Friday, December 11, 2009

fa la la la la

I haven't been Christmas shopping in a brick-and-mortar store in the States for at least six years. This year and last year, I was living in the States, but my extreme dislike of annoying crowds and my paralyzing laziness add up to me doing almost all of my Christmas shopping on Amazon, and now that I live in the suburbs, I don't really wander into random stores the way I used to when I was living in New York or Boston. For the four years prior to that, I was living outside of the country, and did my shopping online or in Switzerland (and yes, if I bought it in Switzerland, I schlepped it all back in my luggage).

I think that my lack of in-store shopping is the reason that I really haven't heard Christmas carols in years. They pop into my head now and then, but I haven't been immersed in, bombarded with, and assaulted by Muzak, pop, or classical renditions of all those classic and not-so-classic hallmarks of the holiday season.

So much the better. Thinking back, it seems like the only three songs I ever heard while out and about in November and December were "Jingle Bell Rock," "Jingle Bells," and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree."

Upon further reflection, however, this makes no sense at all. Do you realize just how many Christmas carols and Christmas songs there are? I've been annoying my boyfriend like crazy by singing as many as I can remember, as they come to me, and off the top of my head (and this is after at least six years of not hearing them, so there must be even more that I'm forgetting), these are the songs I can think of:
  • Jingle Bells
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  • O Holy Night
  • Silent Night
  • Away in a Manger (American version)
  • Away in a Manger (British version -- yes there are two entirely different tunes for the same set of lyrics; this is true for several carols that I know of, and probably many more that I don't, and the first time I found out about it, it was like I had suddenly discovered a parallel universe that I had thought was the same as mine, but was only very similar, with strange but subtle differences, like Christmas carols with the same words but different melodies, and sweaters, apartments, and elevators that are called jumpers, flats, and lifts)
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem (American version)
  • O Little Town of Bethlehem (British version)
  • It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (American version)
  • It Came Upon a Midnight Clear (British version)
  • Deck the Halls
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Little Drummer Boy
  • Frosty the Snowman
  • The Christmas Song ("Chestnuts roasting...")
  • I'll Be Home for Christmas
  • Blue Christmas
  • O Come All Ye Faithful
  • Angels We Have Heard on High
  • God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  • Twelve Days of Christmas
  • Good King Wenceslas
  • The First Noel
  • Carol of the Bells ("Hark how the bells...")
  • Ding Dong Merrily on High
  • Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
  • Do You Hear What I Hear
  • O Christmas Tree
  • We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  • Christmas is Coming ("Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat...")
  • Silver Bells
  • Let It Snow
  • Here Comes Santa Claus
  • What Child Is This
  • Here We Come A-Wassailing
So that's well over 30 songs that I was able to come up with off the top of my head at least six years after hearing them. So why do stores only ever play three of them?? Or have they gotten better about this? If they played more songs and got rid of some of the crowds, I would perhaps do less of my shopping online, but I'm guessing that it's still the same...

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