And joyous they are
Christmas music filled the air at Marshalls, easing my way to the handbag section where I was on a mission.
I love Christmas music. I have, conservatively, 20 CDs from various artists, Johnny Mathis, the Carpenters, Nat King Cole, etc., all filled with Christmas songs. They can fill the house with the sounds of the season. And joyous they are.
Of course, I no longer have a CD player, at least one I know how to use, so the only time I can listen is if I remember to bring a CD upstairs to play it on my computer or, again, the catch word is remember, play it on the CD player in my car. I need to do something about this.
So, I look forward to the Christmas music that stores play.
Back at Marshalls, I found myself singing along with the music,
“Silver Bells, silver bells…” etc., and remembered the time I taught my toddler daughter the words to so many Christmas songs as she sat in her car seat behind me on the way to and from work.
At Marshalls, people began to look at me. I wasn’t singing loudly. At least I didn’t think I was.
The Yuletide music continued and I sang myself into the children’s toy section where I found another such as I singing along. We smiled and created an unplanned duet. Several of the gals stocking shelves did look a bit shocked.
I thought we brought a bit of cinematic cheer to the scene. After all, we could have been part of a flash mob.
This music is part of Advent, the waiting that precedes Christmas. They are pick-me-ups and preparations for those of us who teeter on insanity as Christmas Day comes closer. Some remind of the reason for the season.
And, they can be more.
If you think about it, Christmas songs, including what are known as Christmas carols are repositories of historical change. “What Child is This” is written to a medieval tune. “Silent Night” was written in 1818 and was the song sung by both sides, sung in French, German and English during the Christmas truce in 1914. “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” was written for the troops in World War II who longed to be home for the holiday.
A goodly number of Christmas songs are really winter songs having little if anything to do with the religious meaning of the holiday.
“Winter wonderland,” “Let it Snow,” “Sleighrid,” “Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer,” etc. describe the environment associated with the season in a temperate climate and a fictional character to add to the names of the reindeer named in “T’was the Night before Christmas.” Most of these were written after World War II in the 1940s and ‘50s
Then there is the currently infamous, “Baby it’s Cold Outside,” a no play anthem for the “me too” generation. In this case as in some others, it’s the listener that creates the reality. I’ve been singing this one for as long as I can remember and never associated it with…well, I can’t even dignify the accusations with type. Is the song harmful? Or is the harm in the mind of the listener?
Some of the songs seem to be prescient (I like to use words like prescient to justify my college degrees), take the six year old’s lament, “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” We’ve all been six and after the joy of the tooth fairy’s visit, we look forward to having a full complement of teeth. The same thing is true for those of us of more advanced years if you substitute a phalanx of dental professionals and dental bills in place of the probably bankrupt tooth fairy.
My attachment to these Christmas ditties has morphed into an unfortunate prophetic exercise. Last week, after having three teeth filled at a goodly price, I congratulated myself to finally have some front teeth that didn’t advertise the amount of coffee that I drink. Pretty pleased with myself I was.
The spouse and I went out to celebrate. I was celebrating, he was just eating dinner. I ordered a cup of butternut squash bisque. It was delicious until I noted that one of the front teeth that I had just had filled and about which I had an undue sense of pride, was now floating in the cup of soup.
My tongue verified what I feared. I, after having three days of looking in mirrors to appreciate my dazzling upper incisors, I was now the poster child, a cautionary tale, for something that might be called the back woods look of the Ozarks.
There are no root canal Christmas songs to describe yesterdays follow up to the Friday night celebration nor are there ditties that align with something called a post core and crown. I’ve yet to find one that will describe the state of my wallet either.
I’ll just sing “All I Want for Christmas is My Right Lateral Incisor.”
Doesn’t scan but you get the idea.
And, if Christmas song prognostication is something I should be taking more seriously, what about “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”? And variations thereof.