I find this time of year sort of fascinating, at least when it comes to music. Let me just start off by saying that people have very, very strong feelings about Christmas music. Very strong.
And really, it goes both ways. Strong positive feelings, and strong negative feelings.
It is interesting, working in the OR, to see the differences in opinions. See, we pretty much always listen to music while operating. It is just part of the background sound of the OR. There are lots of sounds, anesthesia machines with their myriad noises, suction devices, lasers, warming blankets, etc.
And music. It is one of those things that, unless someone is very new to the OR, if music isn’t playing (with some circumstances being exceptions), we all just sort of feel like something is off.
So, there are those who love Christmas music and can hardly wait until it is deemed appropriate timing to start playing it. Much to the chagrin of many. You see, generally speaking, the surgeon gets to pick the music. So if the OR staff aren’t on board, it can be a difficult day full of listening to music you may not like. Just ask those who have to work with me and put up with my music. I get it.
But Christmas music is a different beast all together. Any genre of music can have Christmas songs. Sure, there are more than a few metal Christmas albums. And country, and pop, and classical, and maybe even rap and hip hop? I’m guessing, because I don’t really know there. Yet Christmas music has that ability to transcend genres. That is one of the things that can make it so good. Or so, so bad.
I love classic Christmas music. I mean, we are talking the classic carols here. I love choral versions of those classics. Or instrumental. Doesn’t matter the genre either. If it is a tastefully done version of one of the classic Christmas songs, I actually really will enjoy it.
Sadly, those songs get butchered time and time again by artists trying to do something new with it. I have heard versions of “Silent Night” that never fail to bring tears to my eyes. And I have heard versions that have me wanting to stab my eardrums to never have to hear them again.
And don’t get me started on poppy Christmas tunes. All of these more “modern” Christmas songs can just go jump in a lake, thank you very much. No, I don’t care that you saw mommy kissing Santa Clause. Or that it’s cold outside (that song creeps me out big time). Take your chestnuts and shove them where the sun don’t shine! And your two front teeth and hippopotamus were cute. When you were 4. Now? Grow up.
So there it is, the grinch in me. I don’t play Christmas music in the OR. There needs to be an oasis from the terrible, terrible festive tunes out there. I’d like to think that is part of my calling in life. To provide that shelter from the crap storm that is the vast majority of “popular” Christmas music.
After all, someone needs to fight the madness. Might as well be me.