‘Silent Night’ sounds like a bloody dirge, but the more upbeat ones have a real sense of jubilation behind them. ‘Joyful all ye nations rise, join the triumph of the skies’ – that’s a belter line if there ever was one. Their overall theme is hope and celebration, and it’s kind of fun to join in at a school carol night, or just hum the tunes while I do chores. On their own, they’d get a C.
The same isn’t true for the other classic carols – those that contain the words ‘jolly’, ‘snow’, ‘bells’, ‘Saina Clahs’ or ‘ev’rybuddy’ (sorry, American readers). ‘Jingle Bells’ is like a tinny… well, jingle. I don’t know whether it’s the fact that they were all that played during the Decembers that I worked in a supermarket, or the way most of them sound like relics from the fifties, but they reek of commercialism to me. I’d give my left arse cheek never to hear ‘Frosty the Snowman’ again. This category gets an F.
But without a doubt, the worst of the worst are the quote-unquote “cool” carols. Sometimes they’re breathy, poppy covers of the old carols, and sometimes they’re novelty originals, but they usually involve a) celebrities or b) painfully earnest Christian celebrities. With the possible exception of Mariah, these songs would make the Holy Infant himself wail in anguish. Santa isn’t sexy. Nobody ‘rocks’ at Christmastime. Sad songs are not a good choice for such a joyful season. This category should get expelled, and spat on by the other carols as it leaves the campus.