I am a sucker for Christmas music. The stuff — especially the old recordings I heard every year as a child — just makes me melt. But this year, while driving home in a particularly melancholy (okay — cranky) mood, a verse of We Need a Little Christmas struck me.
For I've grown a little leaner,
Grown a little colder,
Grown a little sadder,
Grown a little older,
And I need a little angel
Sitting on my shoulder,
I need a little Christmas now.
For such a peppy, carefree tune (which I will always associate with my Grandma), these are dark sentiments. Suddenly the "need" in the title seems a little gritty. If I follow this thread to its cynical end, the whole reason we throw ourselves at the Christmas season is because regular life is so lousy.
I don't always spend my time souring over the back-handed good wishes in Christmas music, though. In fact, because I am a creature of habit, I'll continue to enjoy and revel in everything Christmas, thank you very much, cheery music and all. It's just that without a bit of melancholy for perspective, happiness is just ignorance.
So with (or perhaps in spite of) all the perspective I can muster, I wish everyone a very Merry Christmas: be nicer than you would be, happier than you should be, and thankful for the opportunity to do so.