The din of Christmas music seems to start earlier every year. Last year, I can recall turning my radio to 104.5 FM and hearing holiday tunes as early as October. Even though I celebrate and enjoy Christmas, the tradition of playing the music of the holiday so early is absurd. The songs themselves are already repetitive; why do we have to play them for multiple months?
Christmas compilations tend to be the garbage thrown out of people’s music collections. This is evident from the discarded copies of Michael Bublé’s “Christmas” and Justin Bieber’s “Under the Mistletoe” that line the shelves of every Goodwill. These are two fairly recent examples of something artists have been doing for the last fifty years: releasing Christmas albums in an effort to bring in a few extra dollars.
In your grandmother’s closet, you will likely find some examples of music labels exploiting the fame of artists like Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby and Andy Williams for dollars through the production of holiday compilations.
The exploitation of singers has led to countless variations of the same old Christmas songs.
The melodies of these songs we’ve heard so many times have a unique ability to tug at our heart strings. It seems a majority of people have a fondness for snow, presents and hot cocoa. For those who remember waking up to presents on Christmas morning or spending quality time with family around the fireplace, Christmas music can provide an escape to a better place. Holiday songs allow us to forget, if only for a few minutes, the stresses of jobs and classes and revel in nostalgia.
This illusion only serves to distract and is not good for anyone. Thinking in the present moment is key to getting things done in a timely manner. As the leading procrastinator of The Daily Nebraskan’s opinion section, I have a lot of experience with this. To stay focused, it’s important to try to keep my thoughts away from the weekend or upcoming events and think about the things happening right now. Listening to “White Christmas” in November so that one can fantasize about unwrapping gifts in a month is little more than a corporate-fueled distraction from the important things happening today.
Refraining from turning on Christmas music too early will not only help students focus on their work also stop labels from over-producing the same songs. By refraining from allowing nostalgia to take over our brains, we will be able to enjoy ourselves once Dec. 25 finally comes around, rather than be haunted by missed assignments and poor exam performances. That way the holiday can be spent enjoying traditions with family and listening to those overplayed Christmas songs on the day for which they’re intended.
This piece was originally published in the November/December 2018 edition of The DN.