Christmas Music… In October.

by Ellie McHale

Today I spotted my first Facebook post regarding Christmas music. Someone listened to their first Christmas song… In the middle of October. While that’s mildly endearing that she loves this certain genre of music & is gearing up for something that is just over two months away, I dread the very thought of it…

See, I work retail. And, retail associates can go slightly postal this time of year. Not only did we put Christmas themed gift sets out over a week ago, but people are already getting angrily multi-orgasmic over us being open at midnight on Black Friday (I hope my store will NEVER stoop that low) or having a 99% off everything Black Friday sale from midnight to midnight, and asking about Day After Christmas sales. Hold up ladies, you’re probably a tourist and/or you probably don’t know who Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Three Wise Men are. We get to deal with people like that.

For example, I have had a woman who spoke the most limited English demand that I give her 75% off her entire purchase because it was a couple days before Christmas and we had been sold out of a heavily advertised makeup palette for over a month. After telling her that giving her 75% off of her purchase was impossible, but we’d gladly sell her something similar and load her up with free goodies, she demanded to speak to a manager, assuming the manager would give her the 75% off. The manager told her exactly what I had just said. It’s not our fault that supply & demand is a major factor in a Capitalist society. And, if a company pays good money to heavily advertise their limited edition wares when & how they want, of course retailers are going to be sold out of said limited edition wares long before Christmas. That simple.

Anyway, tangent over. Moving on…

The point I’d like to get to is Christmas music. In the eight years that I have worked retail, I’ve noticed many major companies used the same generic Muzak system. Therefore, awful pop renditions of the worst Christmas songs get piped through the speakers as early as Halloween time. It starts off with maybe a couple a day, then by mid-November, before Thanksgiving, it’s up to five or six per day. Once Black Friday hits, it’s every other song. Now, imagine seeing an overwhelming amount of Christmas themed wares since mid-October, by Black Friday, many of us are sick of Christmas. And, it hasn’t even happened. On Black Friday, we’re still trying to get over our Thanksgiving tryptophan, carb overdose, merlot induced discomfort. Some of us who work retail don’t even get to have a real Thanksgiving, because we’ve chosen to work at a bloated, national chain that says “sure, let’s open our doors at midnight and have angry mobs of people create anarchy.” Throwing Christmas music into the mix often adds fuel to the fire. Why? Like I said, the music that is selected is usually bad pop renditions of Christmas songs.

For people like me who come from somewhere like Europe (I was born in London and lived there enough to understand the value of tradition & community), or even somewhere that doesn’t have Christianity as their unofficial official religion, the idea that Christmas has turned into this Capitalist stronghold gets on our nerves. They have taken the very meaning of Christmas – a celebration of miracles & life & community – and turned it into nothing but a reason to overspend on things that people don’t really need.

Therefore, piping in Christmas music around Halloween is just obnoxious… So very unnecessary. Point is, if you are going to pipe in Christmas music, how about a lil’ Dreidel Dreidel every now and then to show some love for Jesus’ religion? Or how about Tool’s “Opiate”? Or even Arcade Fire’s “Intervention”? That’s all I’m saying.

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