It's that time of year again. The time when almost every radio station plays Christmas music. It's also the time when people express their distaste for the music and debate when it is acceptable to play it. There are people who enjoy Christmas music and the joyful notes that accompany it. Other people can't stand it. Why is that?
My thoughts on the matter is based on two ideas. First, Christmas music is genre. Second, how often it gets played. I think we can agree that Christmas music gets overplayed during the months of November and December. By overplay, I don't simply mean it is the same genre, but the same songs! I love "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" and "Jingle Bells" but like any other song, it's a very short time when we can stand hearing it over and over again. It's one of the selling points for Pandora, and why we get angry when we hear the same song twice on it. However, it appears every artist has to do their own rendition of a Christmas song (and some are better than others). The problem explodes when every station begins to play it.
One of the great things about the radio is the number of stations you can listen to for you set of music. There are so many genres to choose from. However, Christmas music playing on every station takes away from that. Even with the argument of a Rock and Roll version of Silent Night, the problem would then become messing with the ideas of people. There are some things people refuse to allow mixing. There was this game a while back called Red Steel 2. I enjoyed the game (was given for Christmas ironic enough) but when I told a friend he refused to play because he could not accept the mixing of the Wild West with Japanese culture. That's just how he was.
As I hinted above, people associate certain things with Christmas. Some instinctively recall panic and obligation for gifts while others see it as an opportunity to give and receive gifts on sale. Some recall the great family time and activities while others recall the loneliness or drama of the holidays. And some can feel the joy and spirit in the music while others have lost the touch.
The last offense to me is the commercials. Especially today, they seem to think that the public really enjoys "clever" renditions of classic songs. I don't. This has three problems with it. First is the associations and reinforcements of not-so-pleasant ideas. Second is the vast number and frequency. Lastly, they are generally just stupid (I would post one, but I hate to give them any credit).
Personally, I simply see Christmas music as a genre and associate a variety of things with it. I listen to it whenever I'm in the mood for it. For example, I consider "Linus and Lucy" Christmas music, but it generally brings me a smile whenever I need it. Or sometimes, I'll randomly play "Little Saint Nick" by the Beach Boys.
So it is understandable people's various reactions to something a simple as Christmas music. However, I also think some people don't know why they get angry. It could be a cultural thing as so many people are now forceful and loud of their negative opinion, it just adds to it. Though I must be honest, if I hear "Last Christmas" again, I too might feel urge of destroying the radio. Then again, that's no different than if I hear a Miley Cyrus song...