Christmas Music on the Radio... in mid-November

You know it's almost Thanksgiving when the Christmas music starts on the radio. And then doesn't stop. Yes, Christmas music is the gift that keeps on giving, whether you want it or not. Don't get me wrong, I do think that there's a time for Christmas music. That time just isn't the middle of November. And when it's time for music, the music should at least be good. Granted, pop radio and good music have generally been mutually exclusive entities anyway since the days when Pat Boone outsold Chuck Berry, but even the minimal normal rules for quality screening go out the window where programming Christmas music is concerned. Normally an obnoxious hit song has its run of a few weeks on the charts and then harmlessly vanishes. Maybe it will resurface when people start getting nostalgic for the decade it came out, but basically it's gone. But an obnoxious Christmas record? It gets played every year! Many times every November, in fact, whether it hit or missed. Who's demanding this? And would I like the answer if I found out?

OK, so maybe I'm just a little bit grumpy because my fiancée's radio alarm woke me up at 6 this morning, blasting out Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You." Waking up to Mariah on any morning is a bad omen, after all. But why limit my complaining to contemporary pop artists raining down fluff on a religious holiday five weeks before the actual holiday? There are plenty of Christmas "standards" I don't really need to hear right now, either. For example, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" conveys the heartwarming message that everybody loves you as long as you are useful to them. Now there's some Christmas spirit. Dreaming of a "White Christmas"? How about a dry Tuesday; it's freaking November!

Oh well, thank God for i-Pods. (For the record, my i-Pod contains Loreena McKennit's version of "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." I keep it on rotation year round because it's good enough to be played any time of year. Otherwise, nothing seasonal.) Have a Happy Thanksgiving everybody, because if I have not lost my mind -- OK fine, if I have not lost any more of it recently -- that's the holiday we celebrate this week. As for the other holiday, well, I'll get to that at the appropriate time. Weeks from now.

Overall grade: F-

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