"Christmas time is here,” as they say in the old song. It’s time for Christmas trees, stockings, gingerbread men, and green and red all over. Love them or hate them, the holidays have made it to 2020. If you haven’t realized that, you are clearly either living under a rock or haven’t turned on the radio.
Now, there are undeniably many conversations to be had about Christmas music. Are some of the lyrics outdated? Should there be more songs about other holidays on the radio? These are all valid questions, but that’s not what this article is about. Instead, I’d like to be a bit more positive.
If you celebrate Christmas, there’s a good chance you’ve had family gatherings around this time of year before (though this year is probably an exception, for obvious reasons). Everyone makes small talk and drinks eggnog, the kids all congregate together in a desperate move to fight off boredom, and a select few stay busy cooking the dinner. Regardless of which of these places you find yourself in, if any, there is an extremely strong chance that you will all be listening to the same music. Thanks to the radio, Amazon Echo, or whatever you may use to play a beat, Christmas music will likely be softly playing in the background. You may not like it, but you definitely know just about every song that plays. Everybody does.
The point of that long hypothetical scenario is that Christmas music is universally known. I’m not just talking about Christmas standards that are covered every year. Specific versions of songs, some that are roughly eighty years old and some that have just come out, are played over and over again every year for us to hear. For many who don’t listen to anything outside of the current, most popular hits, this is the only time of year that they’ll hear old jazz, rock, or R&B. I hear many people talk about how much they like old Christmas music, and I wonder if it’s those specific songs that they like or the old sound in general. Regardless, every December the radio waves are playing something different. That can be a nice change of pace for the end of the year.
This can also work the other way. People who are a bit too old to like modern artists might give them a chance if they do a version of a Christmas song that they like. There’s something comforting in a familiar melody, no matter who sings it. It may not turn many into complete fans, but any sort of appreciation can be nice.
Each holiday season makes it easy for everyone to find new or old artists to appreciate. How many people would be listening to Bing Crosby today if it weren’t for his version of “White Christmas”? Instead of arguing about what constitutes "real music," generations of people can unite under the agreed-upon opinion that Christmas music is catchy.
I understand that many may be rolling their eyes at this article because of their personal feelings towards the genre. If someone isn’t really into "cute songs," then this month will probably be hell for them. Nothing is for everyone. However, I find this willingness to bridge the generational gap in a small way every year to be worth looking at. In a world that seems so obsessed with "new" (new phones, new updates, new shows, etc.), it is strange to see people go in the opposite direction every year. In the spirit of the holiday, people come together just to enjoy something. On that note, I’d just like to say… Happy holidays!