(This post may seem a little belated, but pretend we are still following the Julian calendar and that Christmas comes on January 6th.)
Do you know how some radio stations switch over to an all-Christmas music format, sometimes as earlier as Nov. 1? There are two radio stations in my city that do so, although one actually let listener vote on its website, and their switch was mercifully delayed til mid-November. I’m not sure how long this phenomenon has been going on, but I know people have been complaining about it for years. The gist of the objections is that it cheapens and commercializes Christmas even more than it already has been. Well, on Christmas Eve–“new Christmas Eve”, that is, Dec. 24th–a different and more compelling reason why this is bad occurred to me.
If one or two stations stakes a claim on Christmas music, and make a significant number of people sick of it before December, then the rest of the radio stations NEVER play any Christmas music. Growing up, I remember the country stations playing Christmas music sung by country stars, rock stations playing Christmas music sung by rock stars, and so on. Now, even on Christmas Eve, there was none of that. The Christmas music seems to have been constricted down to whatever fits with a “Lite” FM format, where Paul McCartney’s “Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time” is as hip as it ever gets.
No, Virginia, there is no longer a Santa Claus. He retired to South Florida in disgust at how insipid our species has become.