I’ve had many people tell me that listening to Christmas music before Thanksgiving takes away from the holiday that focuses so much on gratitude. To them, Christmas music pushes the Day of Thanks right out the door, as if we’re skipping over it.
I love Thanksgiving for more reasons than just the food. I feel it’s a wonderful precursor to Christmas. First we’re grateful for what we have, and a month later we get to give of what we have. Doesn’t that sound like two peas in a pod? Since I was born, I remember the whole Thanksgiving vs. Christmas war. It happens every year. Every year. Articles are posted, comments are made, and opinions are created and shared. But why does it have to be a war? Can’t Santa and the Pilgrims get along? Can’t they work together to create two months of gratitude, kindness, generosity, love, and friendship, instead of a week here and week there that are completely disjointed?
I am an avid Christmas-music listener, starting the day after Halloween (sometimes sooner, if I don’t get too much flack for it). Not because I don’t like Thanksgiving (for those who’ve accused me of such), but because of the messages and feelings presented in the songs. I have never heard a Christmas song that talks about beer or sex. I haven’t heard a Christmas song that literally screams “Merry Christmas” in my ear.
The songs I know and love talk about being home with family, enjoying the weather, believing in yourself, believing in something good, having fun with friends, getting cozy by the fire with someone you love, looking at beautiful lights on the trees, worshiping God, hoping the best for humanity, giving (like the little drummer boy) what little we have, children waiting for something exciting to happen, and peace on earth.
I’ll concede and say “I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas” and “Santa Baby” are a little focused on personal desires, but I feel confident in saying that Christmas music is more wholesome than any other music that’s played on the radio at any other time of the year.
If you want to put off that goodness until after Thanksgiving just to bless Thanksgiving’s memory, then be my guest. But I’ll say this: If anything, Christmas music helps me be more thankful for the things that matter most and therefore help me have an even better and meaningful Thanksgiving holiday. The war between Thanksgiving and Christmas has been waged by people, yet I believe that the one perfect person we should always remember would want us to take advantage of both holidays and make them not opponents, but two driving forces for good that work hand in hand. If it's a war we want, then we can have it. If we want peace and gratitude, we can have that, too. But it's up to us.
So I’ll keep listening to the music that makes me ponder the good and the bad of this last year, the music that makes me want to be better and more thankful for what I have, and the music that helps me focus on what’s really important.