Posted to OGR 11/28/2010
OK, Thanksgiving has come and gone. Now, we can get ready for the Christmas and New Year's holidays. I know, I know, in many stores Christmas decorations have already been up for weeks, but in my "baby boomer" heart, the Macy's Parade in New York and the Christmas tree lighting ceremonies that occur on Thanksgiving weekend all over the country mark the real start of the Christmas Season.
I was watching the coverage of "Black Friday" and "Small Business Saturday" this weekend on the news and it looks like sales may be up a little this year. The Christmas Season is the make-or-break time for many merchants and this year is going to be very important since sales were down last year and many retailers wound up in the red. It seemed to me that the crowds in the malls were a little larger than last year and that more of those folks were carrying packages. I noticed something interesting this year; Elvis is back! I must have seen 50 pictures of him in the malls over the weekend. What’s up with that? He’s been gone 33 Christmas seasons now. It just goes to show you that some boomer artists have real staying power in today’s pop culture.
I’ve noticed this year, that some of my neighbors decorated their homes before Thanksgiving. Traditionally in my family, we put the tree up sometime during the first two weeks of December and leave it up until January 6th, Epiphany; the 12th day of Christmas. That is a little out of synch with folks around here who take their trees down no later than New Years, but I’m sticking with that. I feel that way about Christmas music too. I start playing some Christmas songs and carols after Thanksgiving ramping up to a crescendo on Christmas Week then tapering off until New Years. I even play a tune or two between New Years and Epiphany. I dislike the hard cut off of Christmas Carols we have today.
I especially like the Rock and Roll Christmas songs from the ‘50s and ‘60s. I remember getting so excited when I walked into the studios at WCOS and spotted the big box of Christmas songs on the floor in front of the cart machines. I would grin from ear to ear as I dug into that collections of old songs by the Drifters, the Platters, Elvis and all the other artists of the day, mixed in with classics like Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” and Gene Autry’s “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” Did you know that according to Guinness, “White Christmas” is still the biggest selling single of all time with over 100 mission copies sold and that Crosby's holiday collection “Merry Christmas” was first released as an LP in 1949, and has never been out-of-print since? Yes, there is some controversy that Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind 1997” is number one, but Guinness still lists “White Christmas” as number one, and that is just fine with me. Oh MY!
Copyright 2010 Rick Wrigley