In the 1840s, the Christmas card was invented. Ever since, we’ve seen a slow and steady increase in the commercialization of the holiday. Some of that, of course, was for the better. Every year I get excited for fun ornaments, gingerbread houses, shopping centers lined with garland and lights, gifts, holiday movies on every channel and much, much more. However, with the commercialization of Christmas came the bane of my existence — Christmas carols.
I’m only kidding, of course, but I am one of the rare scrooges who is not a fan of Christmas music, particularly before Thanksgiving.
I have a few reasons for my grinch-like attitude toward Christmas music. The first is there is seldom a new holiday song. Each year, department stores play Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” and the traditional rendition of “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” on loop.
Sure, every few years a new song gets popular, but usually they remain the same and it’s tiresome listening to the same songs on repeat. In the car, in the store, in restaurants, at family gatherings, the school hallway and then in your head all day long.
To this same point, when you listen to any song over and over, it loses just a little bit of it’s magic each time, until it finally becomes a numb, meaningless background sound. Christmas is one of my favorite seasons, especially the three to four days leading up to Christmas. They are filled with so much excitement and preparation and possibility. I love saving Christmas music for those days, so the songs really feel special and fresh, and I’m excited to listen to them.
Another reason to hold off a bit on the carols? Thanksgiving is a pretty amazing holiday and I like fully soaking it in. It is the only holiday we’ve got that reminds us to reflect on our lives. Thanksgiving is wholesome and humble and provides us with an opportunity to feel festive in a different way. I try to embrace the magic of it, carol free, before hurrying into Christmas.
My last explanation for this anti-carol mentality — sometimes rushing into Christmas can be stressful. The sooner we turn on the holiday tunes, the sooner we’re reminded of malls echoing with the same songs while bustling with anxious shoppers. Many department stores and shopping centers play Christmas music early for this reason. Then, we’re driven to buy things early we may not truly need. If we hold off on playing Christmas music, we let the season come to us and we’re not forcing gift buying or getting overpriced and unnecessary decorations.
Life, especially this year, drives us all to look for some semblance of hope or positive feeling to get excited for. For me, that thing is definitely Christmas. Maybe your way of finding some light is turning on that Michael Bublé Christmas Spotify playlist ASAP. If so, you’re probably less of a miser than I am. But I’ll be saving my playlists for right at Christmas time, savoring each lyric, treating each song like it’s brand new, because it will be.
Anna Schmidt is the Collegian opinions editor and a junior in mass communications. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of the author and the persons interviewed and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.