As Halloween concludes and Wisconsin experiences its first snowfall, people and their radios begin their annual transition to nonstop Christmas music. To me, this tradition is as annoying as it is inevitable, and thus I begin my yearly crusade to ask people to leave the Christmas music behind, at least until after Thanksgiving.
Christmas is over a month away. That means that approximately fifty days of the year are spent listening to the same irritating songs on repeat. We ignore 14 percent of the year in favor of focusing entirely on the celebration of one day. In this, Thanksgiving is forgotten and the end of fall is disregarded. The constant presence of Christmas music diminishes the importance of Thanksgiving, a holiday that stresses food and family as much, if not more, than Christmas.
Moreover, Christmas music could even be bad for our mental health. When we hear a song over and over again, it can lead to feelings of annoyance, boredom, and distress. This “exposure effect” occurs when the brain has heard a song too many times and begins to find it unpleasant. At this point, other stresses can become more pronounced. Furthermore, if you begin listening to Christmas right after Halloween, by the time that it’s actually Christmas, the songs no longer have any meaning. By constantly being the presence of something, it no longer is special and it can’t carry any message.
As a result, Christmas music shouldn’t be played until Thanksgiving has concluded. This will preserve the nostalgic presence of Christmas music for the people who love the season as well as save the sanity of people who find the music disagreeable.
Photo Credit: leshoward