Before the bird is carved:

We’re approaching Thanksgiving and the beginning of the holiday season, filled with family, good food and cheer. And what’s better, November first signifies the socially acceptable time to begin listening to those tunes that ring out the joy of the season.

Yet, there are those who would beleaguer the season with, “Not yet! At least wait until Thanksgiving is over.” But why?

There are only so many days in the year and, to be fair, we need some cheer with all that’s happened. Accepting that, one must then recognize that, as Buddy in “Elf” says, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

And why should we keep Christmas cheer to 7.6% of the year? This would only serve to dampen the joyous spirit that caps off the year.

Not only would handicapping the playing of seasonal tunes defeat their purpose, but why limit the meaning of the Christmas time to just December, when the ideals pair so well with the message of Thanksgiving.

All of November we are told to think back on the good and be grateful for it, well the aspects of giving gifts and being with family and loved ones during Christmas fits nicely into that message. Giving and being thankful are complementary, giving the perfect reason to unite the seasons under the umbrella of holiday music.

On top of the ideals, the subjects of the songs revolve around weather and setting. Well, the weather doesn’t drastically change between the designated Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, especially here in Spokane where it snows in October. 

The light happy feeling that listening to songs that detail a tree all lit up, snow on the ground and presents in a stocking is a feeling that all of us could hold onto a little tighter. The music serves as a reminder of the beauty of the seasons, both outwardly and reflectively. 

The rest of the year runs without the blatant consideration of joy, generosity and family, so lets hit as much of the year as socially acceptable with that message. 

All that merely provides additional reasoning to listen to the music. The tunes carry the spirit, lifting up morale with catchy melodies and fun lyrics. To be frank, Christmas music is feel good music.

That being said, with the year we’ve had, how can anyone stand in the way of some good old-fashioned happiness? In short, Christmas music is exactly the kind of pick-me-up we need now, and definitely before Thanksgiving.

 After the bird is carved:

Lots of mistakes have been made in 2020 and because of that, this holiday season is all about growth. This year, I for one have been battling an addiction that has plagued my life for the last 19 years: premature Christmas carolling. 

I get it, living in Spokane makes it easy to participate in the Christmas cheer early. When October hits and the city is already suffering from tons of snow, sleet and car accidents, the only solace one gets is Mariah Carey blasting “All I want for Christmas is You” on the radio.

But it is time to be realistic, listening to Christmas music early does not negate the hundreds of dollars you incur from snow related auto-accidents, or your seasonal depression. It does however make you complicit in feeding consumerism and watering the beast of capitalistic America. 

Unlike what premature Christmas music listeners will tell you about joy and holiday cheer, listening to “Mistletoe” by Justin Bieber on repeat makes your mental health worse.

According to clinical psychologist Linda Blaire, premature Christmas music can take a toll on the mental health of listeners when it is played for long periods of time. As holiday carols begin playing earlier each year, Blair explains listeners experience increased feelings of stress. This is because Christmas music is psychologically associated with holiday chores such as event planning and money spending.

Don’t worry it’s totally acceptable to be a Belieber; just wait until after Thanksgiving.

This is not only a matter of respect for your own mental sanity and the bird on Thanksgiving, but a matter of ethical human rights. 

Being addicted to listening to Christmas music prematurely has repercussions larger than us all. As far as I am concerned, all people that listen to Christmas music before Thanksgiving   have no regard for overworked and under-paid retail workers of capitalist America. 

It might be dramatic, but Christmas music is simply a ploy by big corporations to extend the time frame in which they can brainwash us all into panic buying gifts and wasting money on “limited time deals” that are really just rebranded regular deals. 

Although Thanksgiving has its own faults (hello colonization), it still deserves to be celebrated in its own right. 

There is a reason why Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years is referred to as the “holidays.” To use the holiday season in conversation and ignore Thanksgiving is fallacious.

All things are better in moderation, and that includes Christmas music. I am a recovering premature Christmas music listener and this year you should too respect the bird.

Dawson Neely is a staff writer. Follow him on Twitter: @DawsonNeely.

Kellie Tran is a staff writer.


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