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When you need a break from the season

Sign that reads: NOT playing Xmas music

ThatIsOzone says she appreciates Susana, the women's boutique on Centre Street in Jamaica Plain, for this sign.

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Some stores, like the Dollar Store near where I live in East Boston, have been playing Christmas music nonstop since mid-September. I'm telling you, that Phil Spector Christmas album may have been innovative for it's time, but if I hear that hideous arrangement of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" one more time...

It's too bad, really, because Christmas music in small doses can be quite lovely and evocative. But subtlety is a thing of the long past.

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Especially since it's always bad music, not the beautiful stuff. I feel so sorry for employees having to listen to it over and over, day after day.

I was once in Whole Foods near Christmas just before closing, when the store was almost empty of customers, and someone put on an oldies playlist. Customers (and employees) were grinning and dancing to Elvis and thanking the manager on the way out!

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A friend of mine (not in Boston) happened to walk into a market on the 22nd of December and found them playing Bach. She was so pleased to hear that instead of the repetitive Xmas playlists that she has been a loyal customer for the past decade.

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What do you all prefer this time of the year?

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Good music? Something other than the same 25 songs on repeat for 2 months year after year?

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Theologians have confirmed that in Hell, there is a 4-track playlist of:

Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
the Paul McCartney crime against humaniry
Jingle Bell Rock

on repeat for eternity

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is for one single holiday to not take up a full 1/6th (or more!) of the year. A few weeks or a month is fine - two full months and more is simply not acceptable.

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My playlist has over 90 hours of Christmas music. I don't understand why it's difficult to get beyond the core pop 40 list. Here's a few albums to consider:

Kenny Burrell: Have Yourself a Soulful little Christmas
Jimmy Smith: Christmas Cookin'
Booker T. and the MG's: In the Christmas Spirit
Joe Pass: Six String Santa
Boston Brass and the Brass All-Stars Big Band: Stan Kenton Christmas Carols
Matt Wilson: Christmas Tree-O
Take 6: We Wish You a Merry Christmas
Diana Panton: Christmas Kiss
Gordon Goodwin's Big Phat Band: A Big Phat Christmas Wrap This!
James Brown: Funky Christmas
Les McCann: A Time Les Christmas
Duke Pearson: Merry Ole Soul
Northern Lights Orchestra: What if Mozart Wrote 'White Christmas'
The Gypsy Hombres: Django Bells
Al Grey: Christmas Stockin' Stuffer
Chet Baker: Silent Nights
Charlie Byrd: The Charlie Byrd Christmas Album
Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Lost Christmas Eve

and there's so much more.

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I've barely heard any Christmas music while shopping this year, let alone seen stores decorated for the holidays. Overall it's been kind of a bummer to see most stores without cheery festivity.

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...out of respect for those participating in the Little Drummer Boy Challenge.

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I lost that in September this year :(

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