In Walgreens the other day (actually it was three weeks before Halloween) I noticed they had put an animatronic Santa Claus just inside the doorway to greet visitors. It was almost life-sized, and had been rigged with some sort of motion detector so that when you got anywhere near it, it started belching out distorted Christmas music and ho-ho-hos while flailing about in some mechanical approximation of jolliness. After bruising my foot on its shin and finally unplugging the damned thing, it occurred to me how surreal a world it is where fake humans are employed to spread the Christmas spirit. It offends me at some gut level, and I’m not even Christian. (By all rights, they should be mad as hell!) It’s like some Pavlovian thing where Walgreens rings the bell and we’re supposed to start salivating over discounted Flowbees. At least human Santas usually have enough sense to shut up when they see the look in my eyes.
Anyhow, my antidote to this seasonal plague is to watch the first half of “A Christmas Carol” and listen to music I personally think better represents the spirit of the season than the usual holiday pablum. Here’s one selection: