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How Soon is Too Soon for Holiday Tunes?

Maeve Bedenkop and Andrew Botolino

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It’s the holiday season! By mid November the first snow has fallen, Christmas ads have started airing on the radio and with Halloween over, Thanksgiving and Christmas are ahead. ‘Tis the season for joy, giving, and family so why not get in the mood as early as you want?
Neuroscientist Brian Rabinovitz said that Christmas music is innately pleasing and brings back feelings of nostalgia. Bring back those tunes you haven’t heard in a year—the minute you hear them you will be singing along. As of Nov. 10, Cape 104 FM started their 46 days of Christmas playlist and if you’re ready to jam to an early dose of Christmas music, turn it up!
The Christmas classics aren’t just a sign of the impending commercialism and stress, as critics might claim, they’re the anthem of a season that makes people excited and in good spirits. Christmas is the holiday where people become willing to make the extra effort for others, by maybe supporting local charities or spending time with those important to them—all things worthy of celebration.
After you stop singing the ‘Monster Mash’ and ‘Ghostbusters,’ people should feel free to carol away (after all there are no songs about turkeys). The Christmas season is only three or four short weeks so why put off the festivities strictly until after Thanksgiving, when starting early could make those last weeks of fall feel even better? Christmas themes and characters are a main part of any Thanksgiving Day parade and, whether you are ready or not, Christmas will hit you like the Polar Express the minute Thanksgiving dessert is over, so you should be ready.
For every Grinch determined to confine Christmas to a box of when it can and can’t be celebrated: open your mind. Celebrate before Thanksgiving, on New Year’s Eve, or in the middle of July if you feel like it. It will make you happier and instantly bring back those good Christmas memories.

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As Americans, we live fast. We’re always in a rush, trying to meet deadlines, or doing our best to “get ahead” of that next task. There’s a finite amount of time we have to do things, and we speed so quickly into them that we often forget to slow down and savor. Such is the case with Christmas music.
One of the purest holidays we have is Thanksgiving, filled with the three F’s: family, football, and a lot of food. Besides Black Friday lurking in the shadows, licking its lips, waiting to pounce on the blissful hours that preludes it, Thanksgiving is relatively uncommercialized. That’s why Mariah Carey in early November irks me.
It’s not that I hate Christmas music. I love Bing Crosby, and Bruce Springsteen’s rendition of “Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town” is the last thing I hear when my head hits the pillow Christmas Eve. But listening to these songs prior to Thanksgiving only plays into the over commercialization of Christmas.
To boot, it’s not like these are new tunes that have just hit the shelves—we can’t wait to play songs that we listen to every year. So why are we rushing?
Well, it’s likely that the concept of “Christmas Spirit” is the culprit. Every year, in order to be as jolly as possible, Forbes says we spend, on average, $781 on gifts, another $35 to $81 on a tree, and even more on food, decorations, and, of course, music. Some feel the need to show their spirit as early as October, which only plays into the hands of the large corporations. The more they have us thinking about Christmas, the more money they can squeeze out of us. So when you hear Jingle Bells ringing in Macy’s in early November, you know why. It’s a subtle reminder that the shopping season is just around the corner, and that you just might want to get a head start on that Christmas shopping.
Thus, beautiful songs have morphed into a piece of a money-making machine. When those songs come on, it’s hard not to hear the ringing of the cash register with them.
Instead, indulge in that music while you’re decorating the tree, or wrapping presents. Immerse yourself in the natural bliss of the Holiday season—special moments aren’t made by goods, but by people.

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How Soon is Too Soon for Holiday Tunes?