• Carmen Marie Fabio

Do you hear what I hear?


At this writing, we’ve just commemorated another Remembrance Day ceremony and though the snow is swirling down quite beautifully, I’m just not ready to hear Christmas carols. In fact if I had my druthers, Ruldolph, Frosty, and their ilk would be silenced until somewhere around December 15 which, I’ve been told, is an unpopular opinion in some circles.

There’s something fundamentally wrong to see the colours red, green, silver and gold so prominently displayed in the month of October while we’re still celebrating orange, black, skulls and bats. That’s what observances are – a chance to pay homage and most celebrations respect their allotted timeframe. The day after Halloween, most of the decorations are taken down and my kids flock to the grocery store to buy discount chocolate in bulk.

Within the first week of November, the poppies go on sale in honour of Remembrance Day and we sport them proudly on our lapels, their delicate nature serving as a reminder of the fragility of the time some of us get and the significance of the sacrifices that were made. It’s disrespectful to our remaining veterans that their period of recognition is tainted with the shiny gaudy bling and aural assault of lures to mass consumerism that are Christmas carols.

Imagine if there were songs associated with other holidays, like Easter or Thanksgiving… well, there are but we’re not generally assaulted with them whenever we venture out to do some shopping. I’m happy to say I’ve never heard ‘Monster Mash’ playing in my local grocery store.

I lean towards observances like Groundhog Day, Earth Day, and Labour Day – anything that doesn’t involve a lot of plastic from the dollar store and where we are not expected to break the bank in order to validate each other’s existence. Oh, and they don’t have theme songs.

After years of declining hearing, my husband was recently fitted with hearing aids and the adjustment period has been a bit bumpy. Sounds that we normally don’t remark on like car turn signals or dog toenails clicking on the floor are not foreign to him but have been reintroduced to his brain, requiring a period of adjustment.

Whenever he hears someone say the letter ‘S,’ it sounds like a lisp. These are little problems that can be tweaked and while he’s rediscovering the world through sound, he has the added benefit that most of us don’t – he can remove his hearing aids the closer we get to Christmas to blot out the Silver Bells, the First Noël and, god help us all, the Little Drummer Boy.

Lucky guy.

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