Preface: I love Christmas. It’s my absolute FAVOURITE time of the year. I love the music so much that I listen to it non-stop starting Dec.1 and I sing along when I’m wandering through malls and shopping the aisles of grocery stores. I spend way too much money, but I don’t care. I deal with credit cards in the off-season. I go nuts decorating my house, and berate the people in my neighbourhood without adequate light displays. I send Elf Yourself ecards. I have special ‘once-a-year’ Christmas socks. I will buy any food product that is ‘Candy Cane flavoured’. I still have trouble falling to sleep on Christmas Eve, and I still wake up before dawn just to lay awake watching the ceiling until it is an acceptable hour to get the family up.
So to be perfectly clear… I love Christmas.
That being said. (Feel free to re-read the Preface before continuing…)
I am NOT a fan of how TV networks deal with Christmas. Let me explain. Somehow I envision the TV execs getting together to pitch Holiday programming, and that it might go a little something like this:
Exec 1 “Here is a list of all the (XYZ) network celebrities that signed their big TV contracts without reading the fine print.”
Exec. 2 “Here is a list of every potential scenario we’ve come up with for 6-episode Game Shows”
Exec 3 “Here are the celebrities with Christmas Albums dropping this year”
Exec 1 “Attach as many (XYZ) network celebrities to either host, or judge these shows. Add performances by any celebrity with a Christmas album.”
Exec 3 : What should we do about the rest of the list?
Exec 1: Give them their own Christmas special.
No, I did NOT watch ‘Take it All‘ last night. I also steered clear of Extreme Home Makeover: The Holiday edition… and I found myself finding reasons to leave the room when The Voice became a Holiday Sing-along and Promo for Blake Shelton Christmas album and Michael Buble’s Christmas Special.
There’s cheeseball Christmas, like faberge ornaments and Rudolf the Red Nosed reindeer in stop motion. Then there’s insulting Christmas, like weepy specials that exploit the poor, the sick or the families of military just to get a reaction. These shows are ratings gold mines because they pull everything else OFF the air to make room for them.
…and when was the last time you watched a Christmas Special without feeling a little uncomfortable about the level of cheeseball you were enduring? It’s not natural, and there is a reason why they can only get away with airing this stuff once a year.
The reason? People like me, and perhaps, people like you. We become the Christmas versions of ourselves this time of the year. The more patient, the more accepting, the more easily entertained by an off-key children’s choir on a paper mache float.
As much as I can get on my soapbox and demand reform, I can’t promise that I won’t get sucked in by a caroling competition featuring inner-city at-risk youth. I’m not a martyr. I simply wish that networks could find a way to ‘keep Christmas’ without assaulting us with overt Holiday filler… sponsored by your favourite soft drink.