Overdosing on Worn Out Christmas Music

Overdosing on Worn Out Christmas Music

You can’t keep him away for long, read on for Peter Stuart’s thoughts on the 2011 festive season:

Well, it’s that time of year again, when we get assaulted by piped in music in the malls, choirs singing in old-folks homes, kids dressed in secular ‘Holiday attire’ standing on the local High Street in Sillery belting out various Christmas-like songs a cappella in the freezing cold with varying degrees of gusto and ‘on-keyness’, and so forth.

I just get frustrated sometimes: For a civilization such as ours which prides itself on having everything being ‘new and improved’, and ‘rapidly changing’, and ‘in constant evolution’, ‘never standing still’, we just can’t seem to find anything new about Christmas music to liven up our lives.

It’s as if Quebec City, and all of North America, along with the entire western world, is limping along in some sort of worn out, post-modern paradigm of secular consumer culture which has seemingly OD’ed on its own overdone, overblown, over marketed, version of some Madison avenue vision of Christmas which was put forth by the admen in New York and Hollywood in the first half of the twentieth century, with all their catchy secular as well as sacred jingles and movies, songs, poems, and short stories, all of which have since been re-done and done again and again, in so many different permutations and combinations it’s not even funny.

In the 1970s, we had Disco adaptations of old Christmas standards, later in the 80s and 90s; we had more synthesizer-laden techno versions of the same things. Now we’re going back in time with a revival of the 1930s and 40s-style of Michael Bublé, trying his best to put a post-modern spin on a by-gone era.

Even some of the sacred Christmas music is starting to get to me. How many more times will I have to sing the chorus to ‘Angels we Have Heard on High’, by going ‘Glo-ooooo-oooo-ooo-ria, in excelsis deo’. Just shoot me instead, why don’t ya!

By dint of being assaulted by all of these songs, repeatedly, year in, and year out, both sacred and secular, on radio, television, the internet, in malls, office buildings, in newspaper ads, billboards, we end up being more antagonized by the whole message of Christmas, than anything else, because of the sheer information overload engendered by the saturation of auditory output from all fronts.

Which all takes away from the true meaning of Christmas, which is that it is the ‘Christ Mass’, the Mass which celebrates the birth of the Saviour. One can argue all you want about the date that the Christian Church chose to celebrate this important feast: Yes, we know that it was put at the ancient Pagan feast of the return of the Sun, around the winter solstice of December 21st so as to better dovetail with ancient Pagan customs, so that they would be more likely to adopt the Christian feast of the ‘Son’ (as opposed to the ‘Sun’).

Some people still argue that there never was an historical figure called Jesus Christ. Well, I’ve got news for you. Roman historians have recorded the events which took place in Roman Palestine around the time of our Lord, and there is clear written evidence of a man bearing our Lord’s name having been executed for having incited a rebellion against the Emperor, as well as crucifixion records having been sent back to Rome, with our Lord’s name being listed as being one amongst the ‘criminals’ who were crucified.

So for somebody who started out as the son of a carpenter, grew up like all the rest of us, had a brief but tumultuous public life, then got whacked as if he were a criminal, our Lord sure as heck has attracted quite a following, over a billion and counting, and that’s just the Catholics!

So what I consider ‘criminal’ is just how de-based and meaninglessly commercialized his birthday has become. So next time you hear any Christmas or ‘Holiday’ music being blasted at you, trying to sell you something, just walk away, and go someplace quiet and reflect upon what is truly ‘new’ and ‘improved’ in our lives: The Grace of a loving God of our understanding, who comes to us every December 25th in utter innocence and humility, and has but one intention for us as his people, and that is the salvation of our immortal souls through the gift of himself at Christmas and ultimately through his cross and resurrection and Ascension into heaven, where he is ready to greet us at the appointed time and place.

Merry Christmas to all of you, and may God Bless you all in the New Year.

About the author:

Peter Stuart is a freelance journalist and writer based in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. He has a degree in Canadian Studies from the University of Ottawa.
He has written Op-Ed pieces for the last ten years for publications including: Le Soleil, La Presse, Quebec Chronicle Telegraph and Impact Campus.
Peter writes in both French and English, and and has published his first book, entitled ‘The Catholic Faith and the Social Construction of Religion: With Particular Attention to the Québec Experience’. 
You can read more of Peter’s work by visiting his blog

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