The Problem With Christmas Music

I love Christmas music. It’s part of the reason that Christmas is my favorite time of year. With that said, I do have my complaints. The primary one being that Christmas music is only played once a year, and the implication that if you are listening to it outside of December, you are probably some kind of freak.

Okay, that’s not the real problem with Christmas music. The real problem with Christmas music is that there is nothing new. Just the other day someone mentioned to me that most of the Christmas music we have today was written or produced in the 40s or 50s when the baby boomers were kids. Sure a few new songs came out in the 80s and 90s, but have you heard any mainstream Christmas music produced this century? I personally haven’t.

Just today, on my morning commute, I listened to Christmas music on the radio. Sure enough there was not one song I hadn’t heard before. Yes, I know it’s true that on any radio station there is little chance of hearing something new on a particular day. But if you don’t listen to a radio station for a year and then go back to it, there is a pretty good chance that you’ll hear something new (excluding stations that specialize in specific decades). With Christmas music, chances are you won’t hear anything that you hadn’t heard ten years ago.

Without even looking it up, I bet that there is a recent rendition of Justin Bieber singing “Silent Night”, but it’s still a song you’ve heard before. (I just looked it up. I was right, it’s the last song on his Christmas album.) Pretty much every new artist’s second album is a Christmas album, and yeah there will be original songs on it, but no one is going to listen to those. No one wants to hear them, except for hardcore fans of the artists themselves. My own proof of this is that I really like the song “A Snowflake Fell (And It Felt Like A Kiss)” from Glasvegas, which came out in 2008, but no one’s heard of that song, not that many people have heard of Glasvegas to begin with. (Their Christmas album also includes a rendition of “Silent Night”.) So basically I’m proving my point that unless you’re a fan of the artist you aren’t going to like the ”original” Christmas songs from their Christmas album.

I suppose the important question to ask is: Do we even need new Christmas music? I don’t know, but probably not. I’m still listening to the same songs. I still like them. I don’t even care. I’m a little less inclined to tune into the Christmas radio station than I was when I was a kid, but at the same time I’m less inclined to turn into any music-playing stations. Talk radio is it for me as an adult. Kids haven’t heard these songs before, it’s new to them, and the reality is that most of the magic of Christmas is in the hearts of children anyway.

In conclusion I don’t think we really need new Christmas music, but I do think some Christmas songs should be banned, Christmas Shoes, for example.