‘Tis the Season

By Dan Riley


I would never make an assumption about a person based on their taste in music. To quote one Reddit user, “Art is how we decorate space; Music is how we decorate time.” The way you choose to decorate your time is an expression of yourself and is no one else’s business. However, if you are the type of person who thinks we should wait until Thanksgiving is over to start listening to Christmas music, you probably also like sadness and hate puppies.

Well, maybe not. But Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year, and now that Halloween is over, it is time to start hearing “those sleigh bells jingle-ing, ring ting tingle-ing too”. Why should the joy of Christmas be limited to just one day? Why should the wonder of the holiday season be limited to just a few weeks? Sure, if we listened to Christmas music all year, it would not be special when the season came around. But surely there is enough jolly spirit in us to spread the season to two measly months. We can do it. I believe in us.

“But it’s still autumn: the weather outside isn’t frightful, the fire isn’t so delightful.” First of all, it has already snowed here at Amherst. Second, we live in New England, so it may be in the low 70s one day then in the low 20s on another at literally any time of the year. If that is not frightful, then I don’t know what is.

“But what about Thanksgiving?” You know what goes well with turkey at Thanksgiving dinner? Mariah Carey’s rendition of “All I Want for Christmas is You.”

If you simply do not like Christmas music and you dread when December comes around, that is one thing. I do not share your taste in music and cannot understand how your mind works, but like I wrote earlier: you do you, I’ll do me. However, if you are, generally speaking, a holiday festivities fan, then you should be embracing Christmas music with open arms. This is not to say that all Christmas music is good: I have to stop myself from vomiting when I hear Justin Bieber’s perversion of “Little Drummer Boy.” That song is a treasure and did not need a rap verse: how dare he add one. But as a whole the Christmas spirit is infectious, and like Buddy the Elf said, “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.”

Christmas transcends its religious roots: it is about more than celebrating Jesus’ birth. It has become part of a greater whole with the other big holidays that fall at the end of the year. It is also about more than American consumerism. It does not exist so that extreme couponers can get some sick deals on things they do not really want or need. The season is one of compassion, giving, warmth and friendship. It has been for centuries. Those values already exist at UMass, but the Christmas season amplifies all things good in any environment. So put on your headphones, start jamming to holiday playlists and have a merry November-December.


Dan Riley is a collegian columnist and can be reached at [email protected]