Friday, my friends, was November 8, and I decided to take a ride up toward New England. I knew the trees were past peak, but the ride is a pretty one, especially for a guy from Long Island. So, off I went.
I lost the Long Island and New York City Radio stations long before I got to New Haven, so as anyone who has travelled by car to another part of the country, your pre-set stations sound like snow, you know, the static of the car radio. If you are the driver, instinctively, you reach for the dial and start turning until something you recognize, and like, comes in clear.
So, as I was driving alone, I did the typical American play by play: Tune. Listen. Tune. Listen, again. Tune once more… What is this? Christmas music? November 8? When I was expecting “Sunshine of Your Love?”
I checked my phone for the date, and, yep, it was three days after Election Day and two weeks before Black Friday, and the “greetings cards have all be sent” as we were “rockin’ ’round the Christmas tree” was playing loud and clear. After all, I don’t think I’ll have a “blue Christmas”, but I do know that “mele kalikimaka is the thing to say” in our beautiful, tropical, volcanic state.
So, anyway, I thought it was just a lunchtime tease because it was just past noon when I heard Sinatra and Cindy Lauper dueting ”you better watch out, you better not cry,” and I called a friend to listen to the radio with me. I said to turn to that station so she could hear it, too. She said that was nuts. that it was not even Thanksgiving, and besides, she can’t listen to Christmas music until she finished the turkey, stuffing and watching football.
Now, I happen to like Christmas, the songs, the food, decorating, the whole sha-bang. Those of you who know me, know that I always started “rigging up the lights” in October, while it was warm out, and was done decorating by Veterans Day weekend. All I had to do the weekend before Thanksgiving was run the extension cords, test again and then, on Thanksgiving eve, the circuit breakers for the timers would be turned on. When I had my house, the Long Island paper published my home as an “honorable mention” for one of the best decorated on the Island. And when I was decorating, I would put Christmas CDs in the portable radio/CD player to get I to the mood.
But that’s just me.
This is crazy that a commercial, classic rock station, which by the way, called it Christmas music, not the politically correct “holiday” music, would forgo its format so early. But, I guess being first with Christmas music, for people like me, is a unique way to attract listeners to their base. And by the way, they cross-advertised that they were on I HEART RADIO.
So, let me be the first to say “all I want for Christmas is you” because ”Dominic, the Italian Christmas Donkey” is cute, but doesn’t really set the mood. And, while “I wanna wish you a Merry Christmas. From the bottom of my heart,” I know it will soon be “Christmastime in the city.”
“Merry Christmas, Darling.”