Listening to Christmas Songs Before Thanksgiving Is Literally Making Us Crazy

Every year I’m annoyed by how Christmas seems to begin earlier and earlier, as other, perfectly fine holidays like Thanksgiving and Halloween get big-footed out of the way by retailers’ attempts to squeeze out a bit more of our hard-earned dollars in a bacchanal of capitalism, convincing us our family will hate us if we don’t buy them a bunch of crap they don’t need.

Psychologist Linda Blair told Sky News that the early onset of Christmas music can actually have a detrimental effect on our mental health, especially for workers in retail shops. Especially that Paul McCartney ‘Wonderful Christmastime’ song. Compare that to Lennon’s ‘Happy X-Mas (War is Over)’ and you’ll know why all the Beatles songs are credited Lennon/McCartney and not McCartney/Lennon.

“Music goes right to our emotions immediately and it bypasses rationality,” says the clinical psychologist Linda Blair.

“Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it’s played too loudly and too early.

“It might make us feel that we’re trapped – it’s a reminder that we have to buy presents, cater for people, organise celebrations. Some people will react to that by making impulse purchases, which the retailer likes. Others might just walk out of the shop. It’s a risk.”

She says that shop workers have to “tune out” songs that they’re hearing multiple times every day for weeks on end.

Basically, Christmas is stressful, and pumping music into stores when people are doing back to school shopping is even more stressful.

Sky also talked to Gary Grant, owner of The Entertainer Toy Shop, a chain with 140 locations in the UK, who starts playing Christmas music in October and who also doesn’t sell Harry Potter merchandise and closes his shop on Sundays because he’s one of those kinds of Christians. You know the ones I’m talking about.

“In the middle of October, it starts off as being one in four songs. Now it’s one out of two. In a couple of of weeks time it’ll be all Christmas music.

“Once we get past fireworks night, the focus it totally on Christmas.”

Okay, so, for my non-UK readers, “fireworks night” is Guy Fawkes day, and it happened last Sunday, on November 5th. Now, the British are godless heathens who don’t celebrate proper American holidays like Thanksgiving, but they could at least wait until Remembrance Day, which we here in the US call Veteran’s Day, and is this weekend.

So you’re not the only one whose skin crawls when you hear Michael Bublé doing Christmas songs in October. Or Michael Bublé singing anything at any time, really, but Christmas is really the bread and butter time of year for when your spinster aunt gets all lubed up with Bublé and Chardonnay. Personally, I’m a Rat Pack guy, but Christmas with Weezer is pretty festive, too. Just keep it in December.

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6 years ago

I was in a Cracker Barrel restaurant on Oct 1st and they already had the Christmas merchandise and decorations on display.
A few stores are having Black Friday sales weeks before the real Black Friday.
Pretty soon we’ll be starting Christmas in September.