All I Want for Christmas is Time

‘Tis the season when the sands of time run like a raging torrent through the hourglass

Sheldon Clay
ILLUMINATION
Published in
4 min readDec 8, 2023

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Photo by Brooke Campbell on Unsplash

I went to The New Standards holiday show in Minneapolis to kick off the Christmas season. It’s become a tradition for me and it’s as fun a holiday show as you’ll find, with a pedigree of Grammy-winning talent and stupidly fun Christmas decorations all in an ornate gem of a theater built during the vaudeville era.

There’s rock and roll. There’s immaculate jazz. A cigarette-smoking devil dances merrily across the stage during God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman when the vocalists come to the lyric about “save us all from Satan’s power.” We should all have that many ways to find joy, beauty, and a good dose of irreverent humor in the Christmas season. Back in the beginning of the 19th century, the artists and writers rebelling against the cold calculations of The Enlightenment considered music the most pure expression of their romantic ideals — because music gets better when it refuses to follow the rules. Listening to a jazz trio made up of elegantly aging rock stars makes me think that’s right on the money.

But in the end, I walked out of the theater with a tear in my eye. Maybe that’s also a part of what makes the season so profound. The New Standards wrote a song entitled Christmastime Next Year to…

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Sheldon Clay
ILLUMINATION

Writer. Observer of mass culture, communications and creativity.