Let me just start by saying that I like the Holidays more than just Christmas. Christmas, to me, is just the 24th and 25th of December, but the Holidays? The day after Thanksgiving through January 1st (or 2nd, if you’re too hungover to move onto the new year on the 1st). It’s a time of really good smelling kitchens, warm alcoholic beverages, and obnoxiously singing carols at the top of your lungs—probably after a few delicious freshly baked goodies from the kitchen and a few aforementioned warm alcoholic beverages. By extension, I really and truly adore the tunes of the holidays. Sure, the BF thinks otherwise, but there are a lot of reasons to love the songs of the season, and it is not just because they teach you valuable lessons!
These are a few reasons why holiday music rocks:
1. Music enhances the feelings you are having, so, if Christmas makes you joyous, Christmas music will enhance that feeling. Why would they bring back joyous feelings in the first place? Because the holidays are all about family, about warm and fuzzy feelings, and warm and fuzzy sweaters. It’s the time of year that is about cheer and giving, whether you like it or not. Even the hardest of hearts show that they have a soul during this time of year, that is, if they learned anything from Ebenezer Scrooge. It’s practically programmed into the calendar that joy starts during the holidays! Sickly sweet at its best and worst, the music of this time of year is especially manufactured to induce nostalgia and enjoyment. How does music factor into it? Well, what do you think you’re doing when you’re at a holiday party in your best ugly sweater? Jammin’ to Nat King Cole? Thought so.
2. Related to numero uno, Christmas songs are really easy to learn and bring back a lot of childhood memories. The catchiness means that a child will remember the lyrics and, assuming that they’re enjoying themselves—and who doesn’t enjoy a good off-key rendition of Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree?—create valuable memories associated with it. You’ll hear the first ring-ting-tinga-ling, memories will flood your senses, and before you know it, BAM, you’re humming.You’re smiling. It makes you happy, and being happy is great! Just try to listen to this without grinning from ear to ear:
Ah, the Grinch, not to be confused with my anti-Christmas boyfriend.
3. Another reason? Well, they’re cultural and beloved, no matter how many times a celebrity tries to lend their take to it. On a similar note, the celebrity holiday tune greatness is a reason to listen to Christmas music in itself. The beautiful, wonderful cheesiness of it all, you can just bask in it for hours on end, because it’s just as formulaic as it is cuddly and wonderful. Some of my faves? The sappiest of Mariah Carey, the hairsprayed and pumped up coifs of Wham!, the dirty 8-day weirdness of Destiny’s Child, the eye-rolling-liest pretentious that (according to a lot of youtube commentators) “makes me cry everytime” (surely by the power of aquanet and gold hoop earrings), this emotionally confusing shit, this fucking RUN-DMC glory, and some N’Sync because we all need to see Justin in the years he wishes he could forget.
Don’t worry, sometimes the holidays also breed amazing songs that don’t make you snicker out of possible second-hand embarrassment, like Don’t Shoot Me Santa by the Killers and Bob Seger’s Little Drummer Boy (my mother insisted that I include this with threat of roadside abandonment). Go ahead and listen to them, if you need to fill up your eardrums with more glorious wonder. Do you really want to live in a world where Christmas music doesn’t exist and these feats of musical fortitude couldn’t be demonstrated? I don’t know that kind of world, and I don’t want to.