This year, I've been playing my Christmas music, as usual. I only listen to Christmas music - both religious and profane - in the actual month of December. Which is probably why shops who slap on their 'Now that's what I call Xmas' in September annoy me so much. There's something trivial, easy and unthinking about this practise. Does no-one in these stores have any sense or decorum?
They could, of course, adopt the musical policy of Clapham Common tube station who play classical music in their foyer; usually beautiful, restful and uplifting Vivaldi. Because this year I've discovered Arcangelo Corelli's Christmas Concerto. Now, this I could tolerate in September though - like a chastened monk, I'd never play it at home before 1st December.
Yes, a baroque concerto about Christmas. Why have I never found this piece of music before, me who loves to baroque and roll so very much? It's serious, moving, beautiful even. It reminds me that Christmas isn't just about discos when you were 16, or first kisses, or friends who were important at the time but are now a wistful footnote. There's something contemplative about this 12-15 minutes (different groups play it faster or slower at will). For me - since you ask - I like to reflect, remember previous Christmases and, like Marcus Aurelius, come to grips with how very insignificant is my role in the scheme of things.
So, I'm pleased that I've discovered this piece of music. I hope you like it too.