I'll have you all know that in an attempt at self-betterment, I refrained from foisting Christmas music on most people's ears until after Thanksgiving Day. I say most because I reached out to perhaps the most staunch observer of the Turkey Retainer prior to T-Day, and his response was vitriolic--and that's putting it generously. All in the name of research, friend.
That said, I also took a cue from another fine arbiter of musical stylings (I'm looking at you, GK) and shaped my playlist into a single mixed track. But you know what hasn't changed from mixes of past years? This year's collection is still a stone cold bummer!
I kid. But one of my closest held beliefs about the holiday season (regardless of any ideological or religious affiliation) is that it's a difficult time for a lot of people. If one were to take the wanton offerings of consumerism at face value, the season is a time of false happiness festooned with empty purchases. As with all of life, though, it's infinitely more complicated than that. For some, the end of the year brings a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, of hope for the coming calendar change, of excitement to spend time with family (however traditional that may look). I share in some of the warm fuzzies, to be sure. But there's also an undercurrent of dread for the impending unknowns, of longing for a world that isn't constantly in turmoil. There are the bitter pangs of nostalgia, of the knowledge that change marks even our memories with an expiration date.
If you hold a belief in a Savior whose birth is historically celebrated this time of year, the sense of mourning and deep, profound longing is even more marked. Here we observe an event whose central crux is hope--but whose peripheral narrative involves a whole lot of heartache; a created order in conflict with itself. It's often difficult to locate joy in all of that, and while I know the importance of looking forward, I also think it's important to acknowledge grief. Hence, the general tone of this year's Christmas mix. Because this season can be divisive and it can be polarizing, but there's no reason that hope and melancholy can't coexist--if not peacefully, then at least with stoic regard to one another.
So download this year's For You, Blue mix HERE. I hope you enjoy listening to it.
(See past playlists and digest protracted ramblings from past years here.)