Why I Listen To Christmas Music All Fall Long

Picture this:

An early 5 p.m. sunset looms, promising premature darkness as another calendar year draws to its close. The weather’s grown frigid as the wind frosts your ears, and a lightweight coat no longer suffices. Leaves fall from the trees, browned and crisp as their fate rests in street sewers and damp sidewalk piles. Coursework stacks on your desk, with midterms and finals threatening to consume you. You’re stressed –the season’s change is bringing you down, and you’d do anything to lift your spirits.

And then there’s Christmas. 

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With its sprightly tunes hummed on the radio and its flickering lights draped across posts and greenery –Christmas peeks around the corner, and even though you’ve gotten older, you’re inclined to crave the magic it offers. The magic you’ve known since you were a kid –when life was taken as it came, and time felt longer, and things were easier. I remember every December 1st, waking up and feeling the warmth of knowing what was near. The feeling came all at once, like clockwork, as November’s calendar page was taken down and replaced with the year’s finale.

But then you got older, and things faded. You discovered the reality behind Christmas’ mystifying luster. You grew older, time moved faster, and things caved in. Christmas spirit combats this –it just feels further away. Harder to catch. As years passed, I found myself taking more and more time to grasp the feeling, some years not even reaching it until the morning of. And when it’s so easy to be consumed by the things you often dread this time of year… Christmas spirit is something you need, as soon as you can get it. This was fixed when I stepped down from my high horse and allowed myself to enjoy the simple things –to do what made me happy as soon as I wanted to, despite the disdain often received for embracing the holiday season before what’s considered an appropriate time.

Image Courtesy of Ultimate Classic Rock

It was easy to justify when acknowledging the obvious –Thanksgiving is included in the holiday season, rendering Christmas music a part of the celebration. From waking up to the sounds of Elton John’s "Step Into Christmas," to cooking a feast with The Carpenter’s "(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays" playing in the background, to falling asleep to Queen’s "Thank God It’s Christmas." Christmas music has simply become a part of the celebration… and it doesn’t diminish my love for Thanksgiving. It merely adds to it. It allows you to feel magic and warmth in an unprecedented way, and thus increases the overall bliss of the holiday season. And at the end of the day: it’s just music. Listening to a genre that lifts your spirit does not take away from Thanksgiving, nor does it mean you’re taking the holiday for granted. 

Christmas music makes people happy. It’s scientifically proven to do so. And if that’s not enough– perhaps it’s best to just let people enjoy the things that make an otherwise darkened time of year brighter. Extinguish your negativity, and stop bashing others for something as trivial as listening to holiday music. Even if it’s the middle of July, and you find someone craving a nice indulgence into Wham’s "Last Christmas," or Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?…" Let it happen. If it makes them happy, that’s all the justification they should need.