Wednesday, December 22, 2004


It didn’t take me long to recognize we were listening to all-Christmas music radio, not much longer to be sick of it. So I asked Michelle, my hairstylist — if you can call Supercuts employees that — if she were a full-time employee, and, if so, how she could stand it.

She couldn’t, really, even though full time at Supercuts is only 30 hours a week. Michelle told me she’d cracked a few days back, gone back to the radio and tuned it to another station, in slight defiance of her absent manager’s wishes.

Yesterday, though, the Christmas tunes played on. Then a swell of sweet, adventurous music, a line about taking your kid on a magical adventure: a Disney ad. Then strings, a fruity voice, a cringe-inducing claim to present “perfection at its finest”: an ad for L’Espalier, fine dining on Gloucester Street in Boston.

All-Christmas radio is a growing trend. In practicality, it results, though, in Christmas music, Christmas music, Christmas music, commercials; Christmas music, Christmas music, Christmas music, commercials. To a surprising extent, the advertisements become the relief from the music.

The ads become a gift. How’s that for commercializing Christmas?

The commercialism of Christmas is actually a common plaint, but it seems the only cure anyone can suggest is more of it — but the right kind, not the commercial kind! And music seems to be safe, as it doesn’t explicitly advocate the buying of a specific product. But the road to commercialism is paved with good intentions, and you listen to irritating tunes along the way, over and over again. When hearing an ad that has nothing to do with Christmas is like rolling down the window for a rush of fresh air, you can stop driving: You’re there.

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