Ah, Christmas music! The warm tunes that remind so many of us of huddling around a fire surrounded by family. The sounds that remind of pine scents, mistletoe, and holiday cheer. There's so much good feeling attached to Christmas music that it's nice to dip into the holiday playlists early and get excited about what's to come.
But not everyone feels that way, as I learned last week.
@kevinpokeeffe NO. IT. IS. NOT. YOU WILL WAIT UNTIL THANKSGIVING. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT 200 LBS OF MISTLETOE.— Nick Andersen (@nicktheandersen) October 7, 2014
My friend Nick—an even-keeled man by almost any measure who loves his share of carols—passionately believes Christmas music should start playing at the end of November and no earlier. You see reactions like his pretty commonly on social media. It's not just about being forced to hear holiday tunes; a lot of people seem offended by the idea of anyone listening to them until the designated season.
"Christmas is a short season for a reason," Nick tweeted. "It makes it intense and special."
He has at least one prominent ally in his fight: Idina Menzel, whose own album of Christmas music dropped on Tuesday. In an interview with Time's Nolan Feeney, Menzel expressed her confusion about why her album was coming out in October when she herself thinks Christmas music belongs after Thanksgiving only:
"I have very strong feelings. The album comes out October 14. I think that’s ridiculous! I don’t understand. I’ve been asking the label to tell me why. Apparently that’s when people start buying stuff for Christmas. Okay, that’s cool, but I’m barely into Halloween with my son! I completely understand if people aren’t ready for it until Thanksgiving. That’s when Christmas comes alive for me."
The most important part of that quote comes in the last two words: "for me." Christmas music is designed to fit in one specific season for Menzel. Others may—and in my case, do—feel differently. I've been listening to Menzel's album on Spotify all day, and I've been having a blast. I don't care that it came out on October 14. I only care that it's great, and it's giving me fuzzy feelings about the holiday season. But this is an important distinction: I've been listening to it in my earbuds only. I would never blast Christmas music at a party in October, because I know people feel passionately about it. My October holiday cheer is mine.