Christmas music

by Erin Gerken

Now that Thanksgiving is officially over, there is nothing left to stand in the way of peoples’ Christmas spirit: decorations, food, advertisements and the music. It is not long before radio stations across the country will be playing nothing but the holiday tunes, if they aren’t doing so already.

But when is it too early to get into the musical spirit? And what are some of the most popular songs of the season?

I took to social media and some friends in the industry for their opinions.

Former Simpson College professor Steven Chappell was one of the first to respond to my queries.

“Love it, but only between Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Chappell said. “The rest of the year, I hate it.”

Various members of the student community, including juniors Taylor VanDeKrol and Kelsey Allison, voiced similar feelings.

“I strongly feel that we must get done with one holiday before we start on another,” VanDeKrol said. “That being said, although I do enjoy some Christmas music, I strongly discourage anyone who starts celebrating Christmas before Thanksgiving is over. Many of the stores put up some of their Christmas stuff even before Halloween was over. They are getting earlier and earlier every year and it’s almost sickening. Yes, my family put up the Christmas tree two days after Thanksgiving, but never start one holiday before finishing another.”Junior Emma LeValley has no problem getting into the Christmas spirit a little early.

“Since I’m in the madrigal singers and our madrigal dinner is this weekend, I’ve had Christmas (and) Christmas music on the brain lately and have been loving it,” LeValley said. “Nothing wrong with getting in the spirit and being extra jolly earlier than Christmas week, in my opinion.”

However, there are some students that think the music should have a much more limited run.

“Only the week of Christmas,” senior Kirsty Riggert said, an opinion supported by sophomore Jessica Schultes.

104.5 KDAT, a Cumulus Media station whose slogan is “Today’s Soft Rock” is one of the radio stations that starts playing the tunes early on.

“We don’t have an exact date,” Tim Graves, program director for KDAT, said. “But it’s always before Thanksgiving. We kind of have a feel for when to switch. It always seems like the right time.”

Another program director (PD) in the industry that wished to remain anonymous voiced a similar set up and opinion for his station.

“No set answer on that one,” PD said. “It depends on a ton of different things: competition, research, trends. I can guarantee you’ll hear Christmas music on Black Friday and Christmas Eve and (Christmas) Day. From the business side of it, the time you choose is always the right time.”

There is a wide variety of selection for Christmas music. Some of the classic songs include “Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon, “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano, “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms and numerous songs by Johnny Mathis. However, every year, there are new songs that come out that also gain popularity. These more recent songs include Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You”, the Glee rendition of “Last Christmas” and Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe”, as well as multiple renditions of tunes from Michael Bublé.

“There’s a new tune from Carly Rae Jepsen that might start showing up, called ‘Mittens’,” PD said.

Other tunes that likely to be popular this season include tracks from CeeLo Green’s new Christmas release, “CeeLo’s Magic Moment” and a holiday album from Lady Antebellum.