Not like the ones I used to know

It might just be senior citizenship, but I think it's mostly Covid that's causing all the seasons to feel slightly off. I feel like I'm re-learning everything. Not that that's a bad thing, necessarily.

Yesterday, on a beautiful Thanksgiving, in between losing $2 betting on football games (the bastards), I switched on a replay of the Macy's parade in New York. It looked the same, but man, it didn't feel the same. Now, it's been decades since I recognized most of the latest chart-toppers, wheeled in right to left, to lip-sync whatever they're selling these days. But this time the fuzzy, twinkly magic that once surrounded the whole thing seems to have rubbed off a little. Maybe it's the high-definition TV.

Anyway, it's officially the build-up to Christmas, and as best I can tell, we're supposed to keep adjusting. Last year, we were all in shock and scared half to death, and so you can't look back to that for guidance. A year later, we've gotten three injections but still view the world with a somewhat wary eye. What will this "holiday" season be like? 

Maybe, for the first time in a long time, we get to decide what to make of it.

One thing I've learned over the years is not to start the Christmas music up too early. By the 24th, it will be subliminally driving me nuts, so much so that on the Feast of Stephen I may curl up on the wood floor in the back of the kitchen weeping with relief. So I need to crank it up ever so slowly.

With four weeks to go, I think I need to stay at a sober 3:1 non-Christmas to Christmas ratio for a while. Gradually ramp it up to all Yuletide ditties, all the time, around about the 20th.

I think part of the problem is that there is now so much of it – 80 years of Christmas music recordings, and it's all in your pocket all day long. Back in the day, you had three or four Christmas records, and they got tiresome after a while, so there was a week or two there that you left them turned off. No more.

And there's no escaping by declaring a favorite genre. They're all infected. Classical Christmas, country Christmas, rock 'n' roll Christmas, soul Christmas, jazz Christmas, easy listening Christmas, New Age Christmas, bluegrass Christmas, reggae Chistmas, world Christmas.... I guess there's no Yiddish Christmas.

Anyway, go easy on that stuff. So I tell myself. So I tell you.