We went out to dinner tonight and I realized it’s that time again – the time when it’s All Christmas Music, All The Time. Every single piece of music that played while we were at the restaurant was Christmas music, except “Greensleeves”, and I suspect they thought it was “What Child is This?”.
It actually started a week or so ago when Eve came home from school with an assignment from her violin teacher: try to pick out “Joy to the World” by ear. Which is a problem if you don’t know the song in the first place. I tried to help by singing the notes, and was rewarded with a deeply suspicious look from my daughter. “Mommy, why do you know Christmas music”? Well, you see, it’s kind of hard to avoid….
Where’s that much-vaunted War on Christmas that Bill O’Reilly keeps bleating about? I don’t see any evidence that Christmas is endagered; quite the contrary. I feel as I’m being assaulted by the music and the grocery-store candy canes and the huge inflatable Santas all over the lawns in my neighorhood. One house has four inflatable figures: Santa, Mrs. Claus, and two elves. When they turn off the power during the day, they all deflate and fall on the ground. It looks like Massacre at the North Pole.
I know this is a petty complaint. I should be writing something deep and empathetic about the targeting of Jews in Mumbai or the WalMart worker who was trampled to death by bargain-hunters. I’m sure my Christmas-crankiness is in part fueled by the despair I feel over those stories. How can we hope to find peace if we can’t summon any goodwill towards each other?