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Criticisms of Christmastime

I love the holiday season as much as the next person. I love the season for its chill in the air that can be warmed up by hot chocolate and sitting by a fireplace. I love winter activities and festivities and lights. I love being with family and friends and giving them thoughtful gifts. But the one thing I cannot stand about this time of year is the music. 

I am one of the many not-actually-religous-but-my-parents-grew-up-Catholic people who celebrate Christmas, so my grievances with Christmas music come from the inside. With this fact out there, I am going to give my case for despising (most) Christmas music when played any time other than the week before Christmas. 

First and foremost, Christmas music never changes no matter the year. There are only so many Christmas songs that are considered classics and there is not exactly a market for new Christmas music. The few newer Christmas songs that exist feed off of tackiness and are only played when the songs with good composition are already played. Think your Ariana Grande “Santa Tell Me’s” and anything on a pop star’s tired Christmas album. Even Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” has become tacky and overplayed like a worn out joke. For me, the only thing keeping holiday music intact is the classical composition of said Christmas classics. Jazzy older vocals with string accompaniment is the embodiment of Christmas spirit. If it isn’t by Nat King Cole or Bing Crosby, keep it out of my home. I don’t need to hear Justin Bieber’s version of “Frosty the Snowman” when I am enjoying the falling snow outside, but the soft and lovely introduction to “The Christmas Song.”

There is something fundamentally different about experiencing the holidays to older music at home than experiencing new Christmas music while in a Target shopping for last-minute gifts. One is what the holidays are meant to be, the other is borderline trauma. 

On top of the general tackiness of modern Christmas music, the reason why I dislike hearing even the best Christmas music before it is actually Christmas time is because I don’t want it to become so overplayed that I hate it too. I am actively working against everyone else to maintain the sanctity of this music. As a former band kid I have experienced far too much Christmas music, as I have played various versions of many different songs from October to December every year since sixth grade. From a jazzy “Here Comes Santa Claus” to a botched version of “Carol of the Bells” by an underprepared high school band, I have done it all and I have hated every second of it. 

So on top of my 20 years on Earth celebrating Christmas, I am understandably exhausted by Christmas music and the hype surrounding it every late November into December. This general obsession with Christmas that grips so many people is generally nauseating to me, and makes the holiday far less genuine and caring than I feel it could be. On top of the tackiness of overplaying Christmas music, the tackiness of certain holiday decorations irritates me as well. Sure, it’s not my place to judge someone’s lawn decor, but if it’s about a dozen inflatable Christmas Mickeys I think you need to spend that money on getting actual taste. My exception to holiday decor is when it is tasteful. Lights are lovely, just not the over-the-top cheugy inflatables. 

There is one other exception to my hatred of Christmas music that isn’t necessarily considered a classic, but is to me, and that is the entirety of the John Denver Muppets Christmas album. If you have never listened to this amazing piece of composition, you must. The entire album is ridiculous and comforting; it is childhood Christmas at its absolute best. 

I want to conclude my rant by saying I am not a Scrooge, I love this time of year and a lot of what it brings, but I honestly cannot stand tasteless decisions and most of the music. Just because Thanksgiving is over doesn’t mean it’s automatically Christmas, for the love of people like me and the many people who don’t celebrate Christmas and are tired of hearing about it.

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