This latest Christmas was one of the very few where we didn't play any Christmas music at home, which is no mean feat, as over the years as we seem to have collected a good few listening hours.
Mostly it is a collection of the standard Christmas song favourites performed by different singers. There was a time when we would dig those albums out and start airing them around a week before the event. Over the years, the playing period gradually came down to a few hours on Christmas Eve. This year it was: "I'd better play the Christmas records now" to which the response was: "We're watching TV". Festive spirit in our house has become a memory.
From ever since I can remember, almost every major established recording artist, has at some point in their career, felt the need to add their own interpretation of musical yuletide greetings to their recording port folio. "Your Name" followed by Christmas Album is like the winning of a lifetime achievement award.
That one album suggest you are an acceptable friend to be invited into peoples homes to share the festive period. The good thing about Christmas albums from the commercial side is - the songs never go out of date and the album can be sold to a new bunch of consumers every year. This is a good deal if you are the artist - a potential lifetime selling record that never ages.
Now, some of the rock artists have never succumbed to making a Christmas record, maybe seeing this as a bad move for their images. The Rolling Stones are one such example. This year they released a DVD of the 1978 Some Girls live concert just in time for the gift buying season - but this does not mean they won't have a traditional festive album out next year.
The reason being - their old mate Bob Dylan surprised everybody by releasing his own Christmas in the Heart album in 2009. If a Christmas Album is cool enough for Bob Dylan - then it sure is cool enough for everyone else. Standby to see a flurry of rock bands wanting to spend their future Christmas times with you at home and give your neighbours a good blast. I'm surprised Bob waited almost 50 years before making his move.
Then I began thinking: What else can be done to expand consumers interest to spend money in the pop music Christmas market? When I sat down to eat my Christmas dinner - the answer came in an immediate flash of divine brilliance - Bob Dylan Christmas Crackers. Just imagine some red & silver crackers carrying a picture of Bob wearing a Santa hat on the front - they will be guaranteed to ensure your guests have a common conversation topic right from the start of the meal. I've already come up with the first cracker joke as well. This you will find once you have pulled the cracker and taken out the paper Dylan type hat - taking care not to drop the miniature plastic guitar key ring at this stage. Then you get to the joke Q: What makes Bob Dylan suck? A: Playing the harmonica.
We can call these StarCrackers and they can easily be adapted to feature other artists. Just imagine the difficulty trying to find a present for a Dylan fan - they will already have all the books and records - the crackers will be something you can give every year that also has a use.
Now, let me tell you about the sound-alike battery operated Robin that sings Justin Bieber songs.....
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