Christmas Post #6
So Christmas is over. It's done. We have it now. As usual around the holidays things got incredibly busy with traveling and hanging out and my ambitious goal of putting up a new post every day this past week were soon modified. That being said I wanted to put one more thing up here (for now anyway. Who's to say though. I may sneak a Christmas post in when you're not looking. Maybe sometime mid-May or even the steamy beginning of August. That's just how I roll.)
I worked retail at the candle shop a lot this holiday season. One thing about working retail this time of year is that usually you get force fed a nice selection of upbeat Christmas-y tunes that I suppose are to stimulate the auditory nerve in charge of mass purchasing and subliminally cause your hands to reach for your wallet.
In any event the the candle shop boasted a nice mix of old and new standards that on first listen, back in November, were quite lovely and went a long way to spark the dormant Christmas Christmas spirit locked in my heart. Come late December some of the songs have lost their charm. Not through any fault of those who compiled the diverse mix but simply by virtue of hearing them over, and over again. I can't imagine any song that would stand the test of that much repetition.
The mix included lots of well known artists: The Barenaked Ladies, Rob Thomas, Rascal Flatts, and lots of familiar others. Each belted out the traditional standards with carefully crafted twists of pop sensibility: God rest Ye Marry Gentlemen. Joy to the World, etc. This litany of well known artist names and well know Christmas standards got me thinking: Do these people believe in what there singing? As they croon the hits are they conscious of the actual words they're recording? Because it's not like a lot of these songs are super ambiguous. Theme's like Jesus's birth, praising Him as savior, and God blessing creation through Christmas are pretty spelled out. Do they have a concept that they are claiming something incredibly specific about a particular religion or has "Christmas Music" just become such an accepted genre that it doesn't even occur to most artists that they are aligning themselves with the miracle of Christmas.
This got me thinking about the whole secular concept of Christmas. The fact of Jesus' birth removed from the equation why, of all times, is the holiday season the prescribed time of the calendar year for acts of generosity, goodwill and peace? Part of me wonders if, even though Christmas being celebrated on December 25 is a date that the church just arbitrarily chose, there is something urgent and joyful happening in the spiritual realm that happens in response to creation's conscious and unconscious anticipation of Christ's birth. I feel like maybe whether people know it or not that the Holy Spirit is doing something this time of year. And that the feelings associated with Christmas, the warmth, the fuzziness, the desire to embrace our fellow man is not simply based on marketing schemes, consumerism, old movies or even tradition but on the fact that the world is still in need of miracles, in need of love coming down, in need of an adventure larger than ourselves.
Either way now that the holidays are over I'll have to resign myself to hearing the old non-Christmas mix, which on one hand is proably a blessing, but on the other is a shift tinged with just with a hint of regret.
But just an hint.