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Thursday, December 20 2001

Christmas reflections - Christmas music and antimusic

For the first time in my 30 Christmas seasons in the San Francisco Bay Area, there has been lots of Christmas music ever since Thanksgiving on the radio stations I have given buttons on my car radio. Even KFRC, San Francisco's legend in its own radio mind, which I generally consider the worst oldies station I've ever heard (but the only one in the market, so I keep having to try it), has been majoring in Christmas "oldies" (a number of which I've never heard before).

KFRC's idea of a Christmas classic is "Santa Baby," the Marilyn Monroe parody by Eartha Kitt, which they play at least hourly, followed by "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" and Simon and Garfunkel's antiwar anti-Christmas version of "Silent Night." The selections illustrate why I think the station is the worst of its genre, as in general it loves the "novelty pop songs" that you grew to hate when they were played to death in their first lives (and it plays almost no doo-wop).

But I digress. The topic was going to be Christmas music on the radio. Have you been finding more of it than usual this season where you are, and what connection may that have with September 11? Or is it just that this is the first time since the 1940's that we are, as a nation, embroiled in an almost universally supported war, and when we think of the 1940's war era, we think of Christmases past, like those in It's A Great Life and The Walton's reruns?

I once told a public audience that I love everything about the season, even the commercial "secular" Christmas pop music, even "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer." Maybe at the time I had heard it only a few times. Maybe I'm getting grouchier every year. Does some of the season's music have the spirit-quenching effect on you? Is some of it, or the way its delivered, "anti-Christmas" music? Or, more likely, is it just me?

Check out the first two contributions to this year's Christmas page. Join the Forum! Please share your reflections, too! They might be random short thoughts or recounting more complete memories; "stories." What did you wish for? What did you get? Materially? Spiritually? What made, or broke, a Christnas? How is this Christmas shaping up?

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

The four stages of life

1. You believe in Santa Claus.
2. You don't believe in Santa Claus.
3. You are Santa Claus.
4. You look like Santa Claus.

—Sent by Sallie Covolo

Advent thought for the day

Belief in Christ's birth to a virgin is like a sentry standing on guard at the door of the mystery and joy of Christmas, declaring, "Halt! You about to enter the realm of the supernatural. Proceed no farther unless you are ready to accept this."

But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; Who was born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God, John 1:12-13.

—Adapted
Sent by John Stamps

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