Hark, the Herald Angels
are Driving Me Crazy
Since when did “The Twelve Days of Christmas”
turn into four months?
Not only are they driving me crazy, they’re following me everywhere I go. Starbucks, the supermarket, malls—even wedged between Elvis and the Beatles on my favorite Golden Oldies station!
And this has been happening since September, October or November, depending on which country you’re in.
Since when did The Twelve Days of Christmas turn into four months?
- Who, in honor of Christmas, copies a bunch of carols to his or her iPod?
- Who, in the privacy of his or her own home, puts a CD of Christmas carols in the player—and presses the repeat button?
No one, I’ll bet.
Yet you’ll happily listen to your favorite music—whether Rolling Stones, Adele, Beethoven or Louis Armstrong—over and over again.
Who mandated that the same limited bunch of Christmas carols be repeated ad infinitum? So that by the time those merry, strolling carolers strum their way past your door on Christmas eve you’re ready to strangle them?
And in a market economy, where the customer is supposedly king, how do songs you’d be happy to hear two or three times a year get played two or three times a day?
“But it’s Christmas!”
Here’s the best answer I can come up with.
Some years ago I was waiting for a flight in an airline lounge early one Christmas morning. I was the only passenger there.
Of course, there was background music—you guessed it, Christmas carols!
So I asked them to change the CD.
“But it’s Christmas!” the lady replied.
“I KNOW it’s Christmas,” I responded, almost losing my cool. “How could I NOT know?”
Why this lady believed Christmas can’t be Christmas without months of advance notice beats me. But it seems to be a widely held belief, powerful enough to persuade businesses like my Golden Oldies station to give its customers what they “need” instead of what they want.
Let’s face it: if people really wanted to listen to Christmas carols, there’d be several competing 24/7 Christmas-carol-only radio stations, just for starters.
Wonder why no one’s ever started one?
Carols or not, I trust you have a merry Christmas—and I wish you a happy, carol-free new year.
What can you do?
Quite a few things:
Bitch: complain to the staff. They probably agree with you, so . . .
Commiserate: “How can you stand hearing those same songs day after day?” You’ll probably find they’re bored to death, even more so than you!
Boycott: tell them—preferably the manager or even better, the owner—you’ll be back next year, or when they stop playing carols wall-to-wall, whichever comes first.
Grab a Competitive Advantage: Have your own business? Make it a “carol-free” zone.
And, of course, pass this article along to your like-minded friends .
Thx Mark for a very entertaining presentation of the Xmas dilemma : a nice (conceptually) celebratory holiday that has become totally commercialised. And I wish you lots of success with your latest book, which I will try to “download”, as soon as I learn how to do that on an iPad !
And spare a thought for all those poor sods behind the checkout counters who have to listen to xmas carols 8 solid hours a day!
… some NorthWest Frontier types whose CostCutter-type shop was selling leftover 2011 Christmas wrapping paper and related (non)essentials as early as June 2012 … and enticed their customers to get into the Chrismas spirit a mere 5 months and 18 days ahead of schedule by blasting Christmas carols from their tinny speaker. Must have worked, because they are still in business!