Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Since 1907
Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Calvin University's official student newspaper since 1907

Calvin University Chimes

Keep Christmas music special and save it for the holiday season

Like most, if not all of you, I enjoy the holiday season. I love looking outside to see how beautiful the first snow looks, and I love watching Christmas movies with my family, the fireplace crackling in the background. I love listening to Christmas music while decorating the tree with my family on the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

I can still enjoy Christmas activities while still believing that that’s exactly what these activities are meant for: Christmas. More people are playing Christmas music outside the holiday season, when the whole point of creating a genre of music for Christmas is so that we can enjoy this music during the holiday time. Anticipating listening to Christmas music while decorating the tree or making Christmas cookies with my grandma heightens my excitement for the Christmas season and adds a level of specialness to the music. If I were to listen to Christmas music year-round, regardless of the time of year, I’m certain that Christmas music would lose this sense of special.

This is not to say that we should prevent others from listening to Christmas music outside the holiday season, but people should think twice before declaring that those who don’t like Christmas music to be played in July have no sense of Christmas spirit. As I’ve made clear, I love to participate in the festivities. But one way for me to maintain the uniqueness of Christmas is to save the beauty of Christmas music for the holiday season. 

When I’ve complained to friends that they’re playing Christmas music too early or too late, I’m sometimes told that I’m being a grump. I’m sure many people are dismissed as Scrooges for voicing the same concerns. However, imagine listening to “Let it Snow” in July or “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” in September or March. Listening to these songs during months nowhere near the holidays takes away the sense of occasion and festivity. Playing Christmas songs year-round risks removing the special flavor that inspires people to go caroling and write new Christmas songs.  

Christmas songs were created for Christmas. This is a fact we can all agree upon. Going deeper, I believe that Christmas songs also represent the hope and excitement that come with the approaching Christmas season. The almost universal belief that these songs are only meant for the holiday season is what preserves the hope and the excitement of a new year of festivities. Listening to them on a snowy night with the fire going just hits different.

Even as we grow and experience more Christmases, the newness of hearing the first Christmas song of the year never seems to get old. I always feel invigorated and ready to dance when I hear the familiar beginning of Wham!’s “Last Christmas.” If I listened to this song in June, I guarantee you that I would not experience the same level of excitement. Instead, I would be confused as to why I’m listening to “Last Christmas” in the summertime.

If you really want to listen to “All I Want for Christmas is You” in the middle of the summer, then go ahead. I can’t stop you. But think about how less satisfying hearing that song in December will be if you listen to it freely at a time when Christmas is not on anyone’s mind. There is a reason that people wait until November 1 (though I still think that is too early) before sending Mariah’s Christmas classic to the top of the charts. People love the excitement that comes with listening to Christmas music as the holiday is approaching. 

There are so many music genres to listen to throughout the year. Expand your music tastes while letting the excitement build for your Christmas favorites. It will make the Christmas ones sound even better. 

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