Away in a manger, and what’s all that noise?

Cartoon of a nativity scene with a cow and donkey. The cow says, “Nonesense, my dear Donkey! It wasn’t my lowing, but your braying that woke the poor baby!

Away in a Manger is one of my favorite Christmas carols, but it takes so many liberties with the Christmas story. Do stars really look? was there hay in the manger? and there are no details about the livestock in attendance. 

I think the cow has a point. If you ever heard a donkey bray, you know it would be hard to sleep through that. Then again, the lyrics flow as it is. Who wants to sing about a braying donkey? I’ll leave it as is.

Why Does Shopping Mall Christmas Music Drive us Crazy?

Cartoon Template

Early last month, I was at a shopping mall. The streets were decorated for the season and Christmas music was blaring from  loudspeakers. You could see people grimacing and rolling their eyes as “All I Want for Christmas is You,” assaulted us.

I wondered if Ebenezer Scrooge would have changed his ways much sooner if the Ghost of Christmas Mall Music visited him first. Why do people react so negatively when they hear Christmas tunes at the mall?

  • We know the mall is in “The Christmas Spirit” not because of peace on Earth and goodwill toward men. It’s all about the money.
  • While holiday music is king, Christmas carols are gone at the mall. There’s no “Little Town of Bethlehem,” or “O Holy Night.” Now it’s all about Santa Claus and holiday flirting.
  • Original Christmas music is a no-no at the mall. They want the familiar, not the creative. You can have twenty versions of a song for nostalgia’s sake, but heaven forbid we’d get a truly new song. How many versions of “Santa Baby,” do we need, anyway?

I suppose it is asking too much to have the malls think beyond what they think is the right mood music for creating jolly spenders. You can’t expect much more than commercialization at a commercial place. Still, if they’re going to be so bad at setting the Christmas mood, don’t begin the sanitized, commercialized tripe in early November!

Like Christmas

Cartoon of a boy and girl. The girl is angry and says, "It's beginning look a lot like you'll ruin my Christmas!"

Cartoon of a boy and girl. The girl is angry and says, “It’s beginning look a lot like you’ll ruin my Christmas!”

Caroling for Bonuses

Cartoon of a group of Christmas carolers. They’re singing, “€œDeck the Halls With fiscal Slowness, fa-la-la-la-la-a-a, La-la-la-la! Please give us our Year End Bonus…”

I originally drew this a dozen years ago during another economic slow-down. These things happen in cycles.