Here's the Scoop: Dec. 30, 2009

Same old song...again and again...
How many others out there are really relieved that Christmas is over? I thought so.
I’ve got to admit it, for all the pain that the most recent recession has caused, I really did appreciate the fact that this financial meltdown erased much of the holiday season pressure. I doubt if the trend will last, but I liked the fact that presents became quite a bit less important in the past few years. Unless, of course, you were in charge of a company trying to sell useless trinkets to the masses.
Last week, I provided a few crumbs of information about my Christmas cookie obsession, as some folks like to describe my hunger for these taste treats. Frankly, I’ll be darn glad when all those cookies are gone — and I’m eating overtime to make that happen. After all, we’ve got to get ready for the rapidly approaching sweets of Valentine’s Day. Followed shortly by the holiest time of year, Mini-Egg Season.

Tune me out
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Christmas still lingers. I know there’s a big chunk of the population that disposes of Christmas trees as quickly as Tiger Woods gets rid of Bimbettes. Not so in our household. The tree stays…at least for another week. It’s a part of the family. Fortunately, rapidly dropping needles ultimately make me stop pining for the presence of the tree.
The departure of Christmas music is a bit more swift. I’m pleased to report that, unlike many retail outlets, we don’t start our holiday tune playing in mid-October. About two weeks before the actual event is when the Christmas discs make their annual appearance in our house. About a week before the actual event is when the annual “Wow, we need some new holiday music,” comments start.
There are a decent number of enjoyable Christmas songs (Meiko’s “Maybe Next Year” is my current favorite) that can put one in the holiday mood. However, in recent years, I’ve noticed many folks becoming more vocal about songs about which they are not very fond. Even though it seems harsh, “hate” is the term used to describe many of these tunes.
For whatever reason, there are some songs that just rub people the wrong way. Christmas tunes are no exception. It doesn’t help that many of these songs are heard — just about everywhere you go — an average of 389 times over the course of a few weeks. This year, I’ve heard plenty of agreement that “Silent Night” and “White Christmas” are numbers that should be wrapped up — and never opened again.
Personally, “Twelve Days of Christmas” probably tops my list of un-favorite seasonal tunes. That song seems to go on for 12 days — none of them pleasant, for me.
But even the “good” Christmas music runs its course. Holiday tunes that were familiar, yet fresh, on tree-trimming night soon begin to have the appeal of leftover turkey a week after Thanksgiving. Still, on Christmas Eve and Day, I felt an extreme obligation to squeeze a couple of last plays from our holiday discs.
I may have taken things a bit too far when our guests were forced to listen to holiday tunes on the day after Christmas.
“Do you think maybe we could give the Christmas tunes a rest — and have a Silent Night?” I obliged.
Still, we couldn’t entirely escape the seasonal celebration as Christmas cookies were the primary dessert item.
“You’ll have to have coffee or tea with those,” I advised. “Due to the recession, we had to lay off the eight maids who were a-milking.”
— Brian Sweeney