An Open Letter to Stores that Start Playing Christmas Music on November 1

As a university student with awful spending habits, there is nothing quite as irritating as walking past your store and hearing the “uplifting” chime of an overplayed Christmas carol in the first week of November. The holiday season is very stressful for us students; it means writing exams, seeing family, and spending money. I’m sure you can understand how hearing holiday tunes so early in the year could send us into a frenzied panic.

Honestly, I’m broke. I understand that you don’t like to hear this, but, unfortunately (for both of us), it’s the truth. Luckily for you, I will go against my better judgement, again, this year and buy unnecessarily expensive gifts for my friends and family. It’s pretty unfair of you to think that I will hand over my money as soon as the clock strikes midnight on October 31st. My bank account needs some time to recuperate after all the money I spent on constructing my sexy Dwight Schrute costume. The only thing I’ll be buying on November 1st is discounted Halloween candy.

Give us time to mourn Halloween. As university students, we love Halloween. The whole holiday is comprised of eating junk food, dressing-up, and, in later years, getting wasted. The anticipation for this beautiful monster of a holiday is built up over the month of October, through fright night dance parties and countless Pumpkin Spice Lattes, finally climaxing in a beautifully spooky night. The last thing I want to do the next day is spend hours in a mall searching for the perfect Christmas gift, each carol a reminder that there are only a couple more weeks until exam season. November 1st is a day to recover and reflect on the spirit of Halloween. You’re already ringing in the next holiday before the the corpse of Halloween is cold.

While Andy Williams might say that the holiday season is “the most wonderful time of the year,” your employees know the truth. It is nearly two months of pure hell for retail workers. As someone who has worked in customer service for over five years, I can guarantee that these upcoming months are the most awful thing they will ever experience. Your employees are the true heros of the holiday season. They keep a brave face as they have to deal with kids shoving merchandise up their nose and mothers who blame them for selling out of the newest Star Wars action figure. They do not deserve to be trapped in a confined space and force fed the same twenty holiday songs for two months.

If none of this speaks to you, then maybe this will: you’re using the wrong business model. You think that bombarding people with constant reminders of Christmas and hypnotizing them with festive songs will make you the most money? Wrong. Reminding people that Christmas is coming almost two months in advance gives them time to reconsider gifts and talk themselves out of buying big-budget items. A sneakier - and more lucrative - scheme would be to hold off on the holiday reminders. Keep up the fall vibe. Play “Time Warp” or “Monster Mash” a few more times. Keep the flannel and plaid displays in your window. Leave the Halloween costumes on the rack. Then, a week or two before Christmas, break out all of your holiday mix CDs and festive decorations. People will be so starved for Christmas cheer, that they will gladly spend their money on all things holiday related. Without your constant reminders to start buying Christmas gifts, they will have left all shopping until the last minute. You can raise your prices sky-high and people will have no other choice than to pay top-price for their presents. Your customers will be willing to purchase any expensive items that will quench the guilt they will feel about buying last-minute gifts for their child, significant other, or grandmother.

I hope you will consider my words, and stop playing Christmas music on November 1st. You’re like the capitalist version of Spongebob, and I will not stand for your annoyingly enthusiastic insistence to play Christmas music fifty-five days before the actual holiday. Give us time to process the 30 tiny Aero bars we ate on Halloween before shoving sugar plums down our throat.