21 December 2011

Grinch alert

Okay, I have to hold my hands up to it: I'm a grinch.

Which is not to say I hate Christmas, heck no. I love the way The Boy's excitement increases as the open doors on his advent calendar add up. I love our little family walk with the dogs on Christmas morning, and the big family gathering in the evening. I love decorating the tree and baking mince pies with sweet pastry so thin they crumble in your hands.

Nope, it turns out, what I don't love is involuntary exposure to Christmas music. Christmas songs on the radio and in the shops drive everybody nuts, so I'm just going to add myself to the end of a long, long list there, and declare that the only Christmas song I can tolerate is Fairytale of New York. 'Nuff Said, and thanks, Tesco, for using it in your advertising and potentially spoiling that one for me too. If that makes me a grinch, then we are legion.

I might, however, be in a minority when it comes to choirs singing carols.

Now I quite like choral music. A friend sings in a choir and The Old Git and I go to their twice yearly concert. Good stuff. However, I don't expect it in the middle of a crowded restaurant.

It was the occasion of our Writing Group Christmas dinner (I do enjoy having four or five different Christmas dinners), and when the group on the next table broke into a rendition of Ding Dong Merrily on High, I thought it was spontaneous and wonderful.

Then they did another one.

And another one.

And another one.

And another one.

Then they did the first one again, and I looked over and realised that this was not a spontaneous outbreak of song. They all had songbooks in front of them, and they were set up for a night of wobbling their tonsils in public. And I started a slow, irritable burn.

I'm sorry, Pain the Arse Choral Society, but it's the noise inspector in me. It doesn't matter what you are choosing to sing, or how well you sing it. What bothers me is that you decided a crowded restaurant was the place for your singalong, regardless of whether the people around you wanted to hear it or not. It's the fundamental 'up yours' inherent in that decision. One carol, sung off the cuff would have delighted me. Planning it in advance? That's just rude.

I will retire with grinchly dignity to my kitchen, and start baking mince pies. When people open their mouths to sing in inappropriate places, maybe I can just pop mince pies in. I figure with a little bit of planning, I can be both grumpy and Christmassy.


  1. Ha! Love that sentiment. I feel the same way.

  2. Much as I like Christmas music, I understand completely. I like my music on my own terms.

  3. I'm glad it's not just me being a grouchy old bag. Not that I'm not anyway, you understand...

  4. I used to like Christmas music. But that was before they started playing it everywhere, all the time, from early November on. Now I just can't stomach it, except for a few traditional carols sung in church.

    As for your "spontaneous" singers... how friggin' rude! If I'd been in that restaurant I'd have told them to shut the eff up so I could eat my dinner in peace.

    But then again, I'm well know as a Scrooge. Bah, humbug.

    It'll be good to get through December and have the days start getting longer.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.