Christmas songs – bah-humbug or can’t get enough?
It’s mid-August and my iPod is on shuffle in my car. To my horror, Bing Crosby starts to croon about white Christmases through my stereo and I have to hurriedly skip the song. The sun is shining outside and August is just too soon. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not a Christmas Grinch. Not in the slightest. As soon as Halloween is over and done with, I think Christmas is fair game. Deck all the halls with boughs of holly – Christmas is my favourite holiday and I’m not ashamed of it, and if a Christmas song came on shuffle on November 1st it’s staying on.
In fact, Christmas songs are one of my favourite parts of the Christmas festivities. I can hear the moaning already – “they’re the same every year!” – and of course they are. I wouldn’t want it any other way. There’s something so comforting about hearing the same songs every December, linked to all the happy memories from the years before. They’re reliable, always able to inject some of that special festive cheer. I’m pretty sure it’s law that every family must have that one album of Christmas songs that gets dusted off and put on while you all dance merrily around, decorating the tree. What would the holiday season be without the songs that the bah-humbugs amongst us love to hate? Without the jingling bells, the rich tones of the Rat Pack, and screams of “it’s christmaaaaas”? Christmas would be unrecognisable, but also deeply boring. Imagine decorating the tree to the top 40 and Bieber’s latest hit – horrible.
Let’s not forget that some Christmas songs are genuine tunes, and to restrict them only to the month of December would almost be a disservice. Phil Spector’s Christmas album, featuring the likes of Darlene Love and The Ronnettes, sounds like a fuzzy warm winter blanket wrapping around you every time you hear it, and honestly, I don’t care what anyone says, but Paul McCartney ‘Wonderful Christmas Time’ instantly gets me in the festive mood, in that whole “so bad it’s great” way. Then there are the songs we’ve somehow relegated to Christmas, despite the fact that in reality they have absolutely nothing to do with the holidays. Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s number 1 hit ‘The Power of Love’ might have topped the charts at Christmas and have a Christmas related video, but it’s not actually festive, and now I have to wait until December to acceptably listen to the epic soaring instrumentals? At least give me November as well.
If you’re still really against Christmas songs because you’re “too cool”, perhaps you need to explore the mine of alternative Christmas covers and original songs. If the buoyant happiness of the season makes you sick, Bright Eyes cover of ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ is sure to sot you out, and The XX’s cover of ‘Last Christmas’ almost makes the song sound like credible bleeding heart indie. And if it’s Christmas carols you prefer, Sufjan Stevens has about three albums worth of them. Give Christmas songs a chance, and don’t wait until December to do it. You’re ruining the fun.