December 6, 2019

Writer vs. Writer: Is Christmas Music Before Thanksgiving Acceptable?

posted on: Thursday November 21, 2019

 

Christmas ornament stats graphic

GRAPHIC COURTESY OF BRENNA CAVALLARO ’23 / THE COWL

Yes

by: Madison Palmieri ’22 A&E Staff

Now that Halloween has come and gone, attention has immediately shifted to the upcoming holiday season. Already, stores are advertising special deals, Starbucks and Dunkin’ cups are shades of red and green, and Christmas music is returning to the radio.

While it is understandable to protest the apparent neglect of Thanksgiving that this phenomenon entails, those eager to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year should not have to wait until Black Friday to listen to festive tunes.

For some, Christmas music can be enjoyable year-round. Haley Gervino ‘22 says that she generally does not listen to holiday tunes before Thanksgiving, but “Happy Holidays” by NSYNC and “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber are acceptable all the time. 

Others only begin to listen to festive music after Halloween, but do so in moderation. “My playlists have started shuffling in some Christmas music, and I don’t mind,” says Megan Puthota ‘22. “I think that as long as you listen to it in moderation before Thanksgiving, there’s no harm in enjoying it.”

This view appears to be common among listeners. A November 2018 Spotify article, “Is It Too Early For Christmas Music?” stated, “According to holiday streaming in 2017, most countries see the first surge in listening around November 1…The United States and Canada wait until November 13 to start.” 

Indeed, Christmas music is often enjoyed beyond the holiday season, and so long as listeners take care not to forget the importance of Thanksgiving and do not immediately rush from Halloween to Christmas, there should be no reason why they should have to wait to listen to festive tunes.

 

No

by: Peter Keough ’20 A&E Co-Editor

Only a few weeks out from Halloween, the annual swell of Christmas cheer has already begun to overtake the national consciousness. Christmas music plays in stores, elf-filled commercials for sales fill advertising slots during primetime television, and festive lights and trees already adorn many residences. 

For some, this is a welcome change, as they desire to begin celebrating the Christmas season as early as possible. However, some reports claim that this premature celebration of the holiday can actually have negative psychological effects on individuals. 

In a 2017 report from CBS News, clinical psychologist Linda Blair established a link between repetitious Christmas music and high levels of holiday-related stress. She claimed, “[H]earing a Christmas song can spark thoughts of all the things you have to do before the holiday, like shopping, party planning, and traveling.” Essentially, listening to an overwhelming amount of this kind of music could do more unintentional harm than good. 

Couple this with stations that are already playing this kind of music, such as New York’s 106.7 Lite FM and St. Louis’ 102.5 KEZK, and you get a recipe for a potentially high-stress public. With a more extensive time period dedicated to this music, and only a limited amount of songs, stations like these may contribute to these kinds of unhealthy mental effects. 

Taking factors like this into account, maybe it is best to dedicate less time to Christmas music on radio stations nationwide. This is not meant as a slight against Christmas, but instead as a safeguard that could lead to a healthier and more enjoyable holiday season for all. 

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