It turns out that nauseated feeling you get hearing “Jingle Bells” any time other than December isn’t just you. Inappropriate Christmas music is bad for your mental health, at least, according to clinical psychologist (and former exorcism survivor?) Linda Blair. It’s unclear whether there are any actual studies to back up this assertion, or just anecdotal evidence of watching people having mental breakdowns in Starbucks. Blair says the songs remind us to be stressed about the holidays. Okay, fair enough. But I would contend that there are lots of other reminders to start being stressed about the holidays. The relentless holiday marketing begins as soon as the first deciduous leaf falls to the ground.
“IT’S NEVER TOO EARLY TO START SHOPPING FOR CHRISTMAS,” practically every advertisement bellows, thrusting tinsel and pieces of artificially holly down your throat. “You’re going to have to spend an awful lot of money to gain the love of your family! Better start now or your children will hate you and grow up to be junkies!”
So even if my ears could somehow be spared from a premature “Feliz Navidad” or two, there’s no escaping the looming omnipresence of the holidays. Already, Target’s website has a tagline on their front page that says, “Get your Christmas decor now. Yule be happy you did.” Christmas music won’t doom us, for we’re already lost.