When the house is a mess. When you’ve lost a loved one. When you’re acknowledging the anniversary of losing someone. When you and your partner are not feeling (or acting) peaceful towards one another. When work is annoying, or you have to work more than you’d like during the holidays. When there’s not enough work and you’re wondering how you’ll afford life. When the news is just overwhelmingly awful. When there’s never enough time. When it feels like your family just doesn’t understand you and probably never will. When you’re far away and won’t be able to make it home to family and friends. When it feels like you’re always waiting, but you’re not quite sure for what. When you know everything is objectively fine, but still struggle with feeling like the world’s falling apart.
All plenty difficult at whatever time of year, but particularly rough now — right before Christmas when it feels like the world is celebrating, happy, and rushing around all around you.
So this is for you. If it’s been a particularly rough year, or if you’re doing fine, but you’re just not feeling it this year.
Over the Rhine‘s got you. I’ve been listening to their newest album, Blood Oranges in the Snow, since it came out at the beginning of November. In interviews and their show at Underground Arts in Philly, they described it “reality Christmas” music. It’s the internal monologue we have during the holidays that we can’t or don’t articulate. It’s the hard but hopeful stuff.
It’s the messy but inviting house, the burned cookies. It’s the small town gossip who knows everything about you. It’s the poverty-stricken next-door neighbor who can’t afford food, but offers you a french fry when he has them and asks if he can help you when your power goes out. It’s the squalling baby, born under the watchful eyes of livestock in a barn. It’s reality Christmas.