It’s a hot topic: When do you find it socially, personally, societally acceptable to begin listening to Christmas music?
Growing up, the rule was not until after Thanksgiving Dinner, and after we finished the annual screening of Holiday Inn (Probably the best Christmas movie ever created and please, just don’t argue with me until you’ve seen it. Debuting in 1941 when the whole world was introduced to the now age-old classic “White Christmas” [AND NO THAT SONG ISN’T FROM THAT LAME MOVIE CALLED WHITE CHRISTMAS, DON’T EVEN GET ME STARTED THERE.], when Fred takes us through life dancing, but Bing gets straight to our hearts singing and we all fall in love with the holidays all over again…)
Then, and ONLY THEN, was the Christmas music allowed in our house.
And holy cow, was there ever a selection to choose from! My Dad and I had a tradition starting when I was a little kid, where I’d go to the used record store (RIP 2nd Hand Tunes on Main Street in Evanston) and spend at least an hour delving into their Christmas LP crates. On Christmas morning, I made sure these were the first thing my Dad opened, so we could clean them up and get them piping through the speakers as we opened our Christmas presents.
The guys that worked at the record store knew that I’d take my sweet time and really pick out some doozies. Most of them were between .49 and 2.99 and they were all perfect to add to our growing collection. We’re talking Jim Nabors’ Hawaiian Christmas Special and Muppet Christmas and even an entire album of all your Christmas favorites played on hand tools from the garage. Real record gold, I’m telling you.
When I was in college, I was a rebel. The rule for me, because I was out on my own making my own decisions and setting my own rules was Christmas music started on November 1st! That’s right, sundown on Halloween, it’s ON.
Now I realize this is too much for some people, but here’s my main reasoning for this:
Nearly every single popular artist on the face of the earth has put out at least one “holiday album”. Even if it’s not strictly Christmas, it’s holiday-themed with songs about snow and hot chocolate and staying warm by the fire. Admit it. It’s true!
Do you realize how much music that is, in total? Each and every holiday-themed track from every single holiday-themed album? We’re talking hours, adding up to weeks, adding up to possibly months of music!
I ask you this: How can you restrict those months, weeks and hours of music to one month a year, between Thanksgiving and Christmas?
So: Since it’s after November 1st, after Thanksgiving, and December is fast approaching… Go forth, dear readers, and listen to the holiday albums of your choice! You have my permission anytime, but particularly now. Enjoy them. Bask in their glory.
Laugh when Adam Sandler sings about smoking his Marijuanakkah.
Be moved when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings Carol of the Bells at lightning speed with crystal clarity.
Rock out when Hanson croons their version of Merry Christmas Baby.
Let tears come to your eyes when Nat King Cole sings, oh so smoothly, gently and lovingly about kids from 1 to 92.