Blasting Christmas Tunes

It’s mid-December, and the holiday season is officially upon us! Whether you like it or not, your days are probably filled with holiday foods, smells, lights, and most importantly, music. 

If you’re like me, and the holidays bring you an unsolicited sense of comfort and excitement, then I imagine you must revel in a jaunt through Christmas Village or a viewing of the Christmas Light Show at Macy’s. However, this is not the case for everyone: some people, whether it’s for religious, financial, or personal reasons, simply do not enjoy the holidays, and many have objections to key holiday traditions like music. 

Hannah Feinberg ‘20, co-leader of JSU, has always felt like she “isn’t included” in the regular American holiday experience because she doesn’t celebrate Christmas. For her, hearing Christmas music is “annoying in December” and “even worse in early November and January.” 

While she understands the Christmas spirit, she says the holiday “makes [her] feel weird when its pushed in [her] face” and thinks “people at school should try to be inclusive and conscious of how music can affect and make people of other religions feel left out.”

However, Hannah doesn’t speak for everyone. Alex Shapiro ‘20, also a JSU co-leader, says she enjoys the holidays specifically because of the music: “Christmas music is my favorite music kind of music to listen to when I drive. It makes the winter months more fun.”

Both Nyasia Arrington ‘20 and Poli Sotnik-Platt ‘20 are big Christmas music fans and love hits like Baby It’s Cold Outside and All I Want for Christmas is You. Poli goes as far as saying that “All I Want for Christmas is You is acceptable at all times of the year without question.” Nyasia disagrees; while she loves getting into the Christmas spirit by drinking hot chocolate and listening to her favorite tunes, she “doesn’t enjoy hearing any Christmas music before Thanksgiving” because it makes the actual holiday season less special.

Despite Hannah’s issues surrounding inclusion, it seems that the major conversation surrounding Christmas music relates to when it should be played. While the general consensus is that Christmas music season begins after Thanksgiving and lasts until the last day of December, some Friends Select students have a much looser approach. Ezra Singler ‘20 believes that “Christmas music can start in October and end in February,” and Michaela Fineman ‘20 says she’ll “listen to Christmas music even if it’s May.” 

I agree with Nyasia: if Christmas music is played during the spring or summer, it takes away from the magic that emanates from hearing Christmas music as the snowflakes fall and there’s a distinct smell of pine in the air.     

 In short, whether you’re a fan or a hater of Christmas music, an appreciator during December or May, you should play Christmas Music when you feel like it, and proudly. However, you should also be conscious of those around you who may not feel as jolly or love God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen as much as you do. If it’s May, I suggest you put your headphones on.