Now that Thanksgiving is over and it's no longer August, it's okay for radio stations to start playing Christmas music. (As if you've been waiting for my permission.)
There are number of stations that have switched to an All-Christmas music format. They usually do gangbusters in the ratings. I believe the trend began with a station or two in Phoenix. KOST in Los Angeles picked it up and it filled their stockings with cash.
Personally, I can't listen. When I was in high school my part-time job was in a record store and of course during the Christmas rush I worked twelve hours a day. And we played nothing but Christmas music. I still can't hear Johnny Mathis without having Vietnam flashbacks.
But there are some Christmas songs I do like. And it's always kind of refreshing to hear them again (SPORADICALLY!).
I know it's schmaltzy but my favorite is "Merry Christmas Darling" by the Carpenters. Sorry but it gets me every time. And there's no cover version that even comes close to Karen.
There's something nostalgic and heart-warming about hearing Nat King Cole's "Christmas Song." (I love how many of the classic Christmas songs were written by Jews.)
Beyond that, I like a lot of the old early rock Christmas tunes. The Phil Spector Christmas album (I wonder how he's doing in prison these days), "Little St. Nick" by the Beach Boys, and who doesn't love Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree?" Of more recent vintage I love Mariah Carey's "All I Want For Christmas Is You."
And when I'm in a more traditional mood, I head right to Linda Eder's Christmas album. If you're not familiar with her, Linda Eder is a spectacular singer. Here's an example:
I don't even like that song, but I like her version.
Since I hear the same six Christmas songs over and over on the radio I can't imagine what a 24-hour Christmas music station must sound like. Whereas news stations have "Traffic on the 4's", do Christmas stations have "Feliz Navidad on the 4's?" How many times do they play Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" on that format? Even if you're a fan of those stations, by December 23rd aren't you ready to arbitrarily just punch people?
But like I said, at least we're close to December. So it doesn't bother me that Christmas music has returned to the airwaves. It will bother me again however, when they're still being played in April.