Written and Media by Denee Menghini.
We are living in the time between Halloween and Thanksgiving in which debates rage over the appearance of Christmas spirit. From the early arrival of Christmas decorations in stores to the beginning of Christmas shopping deals, Thanksgiving begins to feel like the forgotten holiday. I would propose, though, that the point of most contention among Christmas crazies and Ebeneezer Scrooges is the time at which listening to Christmas music becomes appropriate. Now there are several schools of thought on when on should begin listening to Christmas music, so in this article we will attempt to gain a better understanding of each.
On one extreme, we find those who hate all Christmas music all the time. While a moderately popular view, this seems to do nothing more than set one up for a holiday season of anger and frustration. Christmas music is largely unavoidable, and should be enjoyed in the amount that correlates with one’s capacity to handle joy. Not everyone is Buddy the Elf, we understand, but refusing to enjoy even one listening of *NSYNC’s “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,” is just plain foolish.
The next stance generally feels as though Christmas music should only be played during the two weeks leading up to Christmas. The problem with this theory is that it does not hold consistent with normal music listening habits. If you enjoy a certain song, album, or artist you do not limit yourself to just two weeks of listening. That’s just silly. Instead you spend time enjoying it alone, with friends, at parties, and in your car.
Perhaps the most reasonable group are those who suggest that Christmas music should begin the day after Thanksgiving. This way, Thanksgiving is given its due as a phenomenal holiday and we still get to enjoy nearly a month of Christmas jams. Many radio stations do not subscribe to this type of thought, but it should definitely be considered as a personal policy. As a result, you can please your overly enthused friends while also not offending the Scrooges too deeply.
Finally, there is the category that I personally identify with. The overly eager, Christmas all the time, crazy people. We think Christmas music should start in September, and are more than ready to watch Christmas movies in November. Now, I understand and acknowledge all of the complaints launched against this type of relationship with Christmas, thus I do my best to be respectful. I actually took a couple of very intentional steps to avoid driving the rest of the world crazy.
To begin, I invented festive Fridays. This means that before Thanksgiving, I will do my best not to listen to Christmas music on any day but Friday. When I do listen to Christmas music will only do so alone, with headphones on, or in the presence of other Christmas crazies. I cannot and should not have to completely deny my urge for Christmas fun, but I can and will do my best to enjoy the holidays in a manner that respects other people’s preferences.
Another measure I took in order avoid verbal harassment from those around me was the creation of my very own Thanksgiving playlist. Christmas may seem to have the monopoly on holiday music, but there is a healthy amount of songs that can be related to Thanksgiving. Songs on my playlist could be categorized as songs about
home, songs about thankfulness, and songs about food. With this playlist I am able to celebrate the season and not skip Thanksgiving in my haste to get to Christmas.
I would highly recommend coming up with your own Thanksgiving playlist, and if you do not have time you can find mine on Spotify. Where ever you fall on the Christmas music spectrum, try out Thanksgiving music and embrace the season. Whatever season it may be!