Don’t Touch My Christmas Music, You Big Grinch

Thanksgiving is over. By any and all standards accepted in modern society, now is the appropriate time to start listening to it. I’ll be honest, I usually start during my Thanksgiving preparations, but to each his own. If I get on the boat a little bit early, that doesn’t mean it’s not stopping to pick you up a few days later. And now, the Christmas music era, if you will, is truly the greatest time of all.

As I write this, I’m listening to Billy Gilman (you remember, the blonde child singer-prodigy, essentially the singing version of the little kid from Jerry Maguire) singing “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” and it is the sonic incarnation of pure happiness. What music other than this is so shamelessly peppy, happy, child-like, and steeped in its own delightful overproduction? None, that’s what. This is the kind of music that one just smiles and nods to as they listen to it. Everyone — from Celine to Whitney to Barbara to Frank to Dean — has their own chipper version of every song, and each one is more wonderful than the last. Don’t like this cover of “Winter Wonderland?” Fear not, there exist 103982308432823 others to take its place in your heart.

And everywhere, from the grocery store to the skating ring, is playing these adorable songs. Everywhere you go becomes a delightful little holiday moment, everywhere just makes you want to eskimo kiss under some mistletoe while wearing a scarf and believing deeply in Santa Claus. It is, if you’ll allow me the reference, the most wonderful time of the year.

But then there are those terrible, horrible people who spend the Christmas season in a pouty, Grinch-y state of discontent as they bemoan every song they hear. “It’s non-stop” they say, “it’s everywhere.” Good, I think. And frankly, is it so hard to have one measly month a year in which songs are about loving your neighbor and being happy for what you have? If you can honestly listen to Frank Sinatra singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and think, “Turn that crap off. It’s offending my ears,” you are a terrible person. That is the litmus test of a good person, and you have failed. Congratulations.

I cannot tell you the number of times people have chastised me for playing the music of the season, asking me if I didn’t get “enough” of it in shopping malls (as if there could be such a thing as “enough”). I would like to take this moment to tell those people, collectively, go away. Wham! and I are going to be talking about giving our heart to someone special this year, and you can sit in the corner and listen to your sad summer music and hate happiness.

And, if you get a big lump of coal in your stocking this year, I will be completely indifferent. TC mark

image – Laura Bittnard

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • A.

    “Don’t like this cover of “Winter Wonderland?” Fear not, there exist 103982308432823 others to take its place in your heart.”

    At work we counted down and made bets on what the first song of the year would be. I NEVER WANT IT TO STOP.

  • Sophia

    I love you for writing this. It made me smile. :)

  • Kai

    “If you can honestly listen to Frank Sinatra singing “Have Yourself A
    Merry Little Christmas” and think, “Turn that crap off. It’s offending
    my ears,” you are a terrible person.”

    Or a person who’s fucking tired of having an irrelevant holiday shoved down my throat. If it at least pretended to be secular, I might pretend I’m not a Grinch. As it is, bah humbug!

    • lianne

      Why the fuck should it pretend to be secular?

      • Kai

        Why the fuck should I have to put up with this religious crap?

      • Michael Koh

        Why the fuck am I here commenting

      • Frank

        It’s ok to not be religious and not bitch about it all the time, you know.

      • Kai

        It’s ok to not make judgements about someone based on one comment, you know.

      • lianne

        go live in a hole in the arctic if you don’t want to put up with this religious crap, because sorry, christmas is a HUGE THING in society and oh my goodness sorry that it’s based on the birth of jesus.  christians aren’t my fave people but I don’t notice anyone going “OH MY GOD WHY DO I HAVE TO PUT UP WITH THIS PAGAN BULLSHIT HALLOWEEN STUFF” (apart from the few crazies who are all anti witchcraft and burn harry potters and shit like that… but then again, they’re the equivalent of you.)

        just shut the fuck up and if you don’t like it then don’t get a christmas tree.  big fucking deal.

        your life is so fucking difficult because people play “have a holly jolly christmas”, eh, kai.

      • Kai

        Projecting much?

    • Mung Beans

      I’m down with ditching the whole Jesus thing, but then I’d want Christmas to be replaced with an equally festive, fully secular holiday that involves family/gifts/food.

  • Catt

    Maybe it’s because I don’t celebrate Christmas and would rather listen to quality music than tinny tunes I hear every single year?

    Just a thought. That being said, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra needs a shout-out. Christmas or not, their holiday music is damn good.

  • Karoline Zacharer

    I, too, LOVE Christmas music this time of year.  Bummer that my roomie isn’t a fan of Christmas songs/music.

  • indi

    if someone would put out an album of new christmas music instead of adding to the near infinite list of covers then maybe i would actually want listen to it.

    • Anonymous

      lol there’s mistletoe…

    • Meera Shah

      BIEBER <3

  • Anonymous

  • Anonymous

    Haha do you know that on christmas eve in shanghai, everyone was wearing devil horns and walking around the city center. No kidding. #irrelevant

  • JinDC

    I love Wham’s “Last Christmas”, Band-Aids’ “Do They Know its Christmas, and the Eurythmics’ “Winter Wonderland”  …..  Thanks for the Wham! reference!

