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The Campanile

Heather’s holiday report

Art by Rachel Lee
Art by Rachel Lee

As soon as the clock strikes midnight to signal the first day of November, my world becomes tinted with shades of green and red. The spirit of Christmas infuses into my house as the joyful tunes of the season blare from my speakers. Waves of serotonin surge through my veins as I vibe along to my favorite Christmas jams, eating gingerbread cookies and transporting myself to my annual happy place.

I immediately look forward to the next Christmas starting Dec. 26 every year, so it should come as no surprise that I shamelessly start listening to Christmas music even before the Thanksgiving feasts commence. But when I stumbled upon an article on The Campanile’s website headlined “Stop playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving to respect tradition, preserve holiday excitement” written by former Managing Editor Erik Feng, I lost a bit of respect for someone I had deeply admired before finding this column.

So instead of writing a letter to Santa this year, I have written a letter to Erik in hopes of re-establishing the Christmas spirit here at The Campanile:

Dear Erik,

I sincerely invite you to reconsider the points made in your column, “Stop playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving to respect tradition, preserve holiday excitement,” so you can make it on Santa’s nice list this year.

You begin by saying “85% of people report enjoying festive music, but for some people, Christmas songs are not reminders of jolly memories … Because of this, playing Christmas songs before Thanksgiving day is a mistake.”

First, you imply that some people associate festive music with negative feelings, but you manage to gloss over the fact that 85% of people do actually enjoy festive music. Although I sympathize with those who associate the holidays with stress and other negative emotions, it is unreasonable to ask 85% of society to limit their lawful right to play Christmas music or stop publicly celebrating Christmas for that matter.

I think to a certain degree, you do understand the absurdity of limiting Christmas music because you permitted listening to Christmas songs after Thanksgiving. Still, you failed to address that those who will be upset with the music before Thanksgiving will continue to remain upset even after then as we approach winter and the Christmas spirit grows.

Next, you say “By playing Christmas music before Thanksgiving … people are less likely to think about giving thanks and more about holiday deals.”

Erik, are holiday deals on your mind when you listen to Christmas music? I’m only speaking for myself here, but I can safely say that I’ve never had Christmas music prompt me to think of holiday deals. Saying that Christmas music makes you lose sight of expressing gratitude because of these so-called “holiday deals” feels like quite a stretch.

Furthermore, playing Christmas music doesn’t distract me from “giving thanks” any more than other genres of music. I can completely manage celebrating Thanksgiving while still listening to Christmas music, just as I would listening to jazz or punk rock.

Finally, you claim that “If you stream Christmas music before Thanksgiving, people are likely to become tired of the festive songs by the time Christmas spirits are supposed to be high.”

However, a 2020 survey conducted by the multi-million dollar company and partial news outlet Shift shows that out of 1,500 respondents, two-thirds enjoy Christmas music while shopping.

In addition, Peter Christenson, a Professor of Media Studies at the University of Rochester, said, “If the (Christmas) music didn’t perform a function, (retail stores) wouldn’t play it. It creates this ambiance of this warm, fuzzy Christmas feeling.”

Considering retail stores have continued to play festive songs before December as a business strategy, it seems unlikely that this has caused widespread Christmas music fatigue.

With the month of December dedicated to stressing over finals, semester deadlines and attempting to stay positive while the gloomy weather settles in, celebrating the holiday season in December alone is painfully insufficient. Thus, commencing the holiday music in November is essential to adequately embrace the spirit of Christmas.

All I ask this Christmas is for you to reconsider your sickening stance.

Warm wishes,

Heather Song

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Heather Song, Social Media Manager
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  • C

    CamilleJan 9, 2024 at 8:20 pm

    Love this article! Super throughout and great points made. I’m a fan.
    poor Eric, he’s been through it.