It’s Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas Nov10

It’s Beginning to Sound a Lot Like Christmas...

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, Dressed in holiday style. In the air, there’s a feeling of Christmas Children laughing, people passing, Meeting smile after smile, And on every street corner you’ll hear…” -“Silver Bells” by Livingston and Evans   We’re barely past Hallowe’en and already it has started: Christmas! The first trick-or-treater had yet to ring a doorbell, and yet the candy prices had been slashed and moved back to some obscure aisle to make room for the red, green, gold, silver ornamentations of Christmastime in every store. Most people don’t understand marketing, and fail to grasp that every retail establishment must promote themselves early and heavily as a good place to spend those Christmas greenbacks, even before anyone is even thinking about spending the first penny on it. It’s a cut-throat business, and the next two months will determine who is having a going-out-of-business sale in January and who isn’t. This is the dark side of Christmas. (Well, one of them.) And since a big part of getting shoppers in the Christmas mood is playing Christmas music over the intercom, the music is tragically linked to this commercial overload. It doesn’t help matters that the majority of recorded Christmas music is highly saccharine. Even the edgiest of musical acts cleans up their performance when they do a Christmas tune. It doesn’t have to be that way. Like many people of my generation (and the generation before that), I grew up listening to Bing Crosby’s album Merry Christmas, and I can honestly say that I never hear a single track from that album that it doesn’t give me a good feeling. Over the years, I’ve accumulated several other albums that I always enjoy hearing, sometimes even in the middle of summer. I love listening to...