A premature Christmas music break
When one of the local radio stations started jingling those silver bells and roasting those chestnuts over an open fire, I tuned in. I belted out the ballads, shed a few tears over my personal sentimental favorites, and giggled over the mischievous kid who would surely get nothing for Christmas. At the time, the weather seemed crisp, and I needed a hat and gloves at the bus stop, so my mood encouraged me to embrace the holiday music. Now I need a holiday break — because I committed an error not unlike Hermie betraying the elves with his desire to become a dentist — I listened to Christmas music too early.
When I was a little kid, I would await the early December day that my mom would unearth our Christmas records from my dad’s basement workshop. Christmas in New York, John Denver and the Muppets, The Nutcracker and a Mantovani album that we tolerated for our parents’ sake…records we listened to over and over, raising our anticipation to 8-foot tall, pine fresh Christmas tree heights.
Although we adored the music, we never thought to dig up the records ourselves and play them in mid-July. Maybe, in part, because my mom refused our assistance in independently operating the record player. Just blame me. She’ll be the first to publicly announce how I broke the record player arm because I assumed that “I can do it by myself!” (Ever heard that refrain before?!?) Although it’s an annoying story for me to endure, kudos to my mom for trying to foster independence in her children. I don’t know that I would have offered a similar responsibility to mine. But I digress…
A ruined love
Despite the fact that our tree hasn’t been bought at the local garden place where Santa’s twin works, and we haven’t begun to decorate our house or adorn the outside with holiday lighted curb appeal, I’ve temporarily ruined my love of the season. And all because I couldn’t restrain myself from listening to the songs until after Thanksgiving.
Once I listened to the songs on the radio, I hurriedly filled up the remaining space on my iPod with the holiday recordings of the Muppets, Charlie Brown, Diana Krall, Ella Fitzgerald and the Rat Pack. I even tapped into Pandora for their holiday picks from the soberly religious to the positively goofy. I was like a greedy kid on Halloween night sucking down chocolate like a vampire or like a starved dieter who ceased the diet and gorged on any available salty-sweet treat to nausea. My own belly ached from too much Christmas music.
More than music
And it isn’t simply the music — it’s the movies and shows! I’ve already watched Rudolph, Charlie Brown, the Grinch and one crazy South Park special we religiously watch each year. I’ve been tempted by ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas and catch myself checking for holiday movies on a network I normally eschew, Lifetime. I could use some holiday cheer, I told myself, snuggling into a blanket with the TV remote poised at the screen. Maybe the Food Network will instruct me on how to prepare holiday treats with merriment or HGTV will show me how DisneyWorld or some B-list celebrities deck their halls.
Before it’s too late, and I groan when I’m sitting in church on Christmas Eve, listening to the beautiful music and real reasons for the season, please excuse me if I switch off my radio when a carol comes on or don’t tune in to see Frosty lead the kids into the town square before he melts away. I just need a couple of silent nights to refresh and renew my love of Christmas music and my seasonal spirit. But I’ll be back…with bells on!
M.B. Sanok is a South Jersey mom and a blogger for JerseyMomsBlog, where this post originated