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By Bob Bridge, Columnist


“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, everywhere I go.“

- Meredith Willson

I remember it well. It was Nov. 1, circa 2012.

The sugary, white shoreline along Panama City Beach was speckled with seasonal “snowbirds,“ besmirched with blotches of oily sunscreen to protect pallid skin from the solar radiance above.

I was seeking rest and relaxation prior to the beginning of another hectic basketball season. I peered outside my suave and debonair sunglasses and reached for my trusty radio.

Music was to be my salve these next couple of weeks. My taste in tunage is eclectic. Unless it’s death metal or rap of a naughty nature, I’m prone to give it a listen. Given my druthers, my ears prefer the easy listening/soft rock genre.

I switched on the device and ... “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas ...”

What the ...?

Did my sense of sound deceive me?

Not a Santa in sight. No snow nor sleet.

No reindeer, elves, or chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

Heck, it was 80 degrees! It felt like the Fourth of July!

The fellow sprawled in the recliner to my immediate left rescued me from a discombobulated state.

“It's Nov. 1,“ he stated matter-of-factly. “They’ll be playing Christmas music now until Dec. 26.”


My mind was ready for Jimmy Buffett, not Bing Crosby.

An hour later, I subtly switched the music to something more conventional.


Am I Scrooge?

An atheist?

Not at all.

It’s just that ... well ... the songs weren’t what I’d describe as authentic “Christmas” tunes.

The lyrics were characteristically commercial, steering clear of the “reason for the season.”

I’m neither Protestant nor Catholic. However, I am a believer.

Holiday bling?

No lights nor tinsel. I’ll never be confused with Clark Griswold.

Still, I believe Christmas should be about Christ. My Aunt Carol got her name from the singers warbling outside my grandmother’s hospital room the night her child arrived.

A simple guy with simple tastes, I’m not impressed with imaginative lyrics discussing grandma getting trampled by a reindeer, mommy kissing Santa, or rockin’ around a Christmas tree.

Call me sentimental, but I’m forever fond of “What Child Is This?,” “Little Town of Bethlehem,” “The First Noel,“ “Silent Night,” and, most especially, “Mary Did You Know?”

So, for you enterprising niche entrepreneurs out there, please offer a station that airs the very best of “authentic” Christmas songs.

It truly is the most wonderful time of the year … if you celebrate the reason for the season.

Contact Columnist Bob Bridge at 812-276-9646 or

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