Commentary: Christmas Music and The American Grinch


Kira Allen

A lit and decorated Christmas tree sets the tone for the holiday season.

A lone customer is carefully calculating their weekly shopping itinerary. Head down. Grim face. They walk in a monotonous, ritual-like fashion as faint bells in the background unmistakably snatch just enough of their attention. Barely audible, the song, “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” is made out. The shopper’s face lifts up as their pace quickens. Their fingers slowly begin to tap to the beat; their feet skip forward ever so slightly, as this once chore has become an enjoyable mission.   The catch is: it’s a month before Christmas. Is this valid, or should Christmas music refrain from being played until after Thanksgiving?

Here begins the war, the domineering struggle for the reign of the radio stations, the car “auxes”, and so forth in the final few months of the year. 

In the climax of this seemingly never ending battle, there’s the villains who remain stubborn in their beliefs that Christmas celebrations begin after Thanksgiving. Using complaints and whines alone, they insist that each holiday must be separated individually, with no overlap. At times, it seems as though they wish for the whole of humanity to become as miserable and atrocious as they are-becoming the Scrooges of the holiday. 

]However, where there’s a villain, there’s a hero. To combat those despicable beliefs we are blessed to thank the people who celebrate Christmas with their very pride and soul to save the day.

In this epic showdown, the heroes are the people who wear an ugly sweater and Christmas pajamas on October 31st. Blasting Mariah Carrey’s “All I want for Christmas is You” on their way to a Halloween party, these people’s enthusiasms are unmatched. They shout their anthems of “Jingle Bells”, liberating the world of the ghastly witchcraft that their enemies so desperately try to cling to. The heroes are not backing down, they recognize their call to action. These people allow themselves to reignite the festivities of Christmas on Halloween to once again restore merry and cheer.

I am people. In fact a few years back, I even wore Christmas earrings to top off my ensemble. I have always been the type of person to wear my heart on my sleeve. Anyone who knows me can tell you that when I am excited about something, everyone in the room knows it. 

If dressing up as Christmas for Halloween still doesn’t quite capture my opinion on this topic, I will share that I am a firm believer in the fact that Christmas music deserves to be played in November, and anything less than this dramatically lessens the happiness that can be aroused during the Christmas season. As we all know, the Christmas spirit can change anyone, even the stink, stank stunk ol’ Grinch.

Scientifically speaking, music quite literally can help release dopamine-a neurotransmitter otherwise known as the feel good chemical. This then is carried through the brain to what is referred to as the brain’s “reward center” which can reinforce feelings of pleasure.

This is especially evident and is shown when one listens to positive, uplifting music. Christmas music can be nearly as positive as it can get. 

Remember your childhood? Remember hardly being able to fall asleep on December 24th only to wake up the following morning with glee at the sight of the beautifully decorated Christmas tree with carefully thought out gifts for the individuals? Remember having to wake up your tired parents and becoming overly impatient as the excitement was incredibly overpowering?  Remember those feelings? Can you remember?

Christmas music is associated with this beautiful season. It reignites memories of the holidays, the possibilities of joy and the prospect of hope. 

People who say that Christmas music takes away from the appreciation of Thanksgiving are better known as the classic Dr. Suess’ Grinch. Simply put, their hearts are “two sizes too small.” 

They are depriving themselves of any opportunity of happiness, which can be so difficult to come by in the world we live in today.  

Perhaps our Grinches of the story argue that it’s easy to get burnt out on Christmas music. Murmuring on and on that the music gets repetitive and radio stations play the same songs on repeat. 

However, where were they when “Driver’s License” was released by Olivia Rodrigo? Most certainly, they were guiltily listening to that song on repeat, over and over. As soon as it ends, bam! They restart the song (how else would it be the #1 song of 2021) to listen to yet again. Why are these hypocrites listening to a song about a heartbroken teenage girl who is struggling to move past a relationship? Why are these Scrooges listening to melancholy music that plays off the defeatist emotions that are all too prevalent in the world today (and don’t forget the fact that Miss Taylor Swift’s somber, 10 minute version of “All Too Well” is already breaking music industry records as well)?

Nonetheless and rather unsurprisingly, Christmas music heroes enter the battle once again. They return to bring back the jovial uplifting music that simply restores the holly back to jolly, glad tidings back to joy, and merry back to Christmas.

Christmas music deserves to be played in November, and hopefully those Scrooges will have an opportunity for their hearts, just like the Grinch, to grow three sizes someday.