Bright lights line houses and trees. Inflatable Santas and snowmen scattered across the lawn. Christmas carols sing from every store speaker. This magical scene is painted just a few days before….Thanksgiving?
With Christmas close at hand, many declare it the official time to listen to christmas music. However, many have begun their holiday celebrations long before now. Sarah Johnson, a junior at Ralston Valley High School states that she listens to Christmas music, “November 1st. But I won’t listen to it publically until after Thanksgiving. Got to be socially acceptable”.
There are others, like Michalah Piotraschke a junior at RV, who strongly object and only listen to it in, “December, because that’s when it’s appropriate”. Many argue about when they should begin listening to this festive music, and it has to make you wonder, why do people listen to Christmas music at different times?
One reason could be affected by commercialism. Some, like Piotraschke, sees this as a negative phenomenon due to the fact that, “It has been commercialized over the years for people to make more money”.
Others, such as RV high school student Makenna Carpenter a junior at RV, are more forgiving about their tactics. She says that, “It’s technically the busiest time of year for stores so they get paid a lot, so they want to encourage Christmas to get people excited”. Both agree that it is to make more money, but Carpenter does remind us that this is their biggest time of the year, so they are expected to hype it up. Now that we know the contribution of stores and companies, let’s look at the actual people who listen to Christmas music before others.
Johnson believes that radios play Christmas music early, “Because they want joy and happiness, and maybe they are a little greedy,” and that Christmas music is, “Usually very happy”. By this account, Christmas seems like an escape from normal life, which is supported by Makenna, saying that “Maybe they just want the year to end, because to be honest, 2018 has been rough.”
People really do like Christmas, so maybe they just can’t wait for it to start. Carpenter loves, “Seeing the excitement, and just celebrating the people that you value by, not necessarily giving the gifts, but just by sharing that excitement with them”. Johnson thinks,“It’s just a good time. It’s like Thanksgiving but with a smaller number of people usually. It’s like you and your direct family. And it’s just really fun and when you give someone a gift and they open it, and you just see that smile. Even if it’s fake, it makes you feel at least a little good.”.
Johnson’s quote leads us to the next topic, if people simply like Christmas over Thanksgiving, they just skip over it? Piotraschke dislikes the pressure of, “Spending Thanksgiving with people you don’t usually know, so you’re getting grilled and asked all these questions about your life and you just feel really pressured to impress them so it will reflect well on the rest of your family, but at the same time you don’t know these people so you don’t know what your supposed to say”.
While there does seem to be some awkward parts of Thanksgiving, there are also plenty of good experiences tied with the holiday. For example, Carpenter enjoys, “Just sharing the same space. When your not talking to anybody but your in that environment, it’s really nice to me”.
So, since people do seem to enjoy Thanksgiving, maybe they just think Christmas is better. Piotraschke’s favorite part of Christmas is, “The traditions, like you know what’s going to go down, and just the anticipation”.
Obviously there are aspects about Christmas that people love, however, there are also parts that people don’t enjoy as much. Johnson squirms under all the, “Anticipation, and then it’s here and then the next day it’s like, no. You can’t be christmassy anymore. I want to be christmassy until New Years,” and Carpenter says that, “Gifts put a lot of pressure on me, because it’s the part where you don’t feel worthy receiving them, and then it’s like you asked for something and you either get it or it’s like something that you just kind of like ‘I didn’t really want that.’”
There seems to be a pretty even amount of like and dislike when regarding these two holidays, but why is there so much debate over the appropriate time? Many are irritated about Christmas festivities overshadowing other holidays. Piotraschke strongly insisted that this is, “Not okay! Stop stepping on my favorite holiday, Halloween! Back off!”
All in all, everyone seems to have their own opinions about Christmas music. The only thing they can decide on is, as Johnson says, “the world is a terrible place, and Christmas is all about joy,” and that it is annoying when someone begins listening to Christmas music before you deem it acceptable.