The other day I ventured into the Bay, downtown Toronto, looking for a specific item that, as it happens, I didn’t find. Walking around the store searching for a Plan B gift it occurred to me that the reason I’m a late Christmas shopper is because I only enjoy holiday music on actual Christmas Eve and Day. I don’t know if this is a bi-product of spending so many Christmases working in retail or if it’s a December-birthday protest. But I can tell you that the more holiday music that’s played the faster I high-tail it outta the store.
On this particular day, it didn’t matter where I went, a sad Christmas song followed me. “What do the lonely do on Christmas,” plaintively played in the Bay; another store a male hip-hop singer whined, “My girl forgot about me this Christmas.” In the absence of a decent newly penned Christmas song, I’ll take a good ol’ Jingle Bells or Let it Snow.
“What do the lonely do on Christmas,” is not a song you want to hear as you cruise through a mall, knowing that the last few Christmases have been a kind of lonely you find hard to speak about, and clearly there’s been not much progress in these last 365 days. Sure, I have family and friends. But there’s something extra special missing at this extra special time, that seems to last an extra special longer time with each passing year.
I didn’t even have the energy to feel insulted by such a song. What do the lonely do indeed?
As a kid I loved the season, most kids do, and having those memories are what makes solo Christmases sorta sad. In theory I still do enjoy the holidays. In practice, I try to make the most of them. But if the stores must serenade us, please don’t let it be with a song that puts me back in the mood I work so hard to cajole myself out of at this time of year.