How early is too early to listen to Christmas music?

Lucile Carter, Features Editor

     This year, Chicago’s 93.9 LITE FM began playing Christmas music on November 1st, the earliest in the station’s history.  For some, this is far too early. How can it be right to start the musical Christmas season before it’s even close to Thanksgiving? But for others, it doesn’t make sense to reserve Christmas songs for only a brief time of the year. In my own household, if you even dare to hum “Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer” outside of season, you’ll be confronted by at least one person rushing over to shush you. But as I write this in early November, I’m sitting in a cafe strung up with gingerbread man chains and decorated with frosted evergreens while “Mr. Grinch” plays in the background. So, how early is too early?  

For those on the “it’s too early” side, the answer seems simple; Christmas music is for Christmas time. There’s something special about Christmas songs that wouldn’t be the same if they were played all year long. As something becomes more and more frequent, it loses its original uniqueness. So if Christmas carols are played outside their rightful time frame, they lose their shine and become ordinary. Christmas songs were made for a cold snowy day, not a warm sandy beach (at least for us Midwesterners). The general consensus among this side of the debate is that the Christmas season shouldn’t musically begin until after Thanksgiving. For these people, there’s something fundamentally incorrect about a yuletide carol in the middle of July.

However, those on the opposite side of the spectrum argue that Christmas songs were created to bring cheer, and that kind of joy is welcome any time of the year. And though stores may Deck the Halls early for additional revenue, Christmas songs outside the season don’t dilute the festive spirit, they extend it. What better way to add some cheer to your day than an upbeat chorus of “Jingle Bells?” Holiday songs are just another genre of music that can be enjoyed any time of the year. They’re a perfect addition to any playlist for some festive feeling.

At the end of the day, no matter what, we can all agree that the holiday season is a very special time of year. When and how we choose to celebrate the time with our music is still up for debate, but wherever you fall on the spectrum, we hope you have a wonderful holiday season!