EP I: When Is It Acceptable to Begin Listening to Christmas Music?
Podcast by Mattison Hansen
[The Myst Intro Bed]
Mattison: Hello! Welcome to me talking to myself in an empty room not for the first time for others to hear. My name is Mattison, an on-air DJ for Flagler’s radio station, and I am trying something new by looking into the reasons as to what’s going on behind the scenes of your favorite songs, movies, tv shows, and other mediums that I can get my hands on.
Mattison: So, let’s start off my first podcast with a popular debate: Christmas music, when is it acceptable to begin listening?
[“I Put a Spell on You” by Hocus Pocus to “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” by Michael Bublé music]
Mattison: It’s the beginning of the Holiday season at Flagler College. For many, the Holidays include spending time with family and friends, eating freshly baked cookies, cold weather, and Christmas songs.
Mattison: Christmas music is composed of a number of genres normally performed or heard around the winter season. Some people might even go as far as saying that Christmas music is a genre of its own just listen for those sleigh bells ringing.
[Sleigh Bells Sound Effect]
Mattison: However, while there are those who enjoy listening to the Christmas jams, we’ve all come to know and love, there are those who have a variety of questions concerning this cheerful genre.
Mattison: When is the appropriate time to start playing Christmas music?
Flagler Student 1: Whenever they want.
Flagler Student 2: November first.
Flagler Student 3: The week around the 6th of December at 4pm.
Flagler Student 4: Is never.
Flagler Student 5: Halfway through December.
Flagler Student 6: The day after Thanksgiving. But if you live in the general St. Augustine area, then you can go on and start with Night of Lights whenever the lighting ceremony is.
Mattison: I personally will start playing music on the day of or after Thanksgiving, as long as it is before Black Friday, primarily because I think Black Friday is the day when you go shopping for Christmas presents.
Mattison: However, there is no specific date set on a calendar which declares when a person can or cannot begin playing their favorite Christmas tunes.
Mattison: According to the readers who polled in the Bustle Hive, BDG’s proprietary reader panel claims various days or months when it’s acceptable to begin listening to Christmas songs. Two percent believe it is never acceptable to listen to any Holiday music, while nine percent voted for any time after Dec. 1, and twenty-six percent voted for any day that follows Halloween on Oct. 31. However, according to fifty-two percent of the poll takers, the most appropriate time would be the day after Thanksgiving.
Mattison: Between the three different generations, millennials from the age of 18 to 34 are the majority who enjoy Christmas music. In a similar manner to Bustle Hive, after talking with multiple students who attend Flagler College, fifty-six percent of them revealed that they begin to listen either on Thanksgiving or the day afterwards. Others commonly answered that any day in December was also acceptable. There was also a handful of Flagler’s students who start to get into the Holiday mood in the beginning of November, or even listen to songs year-round.
Mattison: It’s an informal rule that radio stations in America begin to play Christmas music in late November and throughout December. However, these festive tunes went on air in March 2020 as a way to boost spirits. The year 2020 resulted in a lot of discomfort and heartache for individuals across the globe as they were confined into their homes, and on-air personalities believed that these songs would help boost their listener’s moods.
Mattison: On the other hand, most stores start playing Christmas music as a way to get customers into a spending mood early, and will start to blast the holiday tunes as soon as Halloween is over.
Mattison: Why do people love Christmas music?
Flagler Student 1: It depends, so like this year I started listening to music after Halloween because I was in the Christmas spirit. But last year I don’t think I listened to Christmas music at all.
Flagler Student 2: It gets you feeling festive for Thanksgiving, because after Thanksgiving is Christmas time.
Flagler Student 3: Take everything at a time. Like one holiday at a time.
Flagler Student 4: I’m Jewish, you need to play Jewish music. That’s acceptable all year round. Christmas music, I’m gonna go with on the day of Christmas, never any other time, because I’m Jewish.
Flagler Student 5: Christmas music isn’t really my taste. I don’t really like the Christmas vibes until it’s actually Christmas. If it makes me a little happy a little too prematurely.
Flagler Student 6: Because you need to celebrate Thanksgiving first.
Mattison: Everyone has their own reasoning behind why they enjoy listening to Christmas music at whatever time of the year. For some, it’s the cheer and sentiment that comes with the moving grooving tunes, for others it’s the calm serenity from songs like Silent Night. There’s also the strong effect of nostalgia that plays on the minds of those who have an ear for Christmas songs.
Mattison: One the scientific spectrum of reasoning, the relationship between sound and brain is unique and complex. After multiple steps of a sound wave going into a person’s ear, the sound makes its way into the temporal lobe.
Mattison: The temporal lobe within the brain has multiple functions, one of which allows individuals to perceive senses like sound, smell and taste. Another function is to process emotion and memories.
Mattison: A variety of psychological studies have shown that uplifting music, depending on the person, has resulted in having a positive effect physically and psychologically. Studies have also shown that the feeling associated when listening to Holiday songs can be sorted into two categories: perceived emotions and felt emotions.
Mattison: Part of the reason, according to psychology, why Christmas music is linked with joy and merry is not necessarily the music itself, but the memories that come with them. Many of the songs played during Christmas time talk about religion, tradition, time with family and friends, or Holiday symbols like Santa and sleigh bells.
Mattison: Holiday tunes often hint at happy moments in the past, sad memories of broken hearts, and a resolved cheerfulness for things to come.
Mattison: Here are the top 6 Christmas songs according to Flagler College students. Do any of these ring a bell for you?
[“Last Christmas” by WHAM!]
[“Grinch” by Thurl Ravenscroft]
[“The Most Wonderful Day of the Year” Cover by Glee Cast]
[“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” by Brenda Lee]
[“Deck the Halls” Cover by Pentatonix]
[“All I Want for Christmas” by Mariah Carey]
Mattison: Thank you so much for tuning in to my first, and hopefully not last, episode of The Myst. My name is Mattison, and I can’t wait to learn more about popular media with you.
[The Myst Outro Bed]