Holidays Are Here… Time to Get Your Grinch On!
As we find ourselves half way between Thanksgiving and Christmas, knee deep in main-stream, commercial yuletide buffoonery, mired in unwelcome familial and corporate obligations, weighed down under the season’s disproportionate expenses…now more than ever it’s time to get you’re Grinch on!
And no, dear reader, I am not encouraging “curmudgeonliness.” Haven’t you all read How the Grinch Stole Christmas, or at least seen the TV special? I’m talking about the reformed, roast-beast carving Grinch. I’m talking about peeling back the carefully manicured layers of jaded, pessimistic, miserly, defensive, cynical, apathetic negativity.
“Wait,” you say, “what’s left? I can’t afford to lose that much weight, even with the extra ‘nog-pounds!’ what will become of me without my gilded cloak of contrariness?”
Well, you may find a very nice and probably much more attractive person under there. It’s a genuine fact that happy, relaxed people are just plain sexier. No really, stay with me on this… I’ll find a study that says so.
At this point let me share with you a small anecdote. This morning at 5:00AM precisely, snug in my bed, sugar plums dancing and all that, I heard a crash. Not a big crash, like a car, but big enough. “Oh, Jingles,” I said (or something like that), “the Christmas Tree.” Yes dear, concerned reader, my Christmas tree had fallen over. No particular reason, just that pesky gravity and a somewhat uneven cutting job by my favorite local Christmas tree farm. We then spent a significant amount of time stabilizing the lovely fir with whatever we could find. By the time our admittedly monstrous tree was under control, my alarm had gone off and I had to head out. Not really the way I like to spend my morning but, hey!
Coat, cap and gloves, I hopped into my car and started warming up. I turned on the stereo and a CD I had left in the previous day began to play. As you may know, music is the central and nearly all consuming theme in my life. It is the lens through which I see my world. The CD was Joshua James’ Christmas collection Fields and Floods. Its’ lo-fi production and sweet, nearly whispered melodies; its’ enchanting, original, inspired and delicate reworking of Christmas classics including “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” began to peel back those jaded layers which the slightest imbalance in our world builds up. As my windows thawed, so did I.
I think that is at the core of what Christmas music is about. It pulls us back into the moment. Our Grinchy little hearts start to grow, emotions are in play. Christmas music is not background music, no matter how hard we try to make it so. Perhaps, that’s why so many people dislike it; it won’t be ignored. In the mall, in the car, at work… you start humming along. Those archetypal melodies, those idealistic images…how often do we really get a white Christmas? From the upbeat, early 20th century ditties to the pensive, minor key traditionals, Christmas music connects with our sub-conscience and makes us feel something (good or bad). So Merry Christmas, if that’s your thing. Work hard, that’s what we do but don’t be afraid to let go and spend this holiday season in the moment and as always…
Live Well & Listen Closely,
credits: images of winters past courtesy of the library of congress
read more articles by music writer J. Hayes at: http://www.examiner.com/x-4161-New-American-Music-Examiner
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