It's not actually Christmas, it being the 18th, but it is the Christmas season. I made a Christmas playlist for my Zune today. Forty-four songs which equals out to three hours and seven minutes. Most of my playlists get up in the hundreds to low thousands, so this is a quick one. I just put it on shuffle though, as I'm never so bored that I can listen to three hours of music back to back. I'll not list off all the songs, but some notables are:
Frightened Rabbit - "It's Christmas So We'll Stop"
Capital Lights - "His Favorite Christmas Story"
The Reign of Kindo - "O Holy Night"
mewithoutYou - "A Stick, a Carrot, and String"
House of Heroes - "O Come, O Come Emmanuel"
Something Corporate - "Forget December"
Pedro the Lion - "I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day"
The Pogues - "Fairytale of New York"
Abandon Kansas - "O Come, All Ye Faithful"
Bright Eyes - "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen"
Dustin Kensue - "Fairytale of New York" (I really like this song)
The Lawrence Arms - "Faintly Falling Ashes"
Frank Turner - "The Journey of the Magi"
Relient K - "I Celebrate the Day"
Diffuser - "Tell Her This"
The Decemberists - "Please Daddy (Don't Get Drunk This Christmas)"
Spoken - "Mary Did You Know"
blink-182 - "I Won't Be Home For Christmas"
Dashboard Confessional - "The Only Gift that I Need"
The Honorary Title - "The City on Christmas"
So there's a list if someone stumbles upon this looking for Christmas music. You can find all of them on Amazon.
Am I the only one not feeling much of the Christmas spirit this year? I've been trying to spark it with Christmas books by Dickens, egg nog, Christmas music, and what-have-you's; but to no avail. I refuse to blame the economy, for that would mean that the spirit is wrapped up in the money. And besides that, I've been shopping and it is just as inconvenient to find anything as it is every year. I refer of course to regular, humdrum shopping. There's plenty of traffic and gift-buying, but very little merrymaking and holy observance.
Interest thing to note: there's very little gift-giving in the old Christmas tales. It's actually quite a new observance for the holiday. Only about a hundred years old. Before, children got trinkets, sweets, and fruit, while one might exchange actual gifts with one's lover. An employer would gift a Christmas bonus to his workers perhaps--that's what Boxing Day is for. Father Christmas wasn't even a gift-bringer in the old traditions. Saint Nicholas left coins in children's shoes, while Sinterklaas (along with his black manservant Zwarte Piet) would leave candy or small presents in the shoes (in exchange for some food for his horse, it would seem). All of these older traditions tied in heavily with Christianity. Sinterklaas dresses like a bishop.
I'm not pleased to be another voice decrying the commercialization of Christmas, as I'm sure my voice will only be lost in the sound of louder voices. Read the essay "What Christmas Means to Me" by C.S. Lewis for a more eloquent and intelligent response to it from a man who lived through the transition.