This never really occurred to me before, but Christmas has gotten so far removed from being a celebration of the birth of Christ, that the majority of the most cherished and traditional celebrations of Christmas are about how Christmas has stopped being about a celebration of the birth of Christ.
A Christmas Carol: ghost story about a guy who hates Christmas until he’s guilted into celebrating the season by a crippled child and the threat of his own death.
It’s a Wonderful Life: whiny depressive threatens to kill himself until people boost his ego enough to convince him an entire city hinges on his existence.
A Miracle on 34th Street: jaded little girl forced to believe in the magic of Christmas by an escaped lunatic.
A Charlie Brown Christmas: whiny depressive becomes despondent at commercialism of the season, regains hope via unsolicited sermonizing by his emotionally troubled friend.
The Passion of the Christ: Jews suck.
My point being that complaining about the commercialism is as much an institution as nativity scenes and midnight mass. So I’m not going to try to add anything to that.
Except this: these advertisers really need to stop with the Christmas carol parodies already.
I actually like “Carol of the Bells” a good bit — I think the coming of the Messiah should have music that is big and overwrought and even a little creepy, instead of that weak “Away in a Manger” pablum. Or at least, I used to like it. Thanks to Garmin, this year I was already sick of hearing it by the time it was even December 1st.
So an open letter to marketing types: I’m not going to tell you to stop marketing the hell out of Christmas. That’s what you do, and I know it’s important on some level. But the next time you’re coming up with an ad campaign, and you think that it’ll be cool to write a clever parody of “Carol of the Bells” or “Jingle Bells” or “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” or theme it to A Christmas Carol or include scenes from It’s a Wonderful Life, know this: that shit is played.
And if you still do it, you’re a worthless hack. And as you look around at the ruin of your talentless existence and feel so depressed by the pointlessness of it all, know that when you see the version of the world that doesn’t have you in it, you’ll see a world where everybody is really happy and better off and enjoying the spirit of the season via beloved carols that haven’t been ruined by overuse.
And in that spirit, it’s time once again to hear this rendition of O Holy Night.