"I hate Christmas music” is a phrase I’ve heard often over the years. What’s to hate? Three-four time? Angels? Babies? The rebirth of the sun?
I’m going to poke the dragon of PC-culture and suggest that Christmas is the perfect holiday and the music has been there since the beginning.
For the entirety of recorded history, December 25 has been the most important day in the cultures north of the equator. For the record, 68 percent of the Earth’s landmass is in the Northern Hemisphere and the vast majority of the cultures we have records of are from the north.
Why is December 25 so important? On December 21 the sun enters its “grave.” It appears stuck from the 22 to the 24. On the 25 it begins to ascend again. That’s a big deal. Imagine primitive humanity observing the sun slowly disappearing for no apparent reason.
There are no guarantees that the sun will begin ascending again. Every year they waited for three days for the sun to rise again and when it did there was a big celebration. There was confirmation that life would continue.
Yes, the stories of Jesus and Osiris rising from the dead after three days go along with the winter solstice even though Easter is in the spring. The significance of being dead for three days comes from the winter solstice. Both Jesus and Osiris were born on December 25 of a virgin.
All this to say that December 25 has been the day of days forever but what of the music?
- “They stay up all night singing hymns to the idol with a flute accompaniment...And they carry the image itself seven times around the innermost shrine with flutes, tambourines and hymns, hold a feast, and take it back down to its place underground. And when you ask them what this mystery means, they reply that today, at this hour Kore — that is, the Virgin — gave birth to Aion." (Epiphanius, Panarion, 22,9)”
Epiphanius, writing in the 4th Century AD, described this musical ritual which was held in Alexandria over the night of December 24. The music was crucial to December 25 celebrations at least 1700 years ago.
Here’s the very true thing about Christmas. It’s already multicultural. December 25 is important in European, Middle Eastern, African, Indian, and Chinese cultures. If you’re not into December 25 you’re not a progressive, you’re just kind of an asshole — unless you’re Jewish.
Every year December is stuffed full of music from Handel’s The Messiah and Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker to Leroy Anderson’s Sleigh Ride and Frank Sinatra singing Silent Night. The music makes the season and the history of all humanity is tied to December 25 so why not go with it? Nay, why not celebrate it as if your life depended on it? Christmas haters, back off.