Thanksgiving has traditionally served as the kickoff to the holiday season. That is, after all, why Macy's famous Thanksgiving Day Parade always builds up to and ends with Santa Claus' float. Over the years though, the Christmas season has crept earlier into November, even showing its presence as early as October. Nowadays, tree-lighting ceremonies occur well before Thanksgiving, and it's not even that unusual to see Christmas decorations standing side by side with Halloween costumes at your local department store.
If there's one aspect of Christmas encroachment that really rattles people's cages, it's when Christmas music radio stations first hit the airwaves. There's very little breathing room for seasonal music between Halloween and Christmas. This year, SiriusXM launched 16 (yes, 16!) holiday channels on the very first day of November. It makes you wonder — where's the line? Are we steadily approaching the day when "Jingle Bell Rock" is played alongside "Monster Mash?"
Once and for all, let's settle this age-old debate: When's the right time to start listening to Christmas music?
Position #1: Before Thanksgiving
Some people just can't wait to get the holiday season started, and if that means Thanksgiving gets the short end of the stick, then so be it. The obvious argument for listening to Christmas music in November is that there really aren't noteworthy Thanksgiving-themed songs — Adam Sandler's ode to turkey excluded, of course.
Despite the generally poor reputation that Christmas music has in terms of sonic fortitude, there are a few tunes that elevate themselves above the oft-maligned genre. Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You," Low's "Just Like Christmas" and The Kinks' "Father Christmas" are all legitimately good songs that could be played year-round if they had a different subject matter. In that light, there's nothing wrong with getting a head start on ringing in the holidays.
Position #2: After Thanksgiving
The Christmas season hits like a tsunami, overwhelming just about every aspect of life with seasonal imagery. Even people who like the Yuletide season can get burnt out pretty quickly, and cranking up the holiday tunes before temperatures even dip below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will just exasperate that feeling of seasonal overload. Christmas will have its time — there's no need to rush things.
Some may argue that most Christmas songs — and apologies to Bobby Helms, here — are often not very good. From ostensible classics like "Little Drummer Boy" to dopey goofs like the Chipmunk's "The Chipmunk's Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)," there are more than enough tawdry tunes out there. Even Paul McCartney had a hard time writing a good Christmas song (or John Lennon, for that matter).
Why intentionally subject yourself to more Christmas music than you already have to endure?
Verdict: Wait until after Thanksgiving
Give Thanksgiving its proper due. There are only three weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving. Can't we all hold out that long before playing Wham's "Last Christmas" ad nauseam? Once Black Friday rolls around, knock yourself out. But until then, keep your Christmas tunes on ice.
When it does come time to crank up that holiday music, HEOS wireless multiroom speakers allow you to play your favorite songs from anywhere in the house. You can get your Christmas music radio fix as early as you like without irritating the rest of your family. Everyone's happy — and isn't that what the holidays are all about?