We’ve all felt it. That tingling sensation in the back of your neck as you walk through a mall in late October and see faux pine garlands emerge from storage covered in a layer of dust, or turn on the television in early November only to see an advertisement counting down the days until the countdown to the countdown to Christmas begins. It’s like knowing you’re being watched, barely hearing your name called when no one is there. It’s you standing on the balustrade of Winterfell because you’re Ned freaking Stark and understanding that Winter is Coming to decapitate you with forced cheer and more green cookies than you know what to do with. Yes, Christmas has arrived a month early per usual, and your ears are about to become enslaved to the same twelve songs which will inevitably be broadcast on every station until New Year’s and possibly even beyond.
I genuinely cannot put a date on when Christmas became akin to the Rapture in the sense that people feel the need to mentally prepare for it months in advance. It has been “a thing” if you will for as long as I can remember, and will probably remain “a thing” long after I dissolve into pile of holiday-inundated dust. Why can’t we be like Eid, like Chanukah, and keep our holiday-related music from clogging up the airwaves like dough in a cookie press, from seeping into every aspect of human life like pine scented candles from Bath and Body Works?
Of course, the problem lies in the oft-repeated c-word: the commercialization of Christmas when compared to other religious holidays. Case in point: why do we insist on remaking cover after cover of classic Christmas songs when all we achieve by doing so is creating a wider selection of music to be repeated and replayed until we literally beat it to death with a candy cane? Especially considering such covers never seem to get any better than the original. Take a hint Sam Smith and Christina Aguilera, you will never be better than Frank Sinatra.
I seem to be on one polarized side of this argument, on the side of the people who feel driven to distraction by forcibly hearing “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” when you’re just trying to buy eggs, sans nog. On the other side of the chocolate coin are the people who whip out Mariah Carey while still in the process of digesting the Thanksgiving turkey, or, worse still, the people who immediately follow candy corns with peppermint bark. *Shivers*
But hear me out, Christmas fanatics. From my perspective, playing Christmas music in the same way that you might stage a guerilla attack on a military base (e.g. aggressively, and in large numbers) is a good way to ensure that you’re tired of “the Chirstmas spirit” on Christmas Eve. It’s such a long, extended build-up to one single day, a morning even, that the reality can’t possibly match your expectation. Swamping yourself with so much forced cheer, at least for me, makes it feel like Christmas can’t come soon enough—not because I can’t wait for it, but because I genuinely want it to be over.