Unpopular Opinion: Christmas Music
“I love Christmas music but I don’t want to hear it on the radio until December.”
“Christmas music before Thanksgiving should be against the law!”
“I hate Christmas, joy, peace, and every good thing all the time because I am a miserable, unhappy, grinchy Scrooge.”
I have heard variations of those statements every year for as long as I can remember. (I will concede the third one is probably just my loose interpretation when I hear people whining about Christmas music.) Each year around Thanksgiving, radio stations begin to play “all Christmas music all the time” and for some people, that is the worst thing ever. They rant and rave about it on social media. They write long Facebook posts about how awful it is to play Christmas music too soon. They bemoan. They complain. Then they pontificate about how it cheapens the season or some such nonsense.
They are wrong.
In their twisted little world, they believe that it is only acceptable to celebrate the birth of the Savior of the world for about three and a half weeks in the month of December. Don’t you dare celebrate the SALVATION OF HUMANITY for longer than that! Don’t you dare sing songs to commemorate the incarnation – the coming of the Christ – until after Thanksgiving!
Is that really the world in which we want to live? Do we want to confine our celebration of this most sacred event to only one month of the year?1 Do we want to be the kind of people that would mock and ridicule others for wanting to enjoy this time of year for all that it signifies?
In the spirit of the season, I am willing to be gracious and concede a minor point to the haters and scoffers. If you are ranting about hearing songs like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” or “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” then I’m with you. Those are flimsy, superficial things. They are the candy to the more spiritually robust songs main course. Mock those type of songs as much as you want – or at least, mock the too-soon playing of them as much as you want. They have a specific time of the year to be played and heard.
However, the same cannot be said about spiritually deep songs like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” or “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.” Those songs have eternal value far beyond one month of the year. Why is it okay for us to sing and listen to songs about Christ’s death and resurrection any month of the year but we recoil when we hear a theologically rich song like “Joy to the World”?
Stop being joyless Scrooges. Instead, be joyful Ebenezers2 recognizing all the wonderful things God has done for you – which includes what He did on that first Christmas two thousand years ago. Don’t confine that celebration to a few weeks of the year. Let it spill over to every time of your life.
- And if we are honest with ourselves, we don’t even get the whole month of December because as soon as the 25th comes and goes, Christmas music disappears again. ↩
- We used to sing a song in Panama called “Ebenezer – which the chorus translates to “So far the LORD has helped us.” That is what I think of every time I see that name. ↩
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7 thoughts on “Unpopular Opinion: Christmas Music”
Yes! We should sing these more often congregationally, too.
To be honest, I am surprised there wasn’t more push back on this. I have seen so much negativity directed towards Christmas music being played too soon, that I thought for sure this article would provoke some sort of negative feedback. I guess our readers are just better than all the haters out there.
I don’t mind Christmas music any time of the year, but we should make sure the doctrine adds up. There is no record of three kings, only three gifts. There were no three ships. We don’t know whether the infant Jesus cried, or not. He definitely cried as an adult.
So, please love the music and the doctrine.
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In Chicago this year, one station started 24 hour a day Christmas music on November 1. 🙂