When most radio stations switch from secular music to 24 hours of Christmas jingles, the majority of listeners cheer with glee; however there is a select audience who jip the jolliness of this holiday soundtrack. It is not because these patrons are "Grinches", rather it is because these seasonal songs most have grown-up hearing have many implications/associations that deviate from the original message of the track. Rhythms such as "Jingle All the Way", "Mistletoe and Holly", and even "Let it Snow" seem like harmless explanations of holiday bliss, but that is only if one has not seen the terrible display from Arnold Schwarzenegger in the film named after the first title mentioned. Between disgraceful acting, holiday hostility, snow-based frustrations, and the less-than-savory personalities of the performers of these holiday classics; it is easy to sigh in a "Ba-Hum-Bug" fashion to a select few of these Christmas favorites.
1. "Jingle All the Way"-Various Performers: As one can already tell, this song is the bane of my existence due to its association with Arnold Schwarzenegger's sad attempt at creating a holiday classic that will stand the test of time. However, most couldn't stand the test of the 90 minutes it took for the movie to end; however, conversely and unfortunately, the direct relation to overplayed jingle of the same title will live on FOR-EV-ER! Not only was Schwarzenegger awkward in a family friendly role, but it seems like "Kindergarten Cop Takes on Holiday Shoppers"; a theme that is stale and an uncharacteristic/unrelatable role to for most viewers to witness again. This film attempt is definitely not a classic most will squeeze into their packed holiday movie ensemble; but thanks to the constant play of the titular song, "The Arnold" has the last laugh by continuing this effort's constantly annoying notoriety.
2. "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year"-Various Performers: If there is any song that is in stark contrast to the season it describes, it is this one! Usually when this track is played in movies or huge public venues, such as malls, it is theme to the oppositional behaviors being displayed by those listening to it. This tune is usually characterized by patrons appearing stressed by the holiday's seasonal components, family-drama; and of course, being victim to retail-aggression. There is nothing like witnessing one parent body-checking another to get the last TY Beanie Baby or "Tickle-Me-Whatever" to the sounds of this chipper classic that embodies the meaning of the season. As Christmas seasons come and go, you can guarantee any holiday unpleasantry will be accompanied with the sarcastic mumblings of this "wonderful" tune.
3. "Let it Snow"-Various Performers: With this winter already shaping up to be a hell-of-a snowy mess, this song creates even more agitation to the non-school children of the world. The jingle sounds so comforting, cuddling next to a warm fire, watching the glistening snow fall, keeping solace from the "frightful" weather; then one realizes that there are no snow days for those beyond puberty. These tales of snowflake bliss and having "no place to go" seem like profanities as everyone, except those involved in your local school district, get up an extra hour early to brush-off their cars and drive at a snail's pace to a job that is just as dreary. After annihilating my muffler, by blitzing my accelerator to pull out of an icy snow trap, this song is now over-shadowed by both resentment and the sweet sounds of exhaust.
4. "Mistletoe and Holly"- Bing Crosby w/ Frank Sinatra: There is nothing like listening to this family-themed holiday classic, while sipping eggnog and cozying-up with your loved ones in matching "Snuggies"; that is until one realizes that Crosby was allegedly accused of domestic violence. It makes those talks of "ties and granny's pies" along with "over-eating" seem a little more like a proclamation of seasonal torture methods than a declaration of beauty surrounding these winter traditions. The enjoyment of this song, just like that of any inspirational R. Kelly tune, is constantly over-shadowed and misinterpreted based on the performer's personality/inspiration. Although, Bing was never convicted of violent acts against his family, the stigma still sticks and makes the title seem like a cry for help from his kin, rather than a exclamation of joy.
5. "All I Want for Christmas is You"- Mariah Carey: There is absolutely NOTHING negative about the theme, performance, or artist who brings this song to life. In fact, it is a very joyous, toe-tapping tune most have come to love; however the fact that it is so wildly popular with such simple lyrics and a few Mariah high-notes thrown around, is agitating. Carey has produced some deep and heavily insightful songs in her day that have shown her intense range beautifully, but with this frivolous song, it is almost as if she became a sell-out. I can compare it to an actor taking part in a reality TV show where there is no technique or pretense of talent, he/she is just doing it to make money from his/her appearance. Mariah, you can do better than a sing-song holiday tune with a few keys even I can hit on a good day.
So, for those who read this and think I'm over-analyzing/focusing on the negative in this season of blissful joy, I say that he/she does not understand we are still flawed humans even during a time of unabashed holiday pre-tense. For those who are shaking their heads up-and-down in agreement, I say thank you for being a consistent cynical creature, especially during the holidays.
Merry Christmas to all and to all December 26th will bring these tattered tunes to an end!