I’m a Christmas Carol Junkie. My gateway drug was particularly addicting and began when I was only five. There was a local resident who composed beautiful Christmas carols that were taught to everyone in the elementary school—from kindergarten babies to mighty sixth-grade monarchs, and everyone partook. They held an annual concert and the entire community would gather to hear and sing the wondrous refrains that were as familiar to me as Jingle Bells. From that very first moment I was hooked.
A few days ago, my husband remarked, “You’ve been listening to the same Christmas songs over and over again, aren’t you sick of them yet?”
“They’re not the same. Each one is sung by a different artist whose interpretation is totally and completely distinctive,” I said.
“But you’ve heard Pentatonix sing Emmanuel, Hallelujah and at least five other songs 37 times in the last two days.” He argued.
I didn’t think OD-ing on Pentatonix needed explaining but I patiently enlightened him. “I like to dissect each part separately, become intimate with it and then put it all back together.”
He narrowed his eyes and gave a subtle head shake. He’s very aware of my low threshold for trivia and monotony so this is an enigma to him. I overdosed on Burl Ives’ Frosty and Rudolph decades ago and my system can’t seem to tolerate Elvis’s Blue Christmas without a serious yawning reaction. And seriously, have you ever known a 7-year-old who only wants teeth for Christmas? That song is doubly-flawed (pun intended) because most kids can't wait for their front teeth to come out, not in. It wouldn't even work as a song to the Tooth Fairy. I might believe a kid would want a hippopotamus for Christmas if he weren't old enough to spell it or know its plural.
I come unhinged when I hear a certain song about a child buying shoes for his dead mother with money that could obviously have been better spent. I’m pretty sure everyone in heaven goes barefoot so unless his mother is going in the other direction where she might need shoes to walk on a hot surface, it’s pretty much a waste of his money and my time. In case there’s any doubt, that song does not make me cry. Neither does the one about there not being any snow in Africa for Christmas. Helloooo… a lot of places don’t have snow for Christmas. Ever heard of Florida, California, Hawaii? Sheesh! And besides, there’s homegrown suffering right in your own neighborhood you could help remedy, snow or not. Africa is conveniently far away.
I’m very particular about my Christmas carols and when they are stupid, trite or rhetorical I pull my kerchief over my ears, fly like a flash and dash away, dash away to turn that clatter off. Mary herself probably did the same thing in her own way. I mean, if some kid was rumpa-pum-puming on a drum next to my newborn I’d be for shutting that performance down asap, especially in light of the fact that no crying he makes is an important line in another future Christmas carol. You can’t have it both ways, duh.
Call me an overindulgent brat but I’m a Christmas Carol Junkie that only likes to ingest the good stuff—and the good stuff I'm talking about is Divine. It fills me, it thrills me. Makes me laugh, smile, remember or cry. It’s pure Ecstasy. The kind you can't buy in a back alley.