It is the day after Christmas. I began writing this earlier today. In fact, I completed it in Microsoft Word and was getting ready to upload to my blog. But when I tried to save the document, the computer would not respond. As a matter of fact, I lost everything I wrote. The standard Word 2007 feature of saving a copy after a crash, failed. I spent a large part of the day trying to figure out what was going on. I know that when I returned from Miami last weekend I noted the computer was sluggish, and so I restarted. (We leave the computer on 24/7 for the sake of doing updates.) Upon the restart it said it was completing updates from Windows. Up until then, Word worked fine. Today was the first time since that update that I tried using Word. I actually had to resort to an uninstall-reinstall today but this did not fix the problem either. All the other solutions online did not work, but I learned that many people who use Windows 8.1, like me, have had the same problem. I did find a work-around until the Windows computer wonks admit there is a problem and fix it with another update (which will likely break something else). The work around was opening a Word document that had already been saved, delete the content, and begin recreating. There are many documents on my PC that are no longer needed. I tested this out first, and since it worked, I was in business! Perhaps it is good I have not deleted any of the old documents, in the event that Windows does not get around to fixing the problem for another year – I’ll have many usable files for future writing endeavors.
Now it is dark outside and I shall attempt to recreate what I had once considered to be a masterpiece. What I had reflected upon earlier today was that the day after Christmas leaves many in a down mood. In fact, today I felt like an emotional vacuum had consumed my energy and it was not because of the computer problems. I think many people go through this post-Christmas blues syndrome. Perhaps they did not get gifts they wanted or needed. Maybe someone was down because they wanted that rare, off-kilter, spooky lounge organ LP, Hay! Kelly!, and did not get it. (That’s because I won the bid in the last seconds of the auction on eBay, suckers!)
The commercial marketing of the holiday spending frenzy started at some stores right after Labor Day. Of course, the “official” holiday season begins immediately after Thanksgiving and continues its bombardment of Christmas radio and television ads – even online, one cannot avoid the sidebar seasonal ads on nearly every Website. Community events with holiday themes begin to spring up everywhere. And then there is the ever-pervasive Christmas music. I believe every popular artist on the planet must have felt the urge to perform the obligatory Christmas song or album. Even as a kid, I remember hearing on one of my parents’ Christmas albums Barbra Streisand singing “The Lord’s Prayer” and wondering, “Wait a minute, isn’t she Jewish?” Radio stations dig out some of the decades-old classics like “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” by Gayla Peevey (1953), or “Dominic the Christmas Donkey” by Lou Monte (1960) and then recycle them over-and-over-and-over.
And how many times can one stand to hear Elmo & Patsy’s “Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer”? Yet every year I dig out the Christmas albums I inherited from my folks, as well as others I have accumulated over the decades. I have to confess that one of my secret pleasures is playing the Ray Conniff Singers LP “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, to my family’s chagrin. When I was growing up, my family would continue playing Christmas music well into January. I don’t, but I might continue until New Years Day, and I have been known to play a Christmas album in July. I notice now, however, that the radio stations stop playing Christmas music suddenly at midnight on Christmas, reverting back to their regular format. I suppose program directors assume everyone has had enough at the close of Christmas Day. But this sudden change contributes to that vacuum I mentioned earlier.
Yes, the day after Christmas is the day the stores are crowded with masses of human flesh returning items they did not need nor want. What better way to try and get rid of the blues? Just return the offending, unwanted items for something else that you never would have purchased for yourself, and tell yourself that all is well. On the day after Christmas the media begins to gear up for the next big day, and the bacchanal New Year’s Eve bashes to take place in less than a week, followed by wall-to-wall football on nearly every television station.The television networks used to do a recap of the past year, but I don't see that happening as much as I used to see decades ago. Instead, we just keep looking ahead. No time to reflect on the past.
However, I do plan to reflect on the past. In my next offering I will talk about some of my favorites from the local music scene as well as my favorite music purchases of 2014.