Christmas Ruined Already

104.1 WMLL “The Mall” in St. Louis has become the first all-Christmas carol radio station. They’re touting it, of course, as the first, which should imply the best, but really just means the station whose regular format (greatest hits of the 1980s and 1990s) is most expendable (least profitable) in the stable and spectrums of radio stations owned by the megabroadcaster in this market. Regardless of the bigger implications, I have listened to it somewhat this weekend.

I was a little disappointed. They ran more “contemporary” Christmas carols, with electric guitars screeching out “Walking in a Winter Wonderland”. Annie Lennox doing Christmas songs? Christmas carols are not the contemporary, they’re timeless. They’re more croon than synth. Bing Crosby, not Natalie Merchant.

I could tolerate the McKenzie Brothers’ “Twelve Days of Christmas”. It’s a light-hearted diversion, and since it’s almost thirty years old, I guess it’s almost a classic in its own right.

I don’t quite understand why they played Jewel’s “Angel Standing By”. I guess it mentions angels, but it’s not a Christmas song. At all.

But I have banished it from my radio dial not for these lapses, which are really flaws and not transgressions. But banished it I have; I was looking to jumpstart my Christmas spirit through musical transfusion, to enjoy the sounds of the seasons since I am not likely to see snow for Christmas again. But this station’s more involved in having its management wink-wink-nudge-nudge that Christmas doesn’t have to be traditional, that it can be hip and smirky. That’s not why I listen to Christmas music when I bother to listen to Christmas music. So enough already.

The transgression?

I could have happily gone through my entire life without learning Cheech and Chong did a Christmas song.

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