My husband and I were eating lunch in a restaurant Saturday when I heard something peppy and annoying coming out of the dining room speakers: Christmas music.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Christmas music as much as anyone. I particularly appreciate the childhood memories Andy Williams invokes when he sings “Silver Bells” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” When I was growing up, my parents had his Christmas album and played it every year on our little stereo console. I knew all the words by heart.
But for me, Nov. 2 is just way too early for back-to-back holiday tunes blasting in public places. On Saturday, as I was forced to listen to “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Silent Night,” I grew more and more irritated. My thoughts turned to Thanksgiving, which is coming up way too fast. Unfortunately, I was also reminded that we’d be spending the day without our families this year. Not a happy reminder. Then I thought about Christmas and all the shopping we have to do. I mentally started making shopping lists and baking lists and decorating lists, and before I knew it, I was exhausted.
“Are they really playing all Christmas music?” I asked my husband, angrily swiping a tortilla chip through the salsa bowl. “I wouldn’t mind one or two here and there, but EVERY SINGLE SONG?”
My husband, a smart man, just smiled and continued eating his own chips and salsa, not agreeing or disagreeing with my assessment of the music situation. This is a man who loves Christmas more than anyone I know. When Hallmark starts issuing its new holiday ornaments in June, he’s on it. He combs the catalogue and the website and becomes a regular at local Hallmark stores. By September, he’s already purchased several ornaments to add to our collection.
He’s very sentimental about Christmas, so in retrospect, I imagine he probably enjoyed the early bombardment of holiday music. In fact, I don’t know for sure, but he’s probably already loaded his car’s CD player with his favorite Christmas compilations. We don’t have the same taste in holiday music (I am not a fan of his Oak Ridge Boys Christmas album, for example), so he would not have shared that information with me.
After we left the restaurant Saturday, we drove to an antique mall outside of town. Sure enough, they also had Christmas music playing. I almost lost it when Madonna’s “Santa Baby” blasted through a speaker right next to my ear in a booth full of Depression glass and antique toys all decorated for, you guessed it, Christmas. My husband, however, casually wandered through the store, humming along with the music in pre-holiday bliss.
Despite my “bah humbug” attitude, something happened to me. I guess the subliminal messages sent by the annoying holiday music sank into my psyche. Later that weekend, I began making plans to host a Christmas party for our friends, mentally rearranging our furniture to make room for the Christmas tree. The husband and I also discussed a cost-effective strategy for buying gifts for our more than a dozen grandchildren.
By Sunday night, I was browsing through holiday recipes and searching online for the Andy Williams Christmas album.
I still think it’s too early for nonstop “Jingle Bells” and “Frosty the Snowman,” but at least I’m looking forward to Thanksgiving and Christmas now. I’ve put away my Scrooge impression for another year, and I know my husband is pleased about that.
This morning before work, I heard him humming an Oak Ridge Boys Christmas tune.
Contact Kristi Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7548