I really can’t fault the holly-jollies, unless they purport to be practicing Christians. Their defiance of the liturgical calendar is hard to square with their feigned concern about the commercialization of Christmas or the rapid cultural erosion of its sacred meaning. But if they really believe December 25 is important because it is the Nativity of the Lord, then they probably should feel a little more cognitive dissonance when they giddily sing along with Christmas songs in November TV commercials. If you’re a nominal or cultural Christian, or not a Christian at all, then it doesn’t really matter. But holly-jollies who hold themselves out to be religious are definitely sending mixed messages. They rail against nominal Christianity or MTD, yet they think they can ignore the Church calendar and want religion to tell them it’s okay to feel how they want, when they want, on their own terms.
The semi-purists are great, because they at least have thought this through. But Thanksgiving is a pretty arbitrary cut-off for moving from outrage to joy about Christmas music. I love these folks, but they should probably either loosen up and become holly-jollies, or else become actual purists.
I like the purists and consider them my own people, because this is how things were done in my little world when I was a boy. An active awareness about the difference between Advent and Christmastide, along with a persistent opposition to early shopping and decorating would probably do a lot of good for a lot of people. Have your office holiday party. Sing your favorite carols. But do so at the appropriate time. I would say purists occupy the true conservative position with respect to Christmas music.
The liturgical purists, bless their hearts, are so right and yet so wrong. They are snobs, but I think it’s good that we have them looking down on us. I just think it wouldn’t kill these people to experience a little Christmas magic a couple days or weeks before December 25.