Do You Hear What I Hear: When is the Best Time for Christmas Music?/by Morgan Thomas

With Halloween swiftly approaching, many people are already gearing up for the holiday season. However, as stores bring out their Christmas merchandise, some wonder if we begin celebrating Christmas too early. Many radio stations start playing nonstop Christmas music the day after Halloween. Magic 96.5, a radio station in Birmingham, Ala., will even play a few days to celebrate “Christmas in July.”

I like Christmas music, but even I can’t help but wonder if it’s all just a little much. It seems to me that the commercialization of Christmas and Christmas music makes the holiday lose a little of its cheer. So, when is the perfect time to listen to Christmas music? MC students were not shy in giving their answers.

As it turns out, Christmas music is a highly divisive topic among MC students; not only were students concerned about when to listen to it, but also what kind was being listened to.

Haylee Riley, a senior at MC, claims she will only listen to Christmas music in December and only if it is playing on the radio. Other students like Katherine Parker and Lily Hargrove have no problem listening intermittently throughout the year, even if they have to play it themselves.

Among the more traditional sect of Christmas music listeners are those who will only start listening the day after Thanksgiving. By far the largest group I interviewed, are students like Natalie Covington and Faith Dubois who argued that they like to give Thanksgiving the appreciation it deserves before launching straight into Christmas. Seconding this statement, Anna Carter exclaimed: “DAY AFTER THANKSGIVING! All else is blasphemy!”

While most students agreed that after Thanksgiving was the best time to listen, there are others who would rather not listen to the tunes at all. Rachel Summerlin, a receptionist at the MC Writing Center, states that she only listens to Christmas music on Christmas Day, if she listens at all.

She’s not alone in her opinion; Dr. MaryAnn Parke, a statistics professor at MC admitted, “I don’t particularly care for Christmas music.”

Though all of these opinions are perfectly valid, I fall somewhere in the middle. Generally, if I play Christmas music at all, it is in December, although I do remember one occasion in October of last year that I had a Christmas Coffeehouse playlist going as I drove through Jackson.

For the most part, I will only listen to Christmas playlists; the radio tunes are just a little too repetitive for my tastes. I used to fall asleep to the radio every night as a kid, so I have a personal tradition of listening to Christmas music every Christmas Eve when I go to bed. For me, Christmas music is comforting, like an oversized sweater on a chilly winter day.

Whether it’s a cozy sweater or like nails on a chalkboard to you, Christmas music provokes a myriad of opinions. So, when is the best time to listen? The answer honestly depends on the person. As for me, the best time to listen is whenever I feel it in my heart, even if it’s three sizes too small.

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