The Curmudgeon’s Corner

The Curmudgeon’s Corner: Christmas Music

Andy Rooney, the iconic curmudgeon, passed away recently and all of us who loved his observations about things in life that make little or no sense will miss him dearly. For those of you who did not get to enjoy his work he was a writer and a commentator for CBS 60 Minutes program for several decades.

I am no Andy Rooney and do not pretend to be as good as he was. However I find myself from time to time having similar observations about the things in life that are vexing, frustrating, irritating, or just plain stupid. It soothes the soul once in a while to vent on these things. While I am mostly a very positive person I certainly have my moments.

So on occasion I will publish similar rants here on those things that I find frustrating. I will collect them in a series called The Curmudgeon’s Corner and you will be able to find them all in the blog Series index in the tab labeled Series at the top of the page.

I would love to hear from you – feel free to comment whether you agree or disagree with my observations. Today’s rant is on Christmas Music…

Now do not get me wrong. I do not dislike Christmas Music. In fact I love it. The old traditional songs are great and evoke all kinds of memories and some of the ones written in the past couple decades are good too. What kind of Grinch would dislike Christmas music?

I object not to Christmas Music, but to the absurd modern penchant for starting to play it on the radio earlier and earlier each year. And this is but a sign of the over-commercialization of the holidays.

When I was a child the radio did not start playing Christmas music until sometime in December – just days or at best a couple weeks prior to the holiday. There was Thanksgiving, and no one was thinking of Christmas at Thanksgiving except children of course, and then there was a long quiet and dark period of late Fall between Thanksgiving the beginning of the Christmas season. For many that season began at Advent. Advent begins the fourth Sunday prior to Christmas but even then we did not see the Christmas music and advertising turn on.

Over the years the beginning of the Christmas ads and the music started earlier and earlier. I can recall but a few decades ago it moved to the weekend following Thanksgiving or the day after.

The day after Thanksgiving, by the way, now known as Black Friday – the high holy day of Christmas shopping, was first so labeled in Philadelphia in the late 1960s and did not become a national phenomenon until the mid-1970s. And of course with the accelerated shopping and advertising came the music.

This year, and for the past several, my favorite radio station began playing Christmas Music on November 12 – the day after Veteran’s Day. Of course the Christmas decorations and gift displays had already been up in the stores for several weeks.

So what, you may ask, is the problem with them playing Christmas Music for nearly eight weeks prior to the holiday? The problem is that there are not that many Christmas songs played on popular radio. They play the same couple dozen songs over and over for weeks on end and by the week of Christmas one is sick and tired of hearing it.

In my ideal world Christmas music would begin a couple weeks prior to December 25 to put you in the Christmas mood and spirit. You would genuinely enjoy hearing tunes you had not heard for a year or more. After all, the Christmas season does not include Thanksgiving. And where is the limit? If it is ok to play Christmas music the second week of November why not begin the day after Halloween? Or why not begin in mid-October?  

Christmas music is like a tonic for the soul. Too much of it and you are saturated and it loses its magic. It becomes just the repeated noise in the background that has been going on for weeks on end. This is a sad way to ruin the Christmas sound.

My vote is to not play the music certainly before Advent season and ideally not before December. Let’s keep it special.

Wishing you success and prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy
Helping People Learn to Build Wealth

Wishing you Success and Prosperity,

Daniel R. Murphy

Wishing you well,

Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.