Regular readers will know that, for me, Christmas music has roughly the same effect. I don't mean the classical stuff; I'm very happy with the odd oratorio or a traditional carol, but the nauseating drivel that fills your ears in virtually any enclosed public space at this time of year makes my blood boil.
Prime offenders are, of course, the Americans; lacking a sensible tradition of wassailing*, yule logs or holly and ivy (all, incidentally, good Norse pagan customs), they have invented the cult of Christmas, an amalgam of drippy pseudo-nostalgia and ersatz emotion where sentimentality is viewed as a positive attribute.
Those of us who decline the invitation to rock around the Christmas tree or have ourselves a merry little Christmas are probably no great loss to the retailers pumping out this stuff; I'd like to think we have more sense than to spend unreasonable sums on overpriced tat.
As a timely antidote to the crass jollity and commercialism of the season, I'd like to offer one of my favourite alternatives, Tom Lehrer's Christmas Carol, dedicated to Longrider and his aversion to organised fun:
* Memorably described thus by Bill Bryson:
In Anglo-Saxon times, it was customary for someone offering a drink to say 'Wassail!' and for the recipient to respond 'Drinkhail!' and for the participants to repeat the exercise until comfortably horizontal.