With the season upon us, the air about us will soon be beginning to sound a lot like Christmas, all throughout the town. (Forgive the alteration of Meredith Willson’s lyrics. I couldn’t help myself.) And while there will certainly be plenty of radio stations chock o’ blocked full of seasonal tunes and the mall soundtrack will swing into the season, we will often choose to put on our own tracks. And when we do, the question will be: What do we use?
Now some will expect me to tell you of all the great new options that technology has brought us. With Pandora and Spotify we can easily get that smooth jazz Christmas station for dinner and the funny song station for the kids. And with YouTube, the motivated can make the playlist of your gum drop dreams, cherry-picking songs to your heart’s delight. And these are all great and have a time and place.
But…I come before you to argue for the lost medium of the CD. For me the CD is not just a way to play music, it’s an artifact that reminds me of Christmases past. I have a CD that reminds me of my grandfather, as he is in the recording. I have ones that remind me of my mom because we sang along while decorating. I have CDs that remind me of the year I got them and I get to enjoy those memories. While the songs on a CD may be heard on any other technology, there is something about hearing each song together in the same succession that CDs provide.
My ritual is to pile up a stack of CDs at the beginning of the month and play a new one each day as I drive to work, getting to go through most of the stack. It puts you in the mood and makes the commute that much more pleasant.
So don’t give up on CDs. Don’t stop giving them as gifts. Listen to them with your friends and loved ones, make memories together, and let that CD live on as a reminder of that wonderful time you shared.