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Just How Early Is Too Early For Christmas Music?

Disclaimer: the fact that I rode the Newton Bus as a senior last week isn’t even the most intriguing aspect of this column.

Sure enough, there I found myself boarding the strugglebus of strugglebusses—partially so I could head over to TA a freshman Perspectives course on Newton, and mostly to bask in nostalgia four years bygone. Yet as I hopped onto the nearly empty vehicle, I was greeted by a deafening wall of surprise—“Come All Ye Faithful” being blasted over the speakers.

At first, I was pumped. Oh psych, I just found the Newton Bus that plays music and didn’t even have to update TransLoc to do it, #winning. And then my aura of confidence melted into a daze of confusion, kind of like a “reindeer in the headlights,” if you will.

My mental calendar (never to be trusted, I forget birthdays and anniversaries like it’s my job) and the pre-polar vortex weather outside had me searching for answers. Wait, isn’t it only the middle of November? Who are we pleading to “come and adore” again? As the chorus bellowed, I genuflected out of confusion, made the sign of the cross just in case I had unknowingly walked into a holy day of obligation on wheels, and threw myself into the midst of another existential crisis (which is a pretty common senior year thing to do).

I’m proud to say that four years of a Boston College education taught me to ask big questions like this one—when is it too early to start listening to Christmas music?

All jokes aside, this is an issue that—surprise, surprise—divides America into two camps. On one side, you have the Holiday Season Libertarians. These are the folks with the laissez-faire approach toward all things Christmas. Want to watch your recorded copy of Michael Buble’s Christmas Special in the middle of July? Knock yourself out. Setting up the Christmas tree on Labor Day? Now that’s the beauty of freedom.

On the other end of the spectrum are the “Strict Adherents”—including but not limited to middle-aged Americans who recoil in horror at Christmas displays anytime prior to Dec. 1. With almost a Calvinistic fervor, they dictate their holiday calendar around ABC Family’s 25 Days of Christmas—if Buddy the Elf hasn’t made it through the seven levels of the Candy Cane forest yet, then neither have they. And listening to Celine Dion belt out “Oh Holy Night” anytime before the Thanksgiving dinner dishes are cleaned is nothing short of heresy.

Maybe I’ll sound like a politician here, but the truth is that neither side is right or wrong. After all, life is too short not to do what makes you happy. But with age and the ticking clock on my college career, I’m coming to appreciate the fact that life is best tackled—and most enjoyed—when it’s taken step by step.

Time is rude, so rude that it waits for no one. Sometimes the best way to get even is to slow it down whenever we can.

Featured Image courtesy of Susan Walsh / AP Photo

November 23, 2014

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