There's an interesting essay on my new favorite blog, The Awl, about the gutting of Leonard Cohen's transcendent "Hallelujah," in order to make it vague and Christiany enough for Christmas.
Which follows in the long, noble tradition -- well, there's only one other that I can think of off the top of my head, but there must be others, right? -- of eviscerating songs to make them palatable for bland holiday records by the likes of Kermit the Frog (for real).
My favorite Christmas song, in fact my favorite Christmas thing period, is this song, which isn't really about Christmas as much as it is about despair. But replace, "until then, we'll have to muddle through somehow," with, "hang a shining star upon the highest bow," and it's still a bit sad, but not sad enough to do anything drastic like put you off shopping.
I guess, like most, I get sentimental this time of year. I am not Christian, but I love the story of a gift of hope and redemption in dark times. I like to mark this time of year by acknowledging in my heart the miracle of another year, another orbit, another chance.
Merry Christmas, everyone.