Friday, December 8, 2023

7 Quick Takes about Christmas Music, Updating the Classics, and Icebergs that Don't Seem to Explain Much

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


I listen to Christmas music all December. Most years, I simply find a random radio station playing Christmas music and listen to that, but it has its drawbacks.

First drawback: I have to listen to "Last Christmas." Even one time per year is too many.

Second drawback: the radio plays more (or all) secular songs, but not as many of the traditional carols which to me feels empty and almost annoying after a while. You can only listen to grown adults going nuts over snow and Santa Claus for so long before wanting to hit someone with a shoe.

So I've been making my own Christmas music playlist on YouTube, and as I've decided which songs make the cut and which don't, I've learned a few things about my taste in holiday music. Basically, I just want Frank Sinatra and nothing but Frank Sinatra. He is the pinnacle of perfection when it comes to classic Christmas music, in my opinion.


While I was creating the playlist, I somehow fell down the rabbit hole of AI-generated Freddie Mercury covers of songs he never covered. In some cases, the songs weren't even written until after he died. 

It started with "AI Freddie Mercury sings All I Want for Christmas," which actually... wasn't bad. If I had to choose between this version and Mariah Carey's, I would probably pick AI Freddie Mercury:

I had no idea this genre even existed. I amused myself by digging around for a while, but after listening to AI Johnny Cash singing Barbie Girl I had to step away and say "Okkkkay... that's enough Internet for today."


Speaking of weird music mashups, I came home the other day to my 17-year-old unironically listening to this:

"Have you ever heard Eminem's actual music?" I asked.

"No," she said.


At our town dump is the swap shop, kind of a free give-and-take for whatever items you have but don't want anymore.

After finding this in there, I was a little sad that I don't know how to play cribbage or know anyone who does:

Talk about updating the classics.

I put this back in hopes that it would make the perfect Christmas gift for the right person, if only they happened to find it.


While I was watching my 9-year-old son's undefeated indoor soccer team compete in the final game of the playoffs,
one of the kids they'd just beaten was sitting with his mom on the bench beside me and kept saying "I'm mad! I'm mad at the other team!"

A little while later, my son's team came off the field and they'd lost too. He was a pretty good sport about it, but mentioned it a couple of times that night, saying "Mom, I'm mad that we lost."

I thought it was an interesting choice of words, and it was interesting that I heard it twice from two different boys. So I thought I'd ask my son about it.

I showed him a picture of the anger iceberg and told him that getting mad is a response to another feeling that you have first. He looked blankly at me and said, "I didn't have a feeling, it was just annoying." So I'm not sure anything came of it. Or if anything should come of it. 

I guess there's no harm in him being mad after losing a soccer game, but maybe the next time there's a sibling conflict it's worth trying to have him figure out what else besides "mad" is in there.


My oldest daughter is all grown up now, and I have proof.

I texted her at college to ask what she wanted me to say about her in our Christmas letter this year, and she responded 
  1. promptly 
  2. with several texts full of relevant, helpful information!


In related news, I asked the younger kids what they wanted me to say about them and the suggestions I received were "I dunno" and "stuff."


I still think of myself as having little kids, but when I consider that even my youngest can brush his own teeth and buckle his own seatbelt and make his own scrambled eggs and stay home alone for an hour or two without me worrying... I guess I don't, really.

He's in 2nd grade now so there aren't as many adorable misspellings around the house. But from time to time I still see them and they make me smile, like how he decided to add "morning routine" to his checklist of things to do for the day:

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