Argued by Angelica Gutierrez
I love Christmas, so my stance on this is probably incredibly distorted. Not only do I love Christmas, I specifically love how kitschy Christmas – and other holidays – have become. I live for tackiness.
I think that playing Christmas carols as soon as it is 12:01 a.m. Nov. 1 engenders that lovely spirit of tackiness. I think, more specifically, that this spirit of tackiness is a kind of earnest and impatient childish glee. One is excited for Christmas because it is an opportunity to celebrate something which embodies warmth, gratitude and good cheer.
In other words, I support radio stations over-saturating their radio waves with the sickeningly cloying Christmas music. I want to hear Mariah Carey’s famous whistle notes piercing my ear drums at top volume the second I put one foot in a patch of snow. I can’t get enough of Christmas music – I want to be consumed by it.
I imagine that my ardent passion for the spirit of Christmas past to haunt and heckle me at all hours is something which seems bizarre to those that lack Christmas cheer. I understand that not everyone can be as virtuously Christmas-y as I am. Some of us are rather grinch-like.
What is to be done, when those who are virtuously Christmas-y encounter those who lack the capacity for happiness and joy? All persons, even if they are humbugs, deserve basic respect. I am willing to compromise on my love of Christmas music – there are such things as headphones.
But where I will not compromise is on my insistence that radio stations, grocery stores and other public venues have a fundamental right to bombard listeners with Christmas music at all times. It’s Christmas time, baby. There’s no getting away from it until the very end of December.
Argued by Catherine Dema
On Nov. 1, I awoke to resounding commandments from all around. I could barely open my phone or walk through the PLC without hearing the following assertion – expressed with pure, unadulterated confidence: “Halloween is over, so it’s Christmas now.”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love Christmas. Or, more accurately, I love the Christmas and holiday season. The season inspires nostalgia like nothing else can. Celebrating Christmas rejuvenates my very soul.
However, I think the way in which one celebrates the holiday season is inherently personal because of its nostalgia. Everyone means something different when they say they love Christmas, and everyone experiences the season differently.
As such, I have absolutely no issue with people starting to listen to Christmas music whenever they so choose. Nov. 1, before Thanksgiving, even Aug. 25 – I truly do not care. Yet, this year especially, people who like to begin celebrating early have a tendency to force those around them to begin celebrating. If they don’t, they’re called a Scrooge. You either advocate for Christmas beginning immediately after Halloween or you have no joy in your life and no valid opinions.
This imposing of the holiday season on me not only annoys me, but it makes me feel as though I’m losing my connection to a time I genuinely love. Part of what I love about the holiday season is that it is fleeting. Because the season is short, I know I must take advantage of it. I savor it.
The more Christmas is drawn out, the more – to me, personally – all my favorite things about the season come to feel meaningless. Especially as someone who didn’t celebrate a typical Christmas or holiday season at home last year – and after the mess of a year 2020 has been – I desperately need this holiday season. And I need it to be special. I need it to inspire the comforting nostalgia I crave.
I know that this year will likely look different already. I will not be able to gather with family and friends in the way I have in the past. Thus, the extension of the holiday season to earlier and earlier makes me feel that in addition to potentially missing the best parts of Christmas, I may lose affection for the more stereotypical, shared aspects of the season.
I love Christmas music. I love the decorations. I love the specialty drinks. I love the food. But I love all these things because they feel special. They feel fleeting. They’re also made better by following fall and Thanksgiving traditions.
When people declare that the holiday season has officially begun in early November – honestly the fact I’m writing this Nov. 10 bewilders me – I feel they’re skipping over the ritualistic process which makes the holiday season even better. But, again, others celebrating how they like is not a problem to me.
I’m far more concerned that people play music around me, call me a Scrooge and incessantly talk about Christmas. I feel as though the way I love the holidays is being denied. Even more so, I’m losing the ability to celebrate in the way I want or the way I’ll need to in order to recover from this year.
I want people to celebrate the holiday season however they like and do whatever they need to cling to some semblance of joy. But please do not impose your form of celebration on me because it’s not making me appreciate the season any more. It’s making me desperately fear that my favorite season, and the way I love it, has already been corrupted for me.
Go ahead, listen to Christmas music. Put up your decorations. Write your letters to Santa. But please be wary of forcing others to. Just as many people need to start celebrating as early as possible to get through 2020, others need the season to stay just as special and fleeting.