When is it okay to Listen to Christmas Music?

Rachel Van Leeuwen, Opinion/Editorial Editor

It’s Thanksgiving, and you’re surrounded by food, family, and all the things you’re thankful for. You sit down after an amazing meal and hear…sleigh bells?

That’s right. Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, you’re guaranteed to hear Christmas music in stores, on TV, and in the halls; it’s everywhere. But, what about those who want to play Christmas music before Thanksgiving? Your response might be similar to the Grinch’s: “It’s never too early to be annoyed by Christmas.”

The Bingham Madrigals have been rehearsing Christmas music since late September. If you’re wondering why, it’s because the Madrigals perform all through the month of December and need to be absolutely ready before the Christmas season even starts. However, learning music is different than listening to Christmas music for fun in October. Amanda Hornberger, Bingham senior and avid lover of all things Christmas, says, “Christmas music just brings joy into my life. I love Christmas time so much because of all the service and everything.” Hornberger listens to Christmas music on and off year round. She says that she thinks “you should be able to listen to what makes you happy”. Hornberger loves how all Christmas music has a good message. Hornberger says, “It’s pure and happy. Even when there is a slower one, it’s just gorgeous. There isn’t a rough edge with Christmas music; it’s all smooth.”

A benefit of listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving is that you get to have the “Christmas spirit” for a longer period of time, and it may remind you of happy memories from Christmas past. Christmas doesn’t have to end after December 25th if you listen to Christmas music year round like Hornberger.

You might ask: “What’s the harm in listening to Christmas music way before December?” You might be surprised. According to CBS News, “Clinical psychologist Linda Blair says listening to Christmas music too early into the holiday season may affect mental health by triggering feelings of stress. Hearing a Christmas song can spark thoughts of all the things you have to do before the holiday, like shopping, party planning, and traveling.”

NBC News says, “Just as our brain can fire up joy in light of a positive association, it can also spark a flood of sadness and anxiety upon a bad one.” Bad memories associated with Christmas can be triggered by familiar Christmas tunes. So if you’re feeling guilty for channeling the Grinch and wanting to snap a pencil when you hear the beginning notes of Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You for the sixty-eighth time, you might have a good reason to cringe.

However, many people have warm memories associated with the holiday and find joy in listening to their favorite Christmas songs. How you feel about Christmas music is personal. If you want to listen to Christmas music in July, do it. Do what makes you happy. But, be courteous when playing Christmas music in a public place. The songs you love so much could have a negative effect on other people. After Thanksgiving, when it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas and it’s socially acceptable to listen to Christmas music, enjoy the most wonderful time of the year with everyone else.