Quite by accident, I discovered the key to avoiding that state of burnout where you are ready to go ballistic if you hear one more chirpy rendition of "Santa Baby."
The answer is a two-step process:
1. Don't go shopping after the 3rd Wednesday in November.
2. Attend your local school's winter concert.
It's that simple. Avoid the mall/WalMart/grocery so you don't hear any carols until the evening you take a seat on a metal folding chair in an echoing school gymnasium and listen to young voices, some of them cracking, some of them trying too hard to sound like pop stars, and all of them lacking in breath control, as they sing "Gloria in Excelsis Deo" and "Stille Nacht."
As tears come to your eyes, you will find your heart beats a little faster at the amazing miracle of God Made Man as retold in the voices of children. (I even welled up over "The Little Drummer Boy," which I normally absolutely loathe.)