Christmas Is In The Air?

It’s weird to think that it’s December. For my whole life, when December rolled around, there was cold to roll in with it. Actually, in Colorado and Germany, the cold often began to roll in as early as September. If the weather in Colorado in December can be described as “shit,” then the weather in Germany was more like “colder than shit.” But here, there’s not been snow since…ever, as far as I can tell. I asked all of my students if any of them had seen snow, and in each class, maybe 10% had seen snow in real life. And for some reason, most of them had seen it in New Jersey.
In any case, the weather here now is pretty warm and generally getting warmer and sunnier. And there are palm trees on the street, the leaves of which never fall off due to autumn arriving. I’m very concerned about heading back to Colorado next Wednesday, although I’ve been assured that the golbal warming is working and it’s pretty toasty in Colorado right now.
Still, it’s hard to find traces of Christmas if you don’t know where to look. Especially since I’ve not heard the incessant and repetitive playing of Christmas carols so common in the fatherland.
I know, I hate Christmas music, so I must be a Grinch or a Scrooge or a Communist. Well, bite me, because most of the Christmas songs you hear at department stores suck. I especially loathe the “hip,” “modern,” or “rocking” Christmas music, such as traditional “favorites” like “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer,” and–especially–“Jingle Bell Rock.” All those songs can come up to Grinch Mountain and kiss my ass.
God has been quite merciful indeed, then, by sparing me from those songs, but he has saved a special treat to punish all my life’s sins so far: the song “Feliz Navidad.” If you’ve ever heard me rant about music, you know that this is at the top of my list of most hated songs, and now that I’ve heard numerous renditions, remixes, and distortions of it while living in a Spanish-speaking country, I can really say with conviction that this is probably the worst and most annoying song ever written.
Just so you don’t consider me a total asshole, though, let me say this: I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to my celebration of Christmas. I pretty much like all the traditional songs sang at Christmas Eve church services, where the songs are sang they way they were written, and not whispered out by Amy Grant, distorted by a 35-piece bell choir, or disgraced by Jingle Dogs (here let me apologize to many various members of my nuclear and extended families). I also really like how here many houses make a big deal out of putting up a nativity set in their front yard. Although there are still gaudy inflated Frosty The Snowman and Santa Claus knock-offs, one gets the feeling that here they actually DO remember the “reason for the season,” as one so often hears in the U.S.
As a final note, let me say that I have always hated wind. I always associated it with negative things, like Wyoming, or a tree near our house that continually thumped the roof when it was windy at night. At least it did for most of my childhood until the family finally decided to cut it down. So when the “windy season” started here a few weeks ago, I was a bit annoyed about it. But two nights ago, I was talking to a taxi driver on the way back from Berlin, and I mentioned how I didn’t mind cold weather, but I really hated wind. He said, “Oh, I really like wind.” I asked him why and he replied, “Well, it reminds me of Christmas. They even call them the ‘Winds of Christmas’ here, and it helps you get into the spirit of the season.” So, I guess my lesson for today is something like “When in Rome, there are different strokes for different folks.” And now I don’t hate wind quite as much.

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One thought on “Christmas Is In The Air?

  1. I see where you’re coming from on that one. Christmas seems like an afterthought down here. The weather is getting hotter and hotter and I haven’t heard a single Christmas carol or seen a single Christmas light on any houses. It’s kind of nice, but it also kinda sucks, since everyone loves Christmas, and the feeling you get around Christmas. Oh well. I’ll just wait until the day before to get into the spirit once I get down to Sydney.

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