It’s beginning to look — and sound — a lot like Christmas. And while some people (like me) think Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, others, apparently, find it crazy-making. Literally. According to psychologist Linda Blair, listening to too much Christmas music too early in the season can drive you insane. “People working in the shops at Christmas have to learn how to tune it out,” says Blair, “because if they don’t it really does make you unable to focus on anything else. You simply are spending all your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing.”
Psychologists say playing Christmas songs on a loop can damage shop workers' mental health
Posted by Sky News on Tuesday, October 31, 2017
But why would anyone not want to not hear what they’re hearing? Jingle Bells. Silver Bells. (All the other kinds of bells.) Sleigh Ride. White Christmas. Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire. Let It Snow. Come on people, where’s your Christmas spirit?!
Really I think the problem is the particular Christmas songs stores choose to play. I mean, honestly, Feliz Navidad? Simply Having a Wonderful Christmastime? (Um, no. Not if I have to listen to that song over and over again.) Oh, and don’t get me started on Happy Christmas (War Is Over). If ever there was a piece of sanctimonious garbage it was Happy Christmas (War Is Over). (Who even puts parentheses in the title of a song?) “And so this is Christmas/ And what have you done?” Ugh, gag me. What have I done? I’ll tell you what I’ve done. I’ve punched the next person in the face who turns on that song. That’s what I’ve done. God, I hate that song. Oh. Hmm. That psychologist may have a point.
But no! Baby It’s Cold Outside! I’ll Be Home For Christmas! Santa Claus Is Coming to Town! Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas! Not to mention all the wonderful traditional carols. I mean, sure, there are some really terrible versions of these songs. Versions that make me want to stab myself in the ear with an ornament hook. And, sure, those are the versions they tend to play in stores for some reason. But, I mean, honestly. We can’t condemn all Christmas music just because some idiot chose to play Justin Bieber’s version of The Christmas Song instead of Bing Crosby’s.
According to Sky News, a British workers union says, “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.” No, no! Not the same songs! These songs! I could listen to O Holy Night over and over again, couldn’t you? I mean, not the way Christina Aguilera sings it. But somebody (anybody) else. Don’t blame the songs! Blame Christina Aguilera! And Justin Bieber! Yes. Blame Justin Bieber. If we blame him, everyone will believe us. No one likes Justin Bieber.
Oh. And now I’m remembering that there are all those terrible, sappy Christmas songs that are so bad but they make you cry anyway. So then you’re standing in the produce section of your local grocery story, waving a green pepper in the general direction of the store’s speaker system and yelling “no fair!” as you bawl your eyes out. (He just wanted to buy his mom a pair of shoes! So . . . so she could look beautiful! When she went to heaven! But . . . but he doesn’t have enough money! And . . . and . . . No fair!) Yeah, okay, I guess I can see how Christmas music might drive you crazy.
Okay, so look. Yes. There may be some Christmas music that’s bad for your mental health. And it’s probably the Christmas music that’s playing in all your local stores, and on your Christmas music radio station, and at your weird Aunt Mindy’s Christmas party. So, I guess, basically, you’re screwed. But hey, if you’ve got to go crazy, there are worse ways to do it. So, grab some eggnog, put on your light-up sweater, and turn on some Justin Bieber. It’s the most wonderful time of the year!