Should Christmas music be banned before Thanksgiving?
You walk into a crowded shopping mall and you recognize that song blaring through the speakers.
“We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas
We wish you a Merry Christmas.
And a happy new year.”
It’s that time of year again.
Now, whether you love or despise Christmas music, did you know that it may actually harm your mental health? That’s according to one psychologist in the UK.
Clinical psychologist Linda Blair claims that constantly listening to Christmas music “forces people to remember all the things they have to do before the holiday.” The songs remind people to buy presents for their loved ones, host parties, and start preparing their travel plans.
Speaking with Sky News, Blair said,
“You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”
People who work in large stores face the highest risk. Blair says that the upbeat, catchy songs may actually harm their mental health. Workers would have to force themselves to “tune [Christmas music] out.” This leads them to become “unable to focus on anything else.”
“Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it’s played too loudly and too early.”
Unfortunately for store employees, major retailers in the US often start playing Christmas music early. According to the Tampa Bay Times, Best Buy starts playing Christmas tunes on October 22nd. Sears, Kmart, Michael’s, and Lane Bryant took second place. Their Christmas music starts on November 1st.
Despite the stress retail workers may face, some store managers will happily play Christmas tunes early. Gary Grant, founder of The Entertainer, said,
“It’s all about setting the scene. What you’ll find is that Christmas music gets integrated into the music we normally play.
“The songs I’m playing are ones you’ve grown up with and, when you hear them, something triggers inside you. It’s nostalgia. Christmas lights are going up — there’s an ice rink outside the Natural History Museum.”
Grant added that, without Christmas music, his stores wouldn’t earn a lot of revenue during the busy holiday season.
“We basically spend 10 months preparing for two. Without these final eight weeks we wouldn’t make any money.”
Not everyone agrees, however. Speaking with The Times, Danny Turner, a programming executive at Mood Media, said,
“The one I have in mind is The 12 Days of Christmas… Once I’m at the third day, I’m counting how many days are left. You don’t want any songs that feel like they last for 12 days.”
Featured image by Daniele Obreti (CC by 2.0)