There's a radio station in town that for the past 3 or 4 years has played exclusively Christmas music on the weekends in November, then the day after Thanksgiving has played Christmas music 24 hours a day, 7 days a week right up until December 26th.
Don't get me wrong--I'm as much a fan of cheezy, schmaltzy Christmas music as the next guy. But good grief! Christmas has become a hungry monster, gobbling up every ounce of love and meaning in its path...and it must be stopped.
I have a pastor friend who was a broadcast journalism major in college. He has a Sunday morning radio show called Emmanuel in the A.M. that plays on the "Christmas station." He plays a wide variety of music, most of it excellent, and much of it that you really won't hear anywhere else. He takes great pride in finding fantastic musicians who play Christian music who have gone unheard or undiscovered.
But, if you haven't done the math already, since his show is on a Sunday, and the station is committed to playing only Christmas music on weekends, he's been told that he also must play nothing but Christmas music on his show from November 5th (ALL SAINT'S SUNDAY...ugh) through December 24th (when it will FINALLY be appropriate, but so doggone tired out that nobody will care).
The first year the station did this, he said "no" and the station put another show in its place for 2 months. But last year, the pastor decided he didn't want to do that. He has a lot of regular listeners, and there's a lot to be said about a local person with local ties doing this ministry. He realized he was missing out on 2 months of mission opportunity through his show. So he gave in.
He agreed to play Christmas music, but never specified what he would play. So, the first Sunday in November last year, he played Silent Night. For 2 hours. He went through his archives and found every single different version of Silent Night in existence. Another week he played a Christmas choral concert from a local Lutheran college.
And so it went.
I've been listening to the show on my way to church, and so far this November, as much as I can tell from my 15 minute commute, he hasn't had a "theme day" yet. But for 2 consecutive Sundays I HAVE heard a song that sounds like it's by the Rolling Stones lamenting the commercialism of Christmas. When I track down the title and artist I'll post the lyrics...it's cynical, but with the tiniest note of hope.
Anybody have any ideas for either individual songs or "themes" that my friend can play on his show to "stick it to the man" and protest forcing Christmas on us while still playing Christmas music? If you have any good ideas, I'll definitely pass them along.
I think I'm going to suggest that he play The Messiah by Handel in its entirety. That's about 2 hours...