Is Christmas music before Thanksgiving acceptable?


Noah Penasack (Vince Guaraldi Trio)

Entertaining people of all ages for decades, Charlie Brown Christmas is a good post-Thanksgiving choice. The subtle songs promote holiday cheer, without being too distracting.

Noah Penasack, News Editor

The air gets colder, fallen leaves cover the ground, and Christmas decorations begin to come out; Americans associate this time with holiday cheer, while others endure holiday agitation. The holidays are a cherished time of year, from holiday shopping to Christmas cookies and candy canes. Perhaps the most anticipated arrival of the holidays is Christmas music. “When you’re sitting inside, and the snow is on the windowsill, what do you want to do more than listen to some Christmas music? Drink some hot chocolate? Open some presents? It completes the mood,” says Andrew MacDonald ‘20. MacDonald is right, Christmas music is a favorite among people everywhere, but it is only potent for a short time during the year. So when is the right time to start playing Christmas music to get the maximum playing time for those who like it, while avoiding the irritation from over-saturation?

The debate about when to start listening to Christmas music is not a new one. A quick web search will yield a great variety of opinions, ranging from articles claiming that Christmas music has health risks, to those suggesting it can be played in November. Representing a more mild opinion, Jess Putney ‘20 likes Christmas music, but stressed that it is a problem when it overshadows other holidays. Putney said that “I really like it [christmas music], it just gets you in the mood for the holidays, it’s really nice, but I just don’t like it when people play it before Thanksgiving.” This concern is well founded, as recent trends set by retail stores have seen Christmas music and decorations out earlier and earlier. Although Christmas is undoubtedly a favorite holiday among Americans, starting its celebration does not extend the holiday so much as it sells products. Sometimes the twelve days of Christmas seem to bleed into twelve weeks, this is a great example of the virtues of moderation.

There are those don’t see the harm in a some early holiday cheer. These folks may believe that the start date for Christmas music is a personal choice that one should not be judged by. Brooke Robbins ‘20 says, “People should start listening to Christmas music whenever they want, because it’s not hurting anybody, it can annoy people…[but] they’re just trying to celebrate a holiday.” This philosophy only work if one only listens to holiday music alone, with headphones, or earbuds. Otherwise these listers can have a negative effect on those around them. For those who don’t see the harm in prolonging the holiday, I would argue that the watering-down of Christmas is based upon a desire to sell scented candles and fake wreaths, not increase good will. The same Christmas songs playing everywhere, for up to two months, can strip the actual date of its significance. Additionally, some believe there are negative effects on some individual’s mental health. CBS News noted a psychologist who found that holiday music can cause stress by reminding people of all the things they need to do before the big day. In order to respect these people’s sanity (and mine) Christmas music should not played before Thanksgiving. This is a good date because it in itself is a holiday, and listening beforehand can dilute its celebration. The date cannot be after that because this is when Christmas shopping should begin. This is a good compromise between the Christmas music lovers, the haters, and those who enjoy it in moderation.