Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Chiming in on the important questions of our time

My blog buddy Amanda Brice inspired this post with her musings about the traditional "No Christmas Music Until After Thanksgiving Rule." She protested the rule today, treating her office to a rousing musical celebration of "The Nutcracker." Normally, my thought is that any office playing something other than MUSAK mid afternoon as we wind our way into the dull days of winter should be celebrated. But I have to draw the line on Christmas songs, and chime in to say that we (okay, I) need to keep them on ice until this coming Friday.

Now, I'm not usually a stickler about these kinds of things. You can place responsibility for my rigidity on this particular point of etiquette squarely on the slim shoulders of my college roommate:

Back in my dorm days (junior year, to be precise) I came back to our room one morning after a Biology class that involved analyzing the inner workings of dead mammals. (To this day, nothing says "deck the halls!" to me like the smell of formaldehyde.) As a political science major/aspiring lawyer, I thought I should be exempt from dissecting animals because I spent my time dissecting arguments, but the administration didn't buy my line of reasoning. Anyway, I entered our room, threw my books on the desk, and collapsed on my bed, only to be surrounded by a surreal, high-pitched wail, an electronic drumbeat, and a bit of tambourine thrown in to sweeten the tune. To my astonishment, my quiet, preppy roommate was dancing around our room with a hairbrush, belting out the lyrics to "I saw Mommy kissing Santa Claus" via the song stylings of The Carpenters, and their hit album, An Old Fashioned Christmas.

It was October 19th.

The next week it got worse, as she broke out Barry Manilow's Because It's Christmas, to which I replied, "Um, no. It's not."

We had a moment of tough love there in the room. I told her that finals were coming up, that we had papers to write. She said, "But we need a little Christmas...right this very minute...candles in the window...carols at the spinnet!" "Don't argue in Christmas songs!" I protested, "You don't even know what a spinnet is!" She looked sad, like my three year-old niece when I tell her that my dog won't ever get to go to kindergarten. "But if you find out over Thanksgiving," I relented, "You can play Karen, John, and Barry all you want after that."

As Robert Frost once said, "Good fences make good neighbors."

For years after we graduated, my phone rang on the Friday after Thanksgiving, and I'd be greeted by the vibrant enthusiasm of Barry's "Baby It's Cold Outside." Payback, as it turns out, is part of the holiday spirit :)

So it's in her honor that my two new Christmas CD's (okay, the first I've ever owned - it's taken me awhile to cozy up to this seasonal music thing) are sitting on the corner of my kitchen counter, still wrapped in cellophane, waiting for Friday afternoon when I haul the decorations up from the basement and wrap our little condo in a sparkly festival of Christmas cheer.

Until Friday, though, there is much for which to be Thankful. Start thinking of yours, cause you know I'm gonna ask...



Anonymous said...

No Trish, it's YOU who needs to run for office. If you can enforce the no Christmas music before Thanksgiving rule, I'll make sure you get elected. Trish Ryan for President. Sounds nice, right? I can just picture the "Ryan 2008" stickers.

I've got connections. The Ukrainian Baptist Mafia (a truly scary bunch) and I will make sure you end up in the White House.

Once you're President, the nation will see that it is wrong to make animal dissection mandatory.

kim said...

I'm a Christmas music geek, but I do wait until Friday to play it. Too early takes all the fun out of it (although, apparently not for your old roomate).

The Friday phone calls really make me like that person --does she still do it?

b/sistersshoes said...

This was a comedy and a definite 5 star laugher.

My girlfriend was the same way...if I even hummed a tune before THAT friday, I got pinched :O

soooo mean, you all are sooo mean ;)

love U,
xox darlene

Trish said...

I hear ya...any earlier than Nov 25th is just not "Christmas time" and I don't want to hear the music! By the time Christmas rolls around I am so sick of Jingle Bell Rock etc etc etc etc

Jenny Rough said...

I love Christmas music . . . been listening to it for quite some time now much to my husband's dismay.

Fa la la la la!

Anonymous said...

I've always loved Christmas music but really feel the need to keep it under wraps until 'The Friday After'. But now I've hooked my sons, and to them, no month is too early!

I like that your roommate answered your demand with Christmas lyrics--very clever.

Kim Stagliano said...

Once you have kids the whole calendar thing goes to hell. Rudolph in July? Why not. Frosty in February? Fab! And frankly, DVD's have ruined the whole "Quick, turn on ABC! It's a Charlie Brown Christmas!" between my family members and me.

Funny stuff.

Swishy said...

I can't do Christmas ANYTHING until after Thanksgiving. I'll gladly take the MUZAK, of which I am a huge fan :)

LEstes65 said...

Christmas trappings put out in stores around (or even BEFORE) Halloween scares the crap out of me. Christmas music in the office? I have a problem with that. Probably because I don't want to be forced to listen to anyone else's music. I make this point by asking my coworkers if they really want to listen to MY music. They have no idea that my tastes are actually rather classic. They have visions of death-goth-metal or who knows what. But Christmas music in an office...problems. Not for me but for my non-Christian friends. Better get a CD changer with some Channukah (sorry for the bad spelling), Ramadan, Yule and other religion's winter holiday songs (if they exist). But I'll support the Trish for President sentiment on any day. And I agree - save Christmas for after Thanksgiving - don't wear it out before it even gets here!

LEstes65 said...

Oh - and I took your tag early. Today's posting on my blog lists 10 things I'm thankful for. You'd obviously be #11! Ha!

Anonymous said...

My philosophy is that it's okay to buy Christmas decorations, music etc., before Thanksgiving as long as nothing is deployed until the day after Thanksgiving...at least a minute or two after midnight. :)

Regarding Ryan 2008 - you've got my vote and I would gladly canvass my neighborhood in support. :)

Sarakastic said...

One of the few radio stations that exsists in UT plays Christmas all day everyday, starting the day after Halloween. enough said