We need to talk about Christmas music

In case you didn’t know, I’m a manager at a retail store. What does that mean for me, usually? A lot of headaches, to be quite honest. It also means I listen to the same music every day for hours on end. Normally, that isn’t so bad. The company radio station adds in a new mix of songs every couple weeks, phasing in new stuff and phasing out old. It plays a mix of older hits and newer ones. I usually find myself singing along at least a handful of times throughout the day, and that’s cool with me.

This year is my first working retail during the holidays. On Black Friday, Christmas music started playing at 8 a.m. on the dot. It will continue to play until Christmas has come and gone. Unless you’ve followed me from blog to blog or know me in real life, you probably haven’t heard me rant about Christmas music.

I hate Christmas music.

But wait. Don’t call me a Scrooge yet. I really love Christmas and I don’t mind winter that much (though I think it’s too cold in New England and the snow in my hometown, South Lake Tahoe, is ridiculous). It’s just that Christmas music seems to be, by definition, annoying. Much of it is creepy (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside” sounds like a moral tale about not letting others mix your drinks and “Santa Clause Is Coming to Town” takes the already-weird idea of an old guy who sits around listing the names of children who are “naughty or nice” and makes it weirder by making him omniscient. Okay) and everything has been covered more than a dozen times. Unfortunately, only some of these covers are bearable and in order to keep things “lively,” stations usually play more than just the bearable covers in order to claim they’re playing a “variety.” I call bullshit!

I guess I should be grateful that my place of work didn’t start the Christmas music until Black Friday. Others have had to deal with it since November 1 (or earlier). Sirius Radio had Christmas stations available even before Halloween had passed. Really? Don’t you think that’s a little soon? I realize I can go into a department store and buy Halloween candy as well as new Christmas wreaths at the same time now — which also seems absurd — but the music, at least, should come later. Shouldn’t it?

No one said the entire month of December needed to be devoted to singing “Let It Snow.” Let’s just bump the Christmas music playlists back by a week or so… I promise people will spend money on gifts whether they’re hearing Adele or Michael Buble. (Customers tune out the music just as much as the employees do.)

There are only a handful of truly decent Christmas songs and I don’t want to hear them 300 times in the weeks leading up to the holiday itself. Alas, I guess I’ll need to learn how to tune out the music even more than I already do at work. Otherwise I might actually turn into a Scrooge (and no one wants that).

We need to talk about Christmas music

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