There’s a Christmas tree in our living room, decorated with lights and glittering baubles. Orange and cinnamon scented candles are lined up on the dining table, the mantlepieces adorned with cards.
When it comes to getting into the Christmas spirit I’m not much different to the next person – I love the race to buy presents, the elaborate wrapping, the planning of festive food, the extra excuse of going out for celebratory drinks.
But there is one thing I cannot stand about Christmas. The music.
Whether it’s old fashioned carols or chart topping hits, the jangly melodies and cheery tunes might as well be nails scraping on a blackboard. Jingle Bells? More like jingle hell.
It’s not just because the catchy choruses seem to get stuck in my head for weeks, permeating my dreams and every waking moment, or that the utterly abysmal lyrics fill my heart with revulsion, rather than joy.
It’s the hypnotic response of seemingly everyone else on the planet to treat christmas jingles as the most wonderful and uplifting anthems ever written, to the point they’re on repeat all day long. And never seem to change, year in year out.
I can forgive the department stores for putting on the usual Christmas CD. I can get past the carol singers without throwing too much of a dirty stare. But when it comes to being forced to spend a day hearing the same strained songs at work, I lose the plot.
It may make me the misery guts of the newsroom, but when I hear Mariah Carey’s voice start up or the first few bell-ringing notes of the obligatory carol, I cannot hide my feelings. The strains of Sleigh Ride or Santa Claus Is Coming to Town turns my smile into a scowl, an impromptu singalong to a christmas carol leads only to contempt for my colleagues.
Did I miss out on the worldwide brainwashing? Is enjoying a Christmas carol a trait most people are born with?
Or could it be that everyone else is silently suffering in the same way I do, just managing to put on a braver face when bombarded with the annual Christmas crooning?
I’m all for celebrating. Christmas has no religious meaning for me, but I enjoy the sentiments of goodwill, the feasting, and obviously the holiday.
But can we please do it without filling the airwaves with the wretched warblings of Christmas music?
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