Christmas music – all day, every day – has started on at least one radio station in each market across the country.
Actually, it’s been airing for a while now. It began a couple weeks ago.
And this is hardly the first year that the Christmas music marathon has been playing. Indeed, it’s been going for so long that it has become a holiday tradition unto itself.
I don’t know this to be true, but I get the strong impression a majority of radio listeners seem to like the holiday music. I do know, though, that some people don’t like it. Actually, it’s more than that. They hate it – with a passion. If it were up to them, Christmas music would start on Christmas Eve and end on midnight Christmas Day.
But, like I just said, at the same time, there are more people who do like it. In fact, they love it. It is one of the highlights of their year. If it were up to them, the holiday music would begin about halfway between Labor Day and Halloween.
I am in the latter group. I love the holiday music. If I had my way, it would begin BEFORE Labor Day.
The reason I like it – and I’m sure the reason that all the pro-holiday music people like it – is quite simple.
We live in such a crazy world with a lot of bad stuff happening on not just a daily basis, but also an hourly one. I’m not going to say that it’s worse now than it has ever been. It’s impossible to tell, because there are so many outlets now – there are more and more every day, and there are thousands more than there were just 20 years ago – that we hear about every horrible act on the face of the earth.
A hundred years ago, the news traveled with the speed as it were attached to the shell of a turtle. The scope of the world was so much smaller than it is now. Bad stuff happened, but most people never heard about it.
Whatever the case, all of this negative news – breaking news, bad news and disasters 24/7, 365 – is too much for any of us to take after a while. So we have to get away from it. And the holiday music provides that escape.
It takes us back to a simpler time. It reminds us of home.
And, like Robert Redford said to Glenn Close toward the end of the iconic baseball/coming-home movie, "Home is good."
When Christmas music is playing on my car radio and I hear any of the old favorites, they immediately put memories into my head. And almost all of those memories are of people – loved ones – who are no longer around, and of places that I haven’t been, and perhaps haven’t even thought about, in years.
That’s so spiritually uplifting. It touches your soul. You can’t put a price on that.
I like the new favorites, too. There is definitely a place for them. Many have a theme that bounces and moves, just like those Motown classics I grew up listening to and now love more than ever. Some, like "Sleigh Ride" by the Ronettes, even are Motown songs themselves. It’s the best of both worlds.
For those of you who don’t like this plethora music, there’s an easy way to make it stop.
Just hit the "off" button – the sound of silence can be great; those are the words to another song you may have heard a time or two -- or turn the channel.
But if you choose the latter, let me give you a little piece of advice that you would do well to heed: stay off the news channels, for what you hear will just depress you, or make you go crazy, or both.