I've been avoiding the 24/7 Christmas music radio stations with their round-the-clock emotional manipulation. Instead, I like to find Yuletide references in unusual places. Lately I've been hooked on the Goo Goo Dolls' (I know, I know) 2005 song "Better Days". This isn't your usual pop mash-up of "Presents/Christmas/Yeah Yeah/Snow, baby snow/Saaanta/Presents/Yeah Yeah" Or yet another skanky cover of the date-rape special "Baby It's Cold Outside."
Instead, the lyrics make oblique yet authentic references to what Christmas is all about: sin, redemption, and the possibility that the world can improve.
'Cause I don't need boxes wrapped in strings
And designer love and empty things
Just a chance that maybe we'll find better days....
So take these words and sing out loud
'cause everyone is forgiven now
'cause tonight's the night the world begins again