Enough with yer jingling, already

In what you can see as part two of my “Campaign for Humbuggery” (if I may create a counter-movement against Stephen Colbert’s “Campaign against Humbuggery”), I have to express another one of my frustrations of the extended holiday season that I touched on last week.

I should start off by saying that I do not dislike Christmas as a holiday itself. I enjoy spending time with my family for a nice meal, and I recognize that gathering around to open presents (unless you are a terrible gift-giver) warrants happiness for both the giver and the receiver. The fact that it falls in the middle of winter break from school doesn’t hurt its appeal either; who can complain about that?

In addition, there is usually one other aspect of Christmas that is essential for holiday festivities to commence: Christmas music. Whether you listen to the timeless classics or newer Christmas-themed songs, the festive sounds of the season are often integral elements of Christmas Day.

However, it’s very frustrating for me to listen to Christmas music ridiculously early in the holiday season, and for the past few years, I’ve become absolutely sick of hearing Christmas music by the time Christmas day rolls around.

In my eyes, it gets worse as the years go by. The holiday commercials start sooner and sooner every year, and it seems like holiday music is more prevalent earlier and earlier each year. While it’s nice to hear songs that have been in the vault for nearly a year again, the fact that I hear songs such as Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” at least three times a day during November and December reminds me why I’m glad they’re locked up for 10 months out of the year.

Why do these songs have to be played so early in the year, and why can’t there be more variety in Christmas music playlists? It seems like every musician has at least one Christmas song in his or her repertoire, so it would be nice to hear many different Christmas songs, if we have to hear them at all.

I’ve never understood the appeal of early Christmas celebrations, so I asked people who do. Maradith Noonen and Lisa Lloyd started playing Christmas music in their room on my floor on Nov. 1, and their enthusiasm for Christmas baffled me when they explained their excitement.

Maradith explained that she likes listening to Christmas music because, “I used to hear it being played in stores around the holidays. Since I’ve been in college I don’t go shopping as much and … it’s like a blast from the past.” Lisa said she plays the music “just for fun, because it makes me happy.”

Maybe that explains my disinterest in the holiday season. I frequently go home to Toledo, and I spend too much time in shopping centers; I’ve become jaded by the barrage of music! That makes me sound less bitter, right?

I guess you could call me Scrooge, because certain aspects of the holiday season really irk me, and I’m fairly vocal about them. Of course, the frustration could be a result of my inability to be cheery in the midst of too many projects and exams and too little sleep (I’m writing this on less than five hours of sleep, and tonight I’ll be lucky to get more than that. I think finals are making me bitter and cranky). I don’t know about anyone else, but I can’t help but wonder, how can I find time to enjoy Christmas when I’m too busy trying to find time to sleep?

As a whole, though, I do enjoy Christmas, and I certainly can’t wait until Dec. 25 rolls around. Maybe I’m only excited for Christmas because, like every other day between Dec. 15 and Jan. 6, I don’t have to get up for classes and pull all-nighters to do insane projects, and I’m in the comfort of my own home.

Basically, it’s just that I enjoy Christmas celebrations on Christmas, not earlier in the year. I’d rather celebrate knowing that Christmas is truly right around the corner, not when it’s still weeks or even months away. By not over exposing the holiday festivities, I feel they’re much more enjoyable when it’s truly time for joy.

I know that I’ll be trying to avoid Christmas music while I’m still on campus, although I don’t know how successful my attempts will be. Since this is my last column before winter break, I hope that everyone has a great vacation and is excited by the prospect in overindulging in classic Christmas cheer over a much deserved (and much needed) break.