Can You Hear Those Sleigh Bells Jingling Way Too Early?

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"Merry Sithmas 2010" by JD Hancock is licensed under Creative Commons.

by Mia Schoenbeck

November is a time of family, of autumn changing into winter, of appreciating what you have. It’s also a time when holiday music takes over the radio, sometimes just two weeks after Halloween. But, like a Christmas tree put up on November 1, holiday music tends to wilt.

I’m filled with the holiday spirit. Christmas is my favorite holiday, in fact. The twinkling lights, the soft warm glow that permeates the house — I love it all. And Christmas music is amazing for fitting the mood. When it’s on the radio, I listen to it almost nonstop — for the first couple of weeks. But then, as Christmas Day approaches, the cheery, age-old tunes that captivated me for most of December start to get old. Then, gradually, I stop listening just in time for Christmas.

There is a lack of variety in Christmas songs. Year after year, radio stations play the same songs; the same covers. Yes, it is nice to listen to the classics. But I can only handle Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” so many times before I get bored.

Variety stations have become all-the-rage. They play different music from different artists, decades, and styles. It’s a refreshing change for me. Chicago’s 93.9 MY FM boasts “the best variety from the eighties ‘til now.” This station is also one of the stations that plays Christmas music early. Radio stations are beginning to understand that many people get tired of hearing the same songs over and over again; however, they don’t seem to understand that people get tired of hearing the same Christmas songs as well.

Christmas songs are filled with cheer. This is undeniable. Unfortunately, when I’m finally in the mood to listen to Christmas music in the dreary aftermath of the actual holiday, there isn’t any to be found! With Christmas music played so early, it ends early too. I’m filled with spirit before Christmas. But after it, when I’m saying goodbye to my grandparents and cousins that I won’t likely see again soon, I could use the mindless cheer that Christmas music brings. I want to sing along to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” but I must wait until the next November when the music starts again.

Of course, there are positives to Christmas music being played early. I love hearing it, early in November too. It gets me excited for the upcoming holiday season. Everyone has their own way of listening to music and celebrating holidays. It is perfectly fine to me to mix celebrating Christmas and Thanksgiving traditions into November. One of my own family traditions, in fact, is watching “A Christmas Story” on Thanksgiving night after all the cleaning is done.

But eventually, I get tired of Christmas music. If there were variations — if there were new songs with the potential to become classics — it would be a different story. I can only listen to Manheim Steamroller “Carol of the Bells” so many times.

I love Christmas. I love Christmas music. I just wish it wasn’t played so early because I’d like more time after Christmas to enjoy it, and more time before Christmas to listen to different songs.

 

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