I always wonder why any song about or featuring winter becomes a Christmas song. “Jingle Bells”, “Sleigh Ride” and “Winter Wonderland” have nothing to do with Christmas. We should be just as happy listening to them in February as we are in December. But we’re not, and I think that’s strange.
Other holidays don’t co-opt the songs from their seasons. It’s not like we sing “Summertime”, “Summer Nights” and “Summertime Blues” on the Fourth of July. It’s just Christmas that steals everything winter. Although, I do have to say that we do perform a song about the Russians driving our ally out of Russia in the War of 1812 to commemorate the birth of our nation which is weird, but beside the point.
Some of them make so little sense, it’s mind boggling. Look at “Baby It’s Cold Outside”. The song couldn’t be less Christmas-y. There’s nothing about the birth of Jesus or peace on Earth or anything having to do with the holiday spirit. There’s nothing about Santa Claus or presents or trees. By modern standards, it’s a song about date rape. By old timey standards, it’s about a very persistent guy who won’t take no for an answer. Either way it doesn’t strike me as having a good holiday message. Yet every December we play it and sing it everywhere for Christmas just because it is set in the cold weather.
Most of the winter-turned-Christmas songs aren’t that bad. They are innocent and fun. I guess the thing that bothers me is that by being so heavily associated with Christmas, it makes it feel weird to listen to them any other time of year. If I want to listen to Ella sing “Winter Wonderland” in February, I shouldn’t feel funny about it, but I do. I guess that’s why I really cram them in during the one month I have to enjoy them.