I started listening to Christmas music on Friday. I look forward to this time of year for months. I’ll admit, I started a little early this year. Usually I wait until Thanksgiving, but I just couldn’t wait this year. So I started early. Our local radio station started playing Christmas music on Friday and I figured, if they can do it, then so can I.
I know what you are thinking: it’s too early. I disagree. Most people will only tolerate it during the month of December. For four short weeks these songs that artists spend so much time on get played. That’s not long enough for me. There are too many good songs. I want more than just four weeks.
I’ll admit sometimes around December 18 I grow weary of hearing yet another version of Do You Hear What I Hear?. But when I find myself getting sick of Christmas songs on December 18, do you know what I have also done? I have taken in Christmas. Since becoming an adult, I’ve suffered from Life Goes Too Fast syndrome. Symptoms of Life Goes Too Fast syndrome usually display in the form of phrases such as “how is it already the middle of November?” and “I can’t believe he’s already 3!” I also discovered that when suffering from Life Goes Too Fast syndrome, the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas becomes roughly 2.5 days. Which is why I start my Christmas music early. It makes the weeks between the two holidays seem longer.
I’ve always been a fan of Christmas music. I began listening with dedication in college. My school schedule was such that I sometimes had exams until December 22 which meant that I came home on December 23. While I was away at school, I missed the Christmas atmosphere I grew up with at home. I missed the tradition of decorating a Christmas tree. I missed coming home from school, plugging in the Christmas tree lights and doing homework by the tree. Listening to Christmas music was my connection to home. My freshman year I made a mix CD called Kickin’ It Christmas and it was quite possibly the best Christmas mix CD ever made. I burned copies for pretty much every peson I knew. It was that awesome. I listened to it roughly a million times.
A few years, and a few moves, after graduation I couldn’t find my Kickin’ It Christmas CD. Luckily my former roommate who saves everything, still had a copy, burned me one and mailed it to me. Imagine my surprise, and slight embarrassment, when I listened to it only to discover that Kickin’ It Christmas was comprised mostly of N’Sync and 98 Degrees’ renditions of Christmas Carols. With the exception of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas and The Dave Matthew’s Band’s The Christmas Song I could not even bear to listen to the CD anymore.
Each year my tastes change slightly. Some years I favor the classics. Other years I seek out the newest versions of the Christmas songs. There are favorites from childhood that will always warm my heart and there are new ones that are added to the list each year.
I love Christmas. I love the joy that it brings. I love the hope it represents. When my schedule gets packed with extra work and social commitments, listening to Christmas music is my way of remembering that this time of year is not about a bunch of presents. It helps me slow down and focus.
Unless, of course, it’s off a CD called Kickin’ It Christmas. Stay away from that one. Trust me.