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Christmas Music: How Soon Is Too Soon?

Ever since I can remember, there has been a big ruckus about “the war on Christmas.” As far as I can tell, “the war on Christmas” mostly consists of people trying to market to people outside of the community who celebrate Christmas. It’s been a very passive war without much happening. For instance, the main weapon in “the war on Christmas” this year has been a plain red cup from Starbucks.

If we wanted to be honest, there’s a war on another holiday. There is undoubtedly a war on Thanksgiving. The main weapon of choice: music.

It seems that every year, Christmas music starts playing earlier and earlier. This year, I received a video from my sister-in-law of my niece. It was an adorable video of her being fed, but instead of being overwhelmed with cuteness, I found myself disturbed. Perhaps it was because the food she was eating looked like some sort of orange toxic goo. More likely, though, it was the Christmas music playing in the background. Despite it being a full two weeks before Thanksgiving, she had decided to skip straight ahead to Christmas.

Thanksgiving has always been the forgotten step-child of holidays. It has been the Jan Brady of holidays, always there whining, “Christmas, Christmas, Christmas!” I suppose that is bound to happen when a holiday depends on the least flavorful meat a person can find, but it still seems as though our holiday music should be reserved for the next closest holiday.

I do tend to be more of a grinchy Ebenezer Scrooge type, though. It can be difficult for a person who hates “Jingle Bell Rock” with every fiber of his being to be impartial when reviewing a topic as divisive as Christmas music. With that in mind, I completed an informal and yet very telling survey of those around me to figure out the appropriate time for the holiday music fun to commence.

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The answers varied from “as soon as it is cold enough outside” to “only on Christmas and even then I don’t want to hear it.” Sure, a majority of people have no interest in Christmas music before Thanksgiving, but it is not a large majority. What can be learned from this survey is one thing: no one will ever agree on when Christmas music should be played.

Perhaps it is the fault of Thanksgiving. While Christmas was rounding up the likes of Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole to record classic song after classic song, those in charge of Thanksgiving were taking their post-turkey naps. A quick search in your favorite search engine will reveal that nearly every Thanksgiving song is a parody song most likely from a Saturday Night Live cast member.

Those do not count as actual holiday songs.

As a member of the post-Thanksgiving camp, though, I would like to make one final plea: The year is short enough. There is no reason to make the year go by faster. We should savor every holiday that we can because each one is fleeting. If we rush by, soon we will find ourselves in the holiday-free zone of spring wishing we had taken time to enjoy the holidays we had while we had the chance.

Also, it would be okay if we did not play anything involving sleigh bells again. I do not think anyone would miss them.

Written by Nathan Badley

When Nathan is not writing about music, he might be writing material for his often neglected blog at nathanbadley.com. Or he might be writing something else. Or podcasting. Or playing music. Most likely he is just watching TV thinking about how he should be doing those things. You can tweet him @badlandsbadley and congratulate him on his mad 3rd person writing skills.

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