For some, the idea of wall-to-wall-Christmas music - spewing forth from the day after Thanksgiving up to but not beyond December 25 - borders on the offensive, even the intolerable.
The First Noël is fine enough, but by the 100th iteration, is not the message somewhat blunted?
After all, not everyone is a Christian, and though plenty of opportunity exists to ramp up and get in the holiday spirit, even for those who are Believers, must this happen in such a way that the liturgical season of Advent - formerly a time of introspection and preparation - becomes obliterated amidst the commercial urgings to buy, buy, buy?
Even the twelve-days-of-Christmas, that take us from the Nativity to the visit of the Wise Men on January 6 - Epiphany, the real gift-giving in the Christmas pageant - virtually disappear from notice, since once we've hit the goal of December 25th, all is over (except the post-Christmas sales).
With typically cheeky insolence, a movement is afoot in Britain to provide for a true 'silent night', and a campaign Cage Against the Machine is underway to make John Cage's legendary piano piece, 4'33" the number one Christmas hit in the UK.
It does give one pause.... :-)
This from Valerie Kahler ---
Violinist Oliver Lewis sets a new world record by performing Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee" in 1 minute, 3.356 seconds -- a full second faster than the previous record holder.