Last night raqs
called me to report that I have apparently been identified as an Enemy Combatant in the War on Christmas by one B. O'Reilly. Because apparently, having a Christmas tree with white lights, instead of COLORED LIGHTS THE WAY GOD INTENDED, is an assault on Christmas Values
, or some damn thing (thanks to neodods
for the link). Of course, folks who've seen me post pics of my tree will know that I strongly favor all-white-lights on the tree, which was a perennial battle with raqs
, who favored multi-colored lights, and who are apparently not GOING TO HELL, according to O'Reilly. Unlike me.
And all I can say to that is: WOO-HOOOOOO!!!!!
I mean, honestly. Nothing brings me GREATER JOY this holiday season than the idea that my cherished traditions make Bill O'Reilly foam at the mouth. NOTHING, I TELL YOU!!!
So, anyway, my subject line: here's the deal.
Approximately four years ago, I woke up one morning to discover that the radio station whose morning show I listened to had, without warning, decided to entirely change their format, get rid of the DJs, and also get rid of things like on-the-hour news reports and weather... which is a great deal of the reason that I listen to the radio in the morning at all. Mightily disgruntled, I defaulted to the morning show of Boston's "oldies" station, reasoning that while the morning team there was a trifle too studiously "wacky" for my tastes (the previous station had been blissfully straightforward and without wackiness), they and the music they played were largely harmless.
This lasted for nearly a year, and then we came to Nov. 29, 2004. Ah, I remember it well. The Monday after Thanksgiving. And the oldies station very suddenly switched to an ALL CHRISTMAS MUSIC FORMAT.
*gack* Now, look. I may not be Christian any more, but I actually like Christmas. I like it for a lot of its traditional trappings. But I have strong feelings regarding the holiday season. MY STRONG FEELINGS, LET ME SHOW YOU THEM. It boils down to this: too much of any good thing ceases to feel special, and starts feeling mundane. A fairly simple notion, no?
Not according to the people who advocate putting up Christmas decorations in malls starting in, like, October. :P
As far as I'm concerned -- call me a traditionalist (although Bill O'Reilly would disagree, obviously) -- "the Christmas season" starts on the first weekend of Advent (which is usually the first Sunday in December). That ca. 3.5-4 weeks' worth of Christmas is itself a trifle long, but at least that contains it within a reasonable boundary. For me, keeping the trappings of Christmas confined to a specific period like that is a way of keeping "the holiday spirit" from getting diluted and not-special.
I have another point, though, and it's this: when it comes to "modern" Christmas music of the sort that an oldies-rock station is likely to play, a little goes a LONG WAY, people. Most of it, I'm just not that fond of. I mean, it's okay, but I don't CHERISH it. I can hear it a couple of times, and then, you know, I'm good. You know what I don't need? A selection of the same dozen or so modern Christmas-rock songs played every morning for a month.
So, within 15 minutes of ascertaining that the radio station had indeed switched formats for the duration, I turned the dial on the radio in the bathroom to another local classic-rock station that has its own wacky morning show (no, not that one; the OTHER one, the one that isn't helmed by guys trying to be "Howard Stern Lite"). I mean, that should be okay; I like classic rock, so sue me. Also, most importantly? They weren't playing Christmas music
. As the month progressed, they never switched over to a Christmas-music FORMAT until, like Christmas Eve. Yes, they occasionally busted out with a classic-rock seasonal song, or played the Adam Sandler Hannukah Song, or one of their own "wacky" Christmas songs. Whatever. I can take the odd intrusion here and there, as long as it's not wall-to-wall "festivity".
Yes, that morning show and I had a good 3-year run, there. You will notice that I use the past tense.
Now, I want you to take a look at the date. Go ahead, I'll wait....
*tap tap tap* Yes. It's November 13th
And this morning? My formerly sane (more or less) classic rock morning show started up with, and I quote here directly from their website: "[station] celebrates the Christmas season by playing Boston's Favorite Christmas Songs all day and night through Christmas day."
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME???? ON NOVEMBER FUCKING THIRTEENTH????
So, that's it. Farewell, Other Classic-Rock Morning Show! As I did before, I'm walking away and not looking back. (Although, this time, I fired off a highly irritated email to the station president, program manager, and morning show DJs; for all the good it will do, which I suspect will be "none whatsoever".) I'm not sure what morning show I'll select tomorrow morning, but it damn well won't be one playing Christmas music, I can tell you that right now.