Not a big fan of Christmas, me, and I’m even less a fan of Christmas songs. There are next to no good ones (apart from this, obviously), and hearing them at any time other than December is a feature of this ridiculous world that I would happily see banished to the very depths of Hell. Christmas songs before Christmas (even at Christmas, while I’m here) are not welcome in my book, in any shape or form.
But it’s not just me who thinks this - even people who may enjoy the odd festive banger find themselves wincing when ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ comes seeping out of a Debenhams speaker in fucking July or something; and it’s all down to our poor brains.
Clinical psychologist Linda Blair (not the actress who played the spinny-head girl in The Exorcist) says that pumping out Christmas songs too early has an adverse effect on our mental health. She told Sky News:
“Music goes right to our emotions immediately and it bypasses rationality.
“Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it’s played too loudly and too early.
“It might make us feel that we’re trapped - it’s a reminder that we have to buy presents, cater for people, organise celebrations. Some people will react to that by making impulse purchases, which the retailer likes. Others might just walk out of the shop. It’s a risk.”
So that’s the customer, there - the person who can leave the store whenever they want, but what about the poor staff? They have to endure a barrage of Christmas mulch day in, day out, on repeat, for months. I personally have experienced this first hand, and let me tell you - I did not like it a single jot, no siree.
Blair mentions that it’s particularly hard on shop workers, as they have to attempt to “tune out” this deluge of festive aural ‘cheer’.
The Union of Shop, Distributive and Allied Workers echoes this, saying:
“We ask employers to consider the staff who have to listen to Christmas music all day, because playing the same songs repeatedly can become very irritating and distracting.”
Too right - just consider this graph that reveals which US stores start playing Christmas songs the earliest:
Yeah, that’s Best Buy chucking out their first hell-tune on October 22nd. October until December 25th, on repeat, every day, banging on each and every member of staff’s browbeaten skulls. A true festive nightmare.
Please turn the songs off, so I may turn the screams off.
’Happy Christmas’, or something.