Christmas music: how early is too early?

Each year, it appears that the holiday season comes quicker and quicker. Stores start putting out cheerful Christmas decorations shockingly early, sometimes months before the holiday. It seems as though people jump right from Halloween to preparing for the next major commercialized  holiday, completely skipping over Thanksgiving in the process. 

As the holiday season approaches, one question at the front of many people’s minds is: when can I start listening to Christmas music? There are many different opinions on this topic that people will passionately defend. Some people do not want to start listening to that type of music until December, while other fans of the holiday’s music believe that there is never a time they could not listen to their beloved music. After all, can there really be a time too early to start getting in the holiday spirit?

The answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” It is absolutely possible to start preparing for Yuletide way too soon. Just like how someone wouldn’t start preparing dinner before they’ve even made their breakfast, people should not start listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving. It just does not make sense. 

Poor Thanksgiving is almost completely overshadowed by the next major holiday. No one plays Thanksgiving-themed music or spends hours decorating a Thanksgiving tree or their front yard. The very thought seems ridiculous. A couple people here and there might have a few Thanksgiving decorations, but not anywhere near the same level as following widely celebrated holiday. The very few Thanksgiving songs that exist are almost completely overlooked by the abundance of Christmas songs people are anxious to start playing.  So, at least one reason to start playing those songs later is to avoid taking away the importance of the central message of Thanksgiving: recognizing everything that a person has to be grateful for. 

Emmaus High School junior Abby Barnes follows the guideline of not listening to music before Thanksgiving, typically starting to play her Christmas playlist with about 60 songs on Dec. 1. She believes that radios and stores hould also follow this ideal. 

  “In my opinion, if they do it before Thanksgiving, I think it’s too early. And most of them do, so I think [they start playing Christmas music too soon],” Barnes said. 

Freshman Nicole Nosal follows a similar timeline, starting to enjoy listening to a wide variety of the holiday music just a little earlier, beginning anytime during the middle of November and Thanksgiving. 

“I start listening to it to get me into the Christmas spirit and because it gets me excited for Christmas,” Nosal explained. “[I listen at least] a couple times a week, but usually once a day.”

Being excited about the holiday and getting into that spirit before Thanksgiving could have benefits. People tend to be more generous around the holidays, and the earlier they enter that giving mindset, the more people they have the potential to help. However, helping others should not just be dependent on the time of year, and those who are willing and able to donate probably already do as much as they can afford to regardless of whether they start a few weeks earlier or not. 

Despite a few positives, there are many drawbacks to playing festive music too early. When people start listening to the music way before Dec. 25, they are tired of listening to those songs by the time that they reach the holiday, when everyone else wants to play as much of that type of music as possible before the window of time to play it ends. This could create conflicts between those who are still interested in listening to their music for the last moments of the year and those who just want to be done with that music, which completely defeats the whole purpose of the music and the holiday cheer it is supposed to inspire. 

Though Nosal does not typically tire of listening to Christmas music, she admits that occasionally she will find herself ready to listen to other music by the time Yuletide actually arrives. 

“I think that it’s because I might be listening to the same songs on repeat and it might get boring after a while. Rather than the times that I’m listening to a large variety and there might be new songs that I haven’t heard before,” Nosal explained. 

Barnes agrees. After usually listening to Christmas music around two or three hours every day from Dec. 1 until the holiday, she also sometimes does not want to hear it anymore.

“Yes, for sure [I get tired of hearing Christmas music]. Then, I’ll switch over to the normal stuff for a little bit,” Barnes said. “Because I listen to the same songs, I’ll get bored.” 

If even someone who does not start listening to festive music until December sometimes does not want to hear it anymore, people should definitely not start listening to until at least after Thanksgiving, if they do not want to wait the few extra days until December. It becomes especially easy to tire of listening to the merry music because, though there are a wide variety of songs, there are a few popular ones that are played over and over by people, radios, and stores. Combine this with the fact that many radios and people, and sometimes stores, begin playing the music long before Thanksgiving, and a recipe for people hating Christmas music by the time the holiday actually comes around has been created. 

This is not to say that it is completely unacceptable to listen to a favorite holiday song once or twice before Thanksgiving, but people should certainly not be blaring their music 24/7 at the beginning of November. People should listen to the vast majority of their Christmas music only after Thanksgiving.

Image courtesy of webstockreview.net.

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