Let’s be honest. Advent, the season of contemplative waiting for Christ Immanuel to come, is seriously loosing ground to the chaotic rush to Christmas and all the shopping/eating/partying/craziness that comes with it. As much as we try to slow down with candles and carols and expectant waiting: THERE’S ONLY A FEW SHOPPING DAYS UNTIL XMAS!!!! BUY THIS THING!!!! DRINK THIS FANCY LATTE WITH PEPPERMINT IN IT!!! PUT THIS FAKE SNOW ON TOP OF THE REAL SNOW ON YOUR HOUSE!!!
It feels like Christmas is shouting at me from just after Halloween… over the top of Thanksgiving… until it’s finally hoarse in the New Year. When I feel like I can’t keep up with the holiday rush, my go-to Advent practice is to shout the Yule back from whence it came from by listening to punk rock covers of Christmas songs.
Brash punk bands like Bad Religion rushing through carols like Hark the Herald Angels Sing is ridiculous. But that is exactly the point! They way we rush to Christmas every year is ridiculous. A song like Oi To The World, by The Vandals, for all its driving guitars and sneered lyrics, holds a big mirror up to the insane tempo at which we rush through the holidays. MU330 yelling their way through a sped up version of Angels We Have Heard On High is so ludicrous that it snaps us out of the silliness of the season.
God can use these songs to stop us in our tracks and make us think about Advent. Has the pace of your December started to resemble a punk rock cover of Dance of the Sugarplum Fairies? Maybe getting revved up to some holiday havoc with this PresOutlook Punxmas playlist is what you need to calm down and remember that Christ is coming to bring us grace anew this Advent season.
ALEX WIRTH is an ordained teaching elder doing building maintenance and social justice work at Lake View Presbyterian Church in Chicago. He buys vinyl albums more than mp3s, tries to ride his bike more than drive a car, make/bake things more than buy them, and generally stick to a punk rock, do-it-yourself mindset like Jesus did.