Christmas Music Is Bad

Where Is the Music for the Broke Single City Dweller?

By Kady Ruth Ashcraft ·
Photo: Getty Images

Hi, scrooge here! I am going to be blunt and to the point. Christmas music is bad. Christmas isn’t bad! The holiday itself is lovely and beneath all the tacky silver tinsel, is full of fellowship and reflection. But the music we are subjected to from Thanksgiving to the New Year, the same 17 songs it feels, either remind you that you’re lonely or you don’t live in a Victorian estate but instead a shitty apartment with poor heating.

Starting with the latter critique, a lot of these seasonal tunes are making huge assumptions we have, say, halls to deck. I’m sure if I had a yard and four hours to kill, I wouldn’t feel so attacked by Frosty the Snowman, but I wouldn’t recommend even touching, let alone making a snowman, out of snow on the median of the BQE ramp. Santa isn’t coming down any chimney in Brooklyn and I’m not leaving out cookies because I my building has a bad history with crumbs and rodents. And before you call me bitter, I’d argue it’s the music’s job to lift my mood, not serve as a bleak reminder that I have neither a staircase to walk down to see mommy kissing Santa Claus nor a savings account. Call me up when there’s a song about how comforting it is to eat the tamales the woman on the street corner sells in the snow.

My bigger issue with Christmas songs, though, are that they are mostly thinly veiled love songs. Christmas is the justification to either explain that you’re in love, complain that you’re not in love, or entertain the prospect of falling in love in sub-zero weather. No matter where you fall on the love spectrum (in, out-of, not-sure-if-) these romantic ballads and jingles are completely overwhelming when you’re simply trying to navigate politics at the dinner table or negotiate getting a second slice of pecan pie. For those of us not in storybook romances, it’s also an insane amount of pressure to follow "All I Want For Christmas Is You" with asking for like, an H&M gift card. Similarly, it’s grim listening to the dramatic "Blue Christmas" while you’re simply thinking, “it’s nice having a few days off work where I don’t have to change out of pajamas.” Must we intensify the already jam-packed holiday season with the pressure of finding a soulmate?

All of which begs the question: what would a more realistic Christmas song include? Well, ideally it wouldn’t be too saccharine in it’s message of love. So, we’re talking a song about really liking sleeping in or about how tasty that pecan pie is you want seconds of. And it won’t just discourteously assume I’m anything like my successful high school friends who all have mortgages and lawns with backyard pergolas that are dusted with a light snowfall. 

Therefore, I propose the following as the perfect holiday jingle: “Don’t the lights on my fire escape look serene/ It’s feeling like Christmas in apartment 215 / I’m enjoying this Keurig from my Aunt Linda / Still thinking about that pretty good date with that guy from Tinder.” 

Listen for it on the radio, starting September 2018.

Kady Ruth Ashcraft

Kady Ruth Ashcraft is a writer, comedian, filmmaker, and Amtrak Princess. Follow her on twitter @kadyrabbit and tweet her pictures of your pets.

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