Curmudgeonly Monday On Saturday – Putting The “X” Back In Xmas & My Holiday Theme Song

Herb’s Blog, Herbdate 22191 – 755:

Here’s the haps:

Last year on Christmas Day I posted “Merry Xmas!” and was able to reason with the torch-bearing mob by explaining that putting an “X” in Christmas has been going on for a long time and in and of itself is not really a big deal. Really, I think most people who lay claim to a Christian faith of any sort know and understand that the holiday has been highjacked by greed for a very long time now. Some even care.

“Herb,” I heard someone in the back say, “What are you doing‽ Don’t you normally do your Christmas rants after Givethanksing Day‽” That’s a good question. I’m really glad you asked me that question. I can even sort of answer that question.

I’m annoyed. It’s not even Curmudgeonly Monday, yet, but I’m annoyed anyway.

November 1st is when a lot of retailers, including my employer, start playing the overhead Christmas music. Some radio stations also do it. I got on the walkie-talkie to my co-workers and said, “Back in the olden times when I first started in retail, There was no Christmas merchandise or decorations out until the day after Thanksgiving and definitely no Christmas music.”

“That was back in your day. We do things different now.”

* Heavy Sigh * Okay, okay. I get that. I hate it, but I get it. But here’s my thing; I will not ever, from now until Xmas day, hear anything about the Birthday Boy. No Silent Night, or God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, or Away In A Manger, or anything even remotely like that. Uh-uh, nosirreebob, none of that stuff. Can’t take the chance of offending some celebrant who might be a paying customer, or worse, smite their conscience for a minute or two into wondering what it’s all about and whether the $75 “My First Karaoke Machine” will really satisfy the little one or make them think about whose birthday it is. God forbid!

No, we will hear songs about how Santa will be bringing lots of presents. We may hear about how Christmases were in the past at home, anything like that, but not God coming to earth and being born as a baby. Jingle the Bells Frosty the Snowman, but don’t say Jesus or Christ Child or Holy One or anything remotely “religious.” Not even, “O Christmas Tree.”

Now, a lot of places also will not be playing any version of, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” which doesn’t really affect me a whole lot. I can hear and understand both sides of the argument, that it glorifies date rape or that it is more about seduction. Either way, it’s not really about Christmas, so why would I bother writing about it or worse, fighting about it. I have heard multiple versions of the song, including a female lead, and it really kind of depends on the artists involved. I do have to make a caveat about one version of the song that I heard which I really enjoy. It was on the Robertson’s, “Duck the Halls” album (which is well worth hearing, especially the song, “Camouflage and Christmas Lights.”) and done by Jase and Missy who are married.

Ashley over at Pinned Blessings, a longtime reader of both my drivel and my genius, who comments here sometimes, gave me a link to this song, which is my holiday theme song:


  1. I loved Christmas music until I worked a seasonal retail job in my early 20’s.
    At my job I knew my shift was finally over after the tenth round of “Frosty the Snowman”.
    But wait! It wasn’t really over. No sir! The track continued all night in my dreams. It’s madness.
    My prayers are with you 😂!!

  2. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was recorded by 11 different artists when it was first released in 1949, many of the recordings nearing the top of the charts. An Egyptian exchange student staying in Colorado went to a dance were it was played, and was so disgusted that he decided to dedicate his life to the destruction of western civilization. He went back to Egypt and formed an organization called “The Muslim Brotherhood.” Fifty-two years later his protege, a man by the name of Osama Bin Laden, orchestrated an attack on the United States that would destroy the World Trade Center, damage the Pentagon and kills thousands of American citizens. I can certainly understand how hearing the same song one too many times can make a person want to blow things up.

  3. On my Facebook feed a few days ago – someone put up a poster that said “Please don’t decorate for Christmas before Nov 12. Have some respect. Lest we Forget”.

    So I commented that it was too late, I put my Christmas tree up right after Halloween. Because the lights cheer me up. And with the time change and snow coming down, and ongoing Covid warnings and media lies and social media telling me what to do – I needed something cheery. Then I linked to the post I did about my Grandfather and his brother who both served in WWI and the brother was killed and his body was never found at the Battle of the Somme.

    Yeah, commerce does push the secular side of Christmas way too soon for my liking and I’m disturbed by the slow erosion of the meaning of Christmas in your country and mine. And that is why my tree goes up early and comes down late (sometimes it is mid May…) because the sparkling little lights on the tree help me to hold onto the memories of every good thing about Christmas.

  4. All this annoying noise and stuff and rat-race and secularism for me simple makes it like the first Christmas. I think a quiet and ordered Christmas wouldn’t really capture what happened!

  5. It’s funny that winter songs were bundled into Christmas songs, but I guess it kind of figures. Even “Baby It’s Cold Outside” was a solstice, secular tune. At least there was a time when the two sides could exist happily together. The irony is that the more one side is marginalized, the harder it gets for everyone to enjoy the season (however long it lasts). The mainstream acceptance of new Christmas songs ebbed decades ago, which is just another sign of how fractured we are. I remain hopeful that we can find truly universal times again. (Ah, part of the trick is for certain winners yesterday to quit actively digging holes looking for conflict. The very strange thing is how they immediately stop looking once it no longer benefits them, and still have the gall to blame division on the other guys.)

    • I think you are right about marginalizing one side. It’s lopsided, really. Blame is kind of the name of the game anymore, it seems. Hope springs eternal, doesn’t it?

  6. I’m feeling pretty shaky about Christmas this year because my son, who lives in NYC, can’t come home because of Covid travel restrictions etc. I just want 2020 to end. I think New Year’s Eve will feel cathartic. This is one year where we really have to count our blessings, because it’s going to be a devastating Christmas for so many. The best part of 2020 for me has been joining this “community” of lovely, intelligent people and getting back to writing.

    • I would never have known of your writing and your poems if it hadn’t been for this year being what it was. I hope you are right and New Years will be a catharsis.

  7. We always had a contest The one with the best sales in the Christmas season was allowed to destroy the Holiday CD’s that were played for twelve + hours everyday.. The thing I want to know is Winter starts Dec.21. three days before Christmas, Sleigh Ride, Jingle Bells, Let It Snow, Winter Wonderland and others are winter songs and have nothing to do with any holiday. Why are they all not played in January when it’s snowing instead of November when the temps are still in the sixties?

  8. I have a love hate relationship with Christmas, mainly because of the whole commercial aspect. Yesterday I was horrified to hear someone on Instagram refer to November as ‘little Christmas’… Cue puking sounds.

  9. “You can make me grumpy but you can’t make me jolly.” This is my new mantra!

    I like the antlers on the cars. It’s kind of “cute.”

    But I don’t do Christmas-y stuff until December 1st. The day after Thanksgiving is still too soon for me.

    I used to write Mary Xmas for forever because it was… easier. The lazy way. But I have returned it spelling it all out since the commercialization of the Holiday has gone too far.

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