4 Christmas Songs That Suck The Spirit Right Out Of The Holidays
Traditionally speaking, Thanksgiving marks the end of the unofficial embargo against holiday music and welcomes the arrival of the one month each year when you can listen to the 98 Degrees Christmas album without anyone judging you too harshly.
Over the next few weeks, you'll probably hear every classic Christmas carol and the seemingly endless supply of songs from artists who would otherwise be lost to history if they hadn't put out a holiday album in their prime (I'm looking at you, Harry Connick Jr.).
My biggest issue with the music that causes radio stations to have a yearly identity crisis is that the classic tunes are drastically outnumbered by terrible covers and ill-advised originals that seem to blare from the speakers of every store I've walked into this month.
If this is the season of giving, I'd like to give all of these songs a cease and desist order.
Even the insufferable Beatles fan you went to high school with has to admit it took the band a while to figure out how to make music that didn't involve an incredibly simple melody accompanied by repetitive lyrics about topics like holding hands or living on an oddly colored submarine.
Their sound eventually evolved into the music that created those aforementioned fans and after the band broke up, Paul McCartney went on to pursue a solo career where he threw away every lesson he learned and went on to make what is, without question, the worst Christmas song ever recorded.
All of its elements -- the grating melody, the tiresome chorus, the fact "Christmastime" is one word -- come together to create a recording any sane person would have destroyed and never spoken of again.
Paul McCartney is not a sane person and neither are the programming directors who insist on putting this in their rotation every single year.
Any version of "All I Want For Christmas Is You" not sung by Mariah Carey
Some songs should never be covered.
I'd be perfectly fine living in a world where Michael Bublé was the only person allowed to make Christmas music if it wasn't for the existence of Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."
I once put this modern classic on a Fourth of July playlist for a party because I found the idea more amusing than I should have and discovered it might be the only Christmas song you can play all year long based on the excited shrieks when it came on.
I was as excited as I always am when I heard the unmistakable intro cue up on Pandora the other night, and I was even more excited to take advantage of an empty apartment with some otherwise reputation-ruining dancing when an unfamiliar voice appeared and slaughtered my holiday spirit.
I glanced at my phone and saw the cast of "Glee" had the audacity to think they could improve a modern classic, a revelation that made me pledge to continue not watching "Glee."
If we were talking about Rodney Dangerfield, this kind of disrespect would be expected, but I will not let Mimi suffer the same indignity.
Before I say anything else, I should say I understand "Christmas Wrapping" was never meant to be a "real" Christmas song.
It was recorded by the same new wave band that sang "I Know What Boys Like" and released in a decade filled with countless musical crimes that can largely be blamed on synthesizers and cocaine. It's not a good song, and I don't think it was supposed to be.
Unfortunately, the criteria for being featured on a radio station that plays nothing but Christmas music seems to be just having the word "Christmas" somewhere in the lyrics, and every year my eardrums are assaulted by a monotone anti-Christmas anthem with too much syncopation.
I will admit the saxophone is pretty sweet.
I might lack an appreciation for the songs listed so far, but I won't knock the motivations of the people who made them: I can't blame people for trying to get others in the Christmas spirit, even if they ended up doing the exact opposite.
I can, however, blame the Christian rock group who decided the world needed a song about a little boy who didn't have enough money to buy shoes for his terminally ill mother so that Jesus would want to date her when she goes to Heaven (I might have gotten a couple of those details wrong).
The spin doctors might try to argue this song is trying to capture the "true" spirit of Christmas, but it's hard to focus on the positives when you realize a pair of shoes isn't canceling out the fact that this unaccompanied child is still going to lose what appears to be his only guardian.
Maybe they should have offered to adopt the kid instead.