Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
August 3, 2021

Holiday music has gone too far

By ADDY PERLMAN | December 5, 2020

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ACHIM RASCHKA/CC-BY-SA-3.0

Perlman bluntly shares her views about some aspects of the holidays.

The day after Thanksgiving, I heard the first Christmas song. On Nov. 27, “Frosty the Snowman” played in South Georgia. There was no frost, and there were no snowmen. It was almost 70 degrees, and people were eating their way through leftovers. Why does it start so early? 

If you know me, you know I’m a bubbly person and am generally in a good mood. I’m easily excitable, and I’m all about having fun. Holiday music is supposed to make everyone cheerful and create this “you’re happy even if you’re actually not” atmosphere. Some people love it, but I don’t. I don’t understand why it lasts the whole month and sometimes into January. You can’t escape it. 

Once the music starts, the decorations start appearing. I love to see the lights, and being Jewish, my family never had decorations, so we would always drive around this neighborhood in town that is known for their decorations and human-sized holiday cards. I will admit this part does bring me some of that holiday cheer, but I take issue with the yards that are drowning in decorations or the ones that are still up through March. Honestly, to each their own. If it brings you happiness, I’m all for it, but please don’t expect me to jump for joy and squeal about swaying snowmen until June. 

I think I wouldn’t mind the sheer vomiting of decoration if it weren’t for the music. I love going places where the streets have garland wrapped around the lampposts. The constant hot chocolate and the crisp cold weather make me happier than lemonade on a hot day. I will gladly take winter (and snow!) over summer any day. I truly enjoy the happiness people feel. To me, that’s what the holiday season is about. 

I just don’t need the same 10 holiday songs playing on repeat everywhere I go. Even when new songs come out, they are overshadowed by the classics. I get it; they’re classics, but when it starts the day after Thanksgiving, I’m ready to pull my hair out by mid-December. I feel like I’m on the Disney ride “It’s a Small World” all month long. 

So, let’s start halfway through December. Perhaps no one would get tired of it in a two-week span, and then maybe even more people would be thrilled when it made its return the next year. I would even be more inclined to listen to “Here Comes Santa Claus” if I didn’t hear it 1,000 times prior to the week before Christmas. Perhaps then holiday music would work its magic and make me want to shop even more. That is part of the point, right? You hear the music, get excited and swipe your card. I will walk out of a store faster if their playlist is only holiday songs. 

I’m just asking for a bit of variety. Maybe that would make me appreciate the top 10 jingles. I know I sound like a cheerless Grinch, and perhaps in this scenario I am, but I think there are others out there like me. Maybe they are too afraid to admit it or don’t even know what gets under their skin during the holidays. To be frank, I was nervous about sharing my negative views, so this is for the other Grinches out there who know exactly how I feel. 

Celebrate the holiday season. Decorate your homes if that’s one of your traditions. Play your holiday music, but please keep in mind that not everyone will react the way you may want them to. If I don’t like the holiday music you play, it doesn’t mean I don’t like you. It simply means my ears are bleeding because I’ve heard the same songs for three weeks. 

I will try my best to smile because I know it makes you happy, but if the smile gets too hard, please don’t be upset that my head isn’t bopping along because I won’t be upset that yours is. I wish I loved it as much as you. I truly do, but it’s just not something I can change. Believe me, I’ve tried. I will get excited for ice skating, roasting marshmallows and bundling up by a fire, so don’t worry, this Grinch will be cheerful, too. Here’s to the holiday season. 

Addy Perlman is a senior studying Writing Seminars and Medicine, Science & the Humanities from Valdosta, Ga. Her column is a collection of anecdotes and personal revelations with a hint of social commentary. 

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