  • Lux Vir

    I’ve never understood feminism. I know, like ice
    cream, it comes in a cornucopia of flavors and melts away quickly when held in
    a man’s hand (just kidding, ladies!) but I never understood its more…
    paradoxical expressions. I’ve been accused from time to time of being a woman
    hating woman (occasionally here on Thought Catalog) but that couldn’t be
    further from the truth. It is simply that, as a woman,  I am often
    expected to agree with general sentiments that don’t sit easily with my sense
    of reason, never more so than with things like this.

    For those of you who haven’t heard, there was a “Slutwalk” yesterday
    in Toronto where women took to the street to raise
    awareness for their right to… dress like sluts. Apparently, a police constable
    made the unfortunate choice of publicly saying, “Women should avoid dressing
    like sluts in order to not be victimized.” I think we can all agree here that
    this was not the most delicate phrasing, but I would be lying if I said that
    there wasn’t a good amount of truth to what he said.

    We can all laugh when Dave Chappelle does his
    routine about women dressing like sluts at clubs getting offended when men make
    unwanted sexual advances, especially when he makes the apt comparison of
    dressing like a police officer and then getting offended when people ask for
    help on the street. That, to all of us, is funny and relatable. “Yeah,” we seem
    to think, “women shouldn’t dress like prostitutes if they don’t want to be
    propositioned for sex by a stranger.” Yet when a police officer makes a very
    similar assertion, we no longer see what he’s saying. We can only think of it
    in black-and-white terms. This is an officer of the law, and anyone who is
    victimized should immediately be 100 percent innocent and showered with
    sympathy and understanding.

    As he does not specify in his statement what
    “victimized” means exactly, I’ll assume it runs the gamut from being cat called
    on the street to being raped. And just like a young man dressed like a
    gangbanger and walking through a bad neighborhood with a menacing, threatening
    stance could be met with verbal aggression or a gunshot wound to the chest –
    all things are not created equal. He does not deserve to be murdered because he
    walked down the street, but he (as an adult) understood the risks he was

    The truth of the matter is that rape, murder,
    battery, verbal assault, and everything in between have existed for as long as
    humans have. There is a constant threat, especially in concentrated urban
    areas, that you will be a victim at some point. I myself live in a relatively
    dangerous urban area where men are quite verbally forward. You learn quickly to
    not make eye contact, to keep your posture upright, and to keep walking. And
    beyond that, if you want to further increase your chances of remaining safe and
    flying under the radar, you do not dress like a prostitute. You do not dress
    like someone who is out tonight to find sex by any means necessary. You can
    look pretty, feminine, elegant, attractive – without stripping your appeal down
    to its basest, most physical level. Women know the kind of attention they
    attract when they dress like that. And just like the Supreme Court can’t define
    porn but knows it when it sees it, we know
    when we look into the mirror before we go out if we look like we’re trying to
    lay down for the first man that looks at us. Even if we don’t want to admit it.

    I have, like pretty much every 22-year-old girl,
    gone out looking like a slut occasionally. And I got a significantly higher
    amount of leers, cat calls, and uncomfortable attention. I was not surprised; I
    had no one but myself to blame for the sudden nervous feeling that flared up in
    my stomach as I walked passed men checking out my shape in my revealing dress.
    I don’t dress like this anymore for that very reason. I want men to look at me
    and have thoughts other than, “I could have sex with her tonight if I wanted.”

    And perhaps the most compelling reason to put at
    least some of the responsibility on women here is that often, dressing in an
    extremely suggestive manner can be the tipping point in a sexually charged
    situation. Not all sexually aggressive acts are perpetrated by a violent repeat
    offender hiding in an alley. Often times the situations that can make women the
    most uncomfortable, and in some ways the most vulnerable, are in situations
    where alcohol and socialization are involved. Women are pressured, followed,
    and hounded by men who, when sober and in the light of day, often would never
    do such a thing. And for a man, a sexually and visually driven man not in full
    command of his wits, having a woman tell him “no” while wearing the most
    provocative, arousing, blatantly sexual outfit possible is, to say the least,
    confusing. And while that does not give him the right to violate her, it also
    cannot be claimed that women are entirely innocent in this situation.

    I know that the knee-jerk reaction to this kind
    of scenario is that women are unequivocally the victims, but they are also
    adults. They are also capable of assessing risks, the kind of risks that we
    live with every day. And if they choose to ignore these risks, to feed into
    them, to put themselves further into danger – they are not being the most
    intelligent, capable adults they could. They are being, to some degree,
    irresponsible. That just may not look quite as catchy on a pink sign. – Chelsea Fagan

    • lianne

      does the phrase “beating a dead horse” mean anything to you

  • Lauren

    Agreed.  Funny, I was just thinking about this the other day while listening to the Christmas station in my car.

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