Sunday 25 Sep 2016

Bah! Humbug!
Matt Seinberg

I readily admit I am not a holiday person. I’ve written previously about the retail industry starting their sales earlier every holiday season. That’s fine. What I find disturbing is the amount of holiday music played.

I state right now, that if you truly like holiday music, move on. You won’t like what I have to say, and I don’t really care. That’s why I get to write this wonderful column every week, and you don’t.

Did I piss anyone off yet?

It’s bad enough when I have to walk into a store and hear the slow and annoying elevator Muzak, but to have to listen to the holiday Muzak is even worse. I immediately turn around and leave, without even bothering to look at something I may have purchased.

Then, of course, there are the regular holiday songs, done and redone by multiple artists that felt they had to record their favorite songs. I would rather have my fingernails pulled out than listen to Neil Diamond sing another Christmas song. I find it very strange that a Jewish man would sing that stuff. After all, he did play a rabbi in a very bad movie once. Would any rabbi sing a Christmas song? I don’t think so.

Oh, wait, a Jewish man, Irving Berlin, wrote the top Christmas song of all time, “White Christmas.” Johnny Marx wrote “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.” Mel Torme co-wrote “The Christmas Song.” Will re-think who sings what.

In past years at my job, we didn’t play holiday music because the store manager didn’t like it. She tried it once for about a day before we all complained about it. She changed it back to regular music.

This year however, a different store manager put it on and even though I asked nicely and not so nicely, to change the music, please, he refused. He even said that if I didn’t behave myself, he’d keep it on all year. At that point, I said if he did that, I would have to take drastic measures.

I saw one of the human resource (HR) women at a luncheon the other day, and I told her I had a complaint about the holiday music. She looked at me as if I was crazy and laughed it off. I think she thought I was kidding. I wasn’t.

I told my manager later I stated my complaint to HR, and he said that he knew, and he walked away as my jaw dropped and I started foaming at the mouth with disbelief.

Here are some things I would rather have done to me in place of listening to all this annoying holiday music.

(1) I'd prefer water boarding by a crazed anti-terrorist CIA agent.

(2) Have mice again in my cabinets. At least I can get rid of them.

(3) Eat broccoli.

(4) Listen to “Stairway to Heaven,” “Free Bird” and “Roundabout,” my most hated songs of all time, while tied to an uncomfortable chair with headphones on. I’ll do that for about an hour.

(5) Clean my bathroom from top to bottom.

If that doesn’t tell you how I feel about holiday music, I don’t know what will. I’ll tolerate “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer,” and “Here Comes Santa Claus,” once a day, but after that please tranquilize me and let me sleep until 26 December.

The only holiday movie I like is “White Christmas,” with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. I first saw when I was 10 years old, staying with my grandmother, in Florida. I stayed up late to watch it on her old black and white television and really enjoyed it.

Seeing it in color years later was a treat. Vera Ellen and Rosemary Clooney were hot in those day and good singers as well.

Call me Scrooge, Grinch or whatever name you can think of. I’ll take and wear it with pride.

Have a happy holiday season without the music, drink some eggnog, kiss under the Mistletoe and stay warm because winter is coming. Bah Humbug, three times over.

Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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