And the stores dust the displays that have been in place since Hallowe’en.

James Lileks | Monday, November 28
They’re playing Christmas songs at the coffee shop now; the staff informs me that the selection consists of the same four songs played over and over again, but by different artists. I wouldn’t doubt it.

…Now it’s the Johnny Mathis version of “Sleigh Ride,” which sounds less like a holiday tune than an elocution lesson; the man could certainly enunciate. Pass around the cof-fee and the pump-kin pie! He hits Pump! like someone launching off the lip of a ski jump.

This is nostalgia for some – it’s nostalgia for me, for that matter; I remember these versions from my childhood, although I never liked it – but you have to remember that it was nostalgia then, inasmuch as it refers to the “Currier and Ives” versions of the seasons that people already lamented losing. But that’s Christmas; a mass consensual illusion that the holiday existed in some perfect state, and that this state can be replicated again if we find the right combination of lights, ornaments, songs, nutmeg candles, Pottery Barn CD compilations, pine-scented infusers, kicky shoes and brie spreaders.

And, of course, that time-tested Christmas tradition, radio theatre.

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