On November 1, 2007, my wife drove me to work. She likes to listen to an FM station that plays middle-of-the-road music. I enjoy it, too, but in recent years I have settled for the drive-time newsy stations and talk radio. But on this day—November 1, mind you—the station played nothing but Christmas music on the ride to work.
You read that right—Christmas music on November 1.
By the end of the day another Milwaukee station started playing Christmas music. The first station that started playing it stopped at noon and went back to its traditional playlist.
Why this rush to get Christmas music on the airwaves? Do merchants need to prod us this early for our shopping dollars?
When I worked part-time at a radio station Christmas music made its appearance after Thanksgiving. And then it wasn’t “all Christmas music all the time.” We played one Christmas tune each hour the first week, two each hour the second week, three each hour the third week, etc. Christmas Day was all Christmas music.
At the other end it seems all Christmas music is shut down on December 26. Then for a week you only hear the season-appropriate songs like “Frosty the Snow Man” and “Let it Snow.” Notice how soon those are erased from the airwaves after the New Year festivities are over?
Personally I don’t want the Christmas music before I have had a chance to digest my turkey. Okay, maybe while I’m eating my turkey (especially if the meal is supper). I would also like the music extended. Epiphany is January 6; Orthodox Christmas is January 7. Can’t we extend the Christmas music out to those dates? I personally still play it out to those dates.
Certainly extending the holiday music could go a long way to fight the winter blahs, ease the depression of impending taxes and tax preparation, and the like. Hey, maybe merchants wouldn’t have to rely on a local sports team playing late into the playoffs to keep sales numbers up (a friend of mine bought a store with his wife and their first year the Packers won the Super Bowl; he remarked that their numbers that year were dramatically better than the previous owner had the previous years and he believed people continued buying party supplies as long as Green Bay remained in the playoffs).
So let’s get a realistic policy on Christmas music.