Holiday music triggers mixed feelings

OU News Bureau

As Christmas approaches, the debate on when holiday music should start playing on the radio begins.

Jay Towers of Detroit’s radio station 100.3 WNIC asked listeners in September when they hoped to hear Christmas music this year. After mixed responses, the station transitioned into full holiday music Nov. 9, a noticeably later date than usual. Last year, the switch was made Nov. 3, and in 2015, it was on Nov. 2.

Whitney Meyers of Oakland County’s Madison Heights will not tune in to Christmas music at all this year.

Whitney Meyers

“I like the holiday,” she said. “I just don’t like the music. There’s only so many Christmas songs so they become repetitive. I don’t understand how people tolerate it for so long.”

Meyers stopped liking Christmas music after working in retail. The store she worked for played the same holiday playlist on repeat every day.

One study, conducted by British psychologist Linda Blair, looked at the effects of Christmas music. It found that it could be damaging to mental health, particularly for retail employees. The songs could become distracting for workers, causing them to expend most of their energy on tuning the music out. For others, it could prompt anxiousness by reminding them of the preparations that the holiday entails.

The Tampa Bay Times compiled a list of major retailers and the dates they plan to start playing music for the holidays. Best Buy topped the list with its Oct. 22 start. Among the last on the list was Petco, which does not plan on starting until late November.

“Christmas creep” is a term some retailers have begun using when referring to stores that prematurely set up for the holidays. Target has vowed to avoid that this year by not putting out Christmas displays until after Thanksgiving.

Meyers does not anticipate listening to festive music this year, but she does have an opinion on when it should start playing on the radio.

Christine Haney

“I feel like after Thanksgiving is fine. I can accept that,” she said.

Christine Haney of Macomb County’s Shelby Township said she also feels that Christmas music should not play until after Thanksgiving. Unlike Meyers, she looks forward to it every year.

“I think it’s the memories,” Haney said. “I have a lot of memories from Christmas and they’re all happy. I just like the season.”

In 2016, Mayo Clinic released its findings that holiday music could pose benefits because of nostalgia. The research suggested that Christmas music can be especially helpful for people who suffer from dementia.


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Posted by on Nov 21 2017. Filed under Featured article, Michigan. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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