Each year, the debate of when to begin celebrating Christmas resurfaces. At BYU-Idaho, some students start listening to Christmas music the day after Halloween, while others wait until after Thanksgiving.
According to Rachel Vincent, a sophomore studying sociology, “Holidays are special because they’re so focused on the family and they both come attached with super fun and nostalgic traditions. Celebrating brings back a lot of fond memories and loving emotions.”
Brandon Grimsley, a senior studying communication, began listening to Christmas music after Halloween.
“Christmas music is just so happy and peaceful. I’m a Who from Whoville who believes that Christmas is a feeling we should always have,” Grimsley said.
Kathrine Clarke, a sophomore studying English, also enjoys listening to Christmas music right after Halloween. Last year, she waited until midnight on Nov. 1 to start blasting Christmas music with her roommates.
“With school and finals, it would just get harder to feel the Christmas spirit by the time Christmas was here and gone so I started listening to it earlier so that I could feel that child-like spirit,” Clarke said.
Marilee Storm, a freshman studying sociology, loves the spirit that Christmas brings.
“I just get so excited when I celebrate Christmas. I actually start listening to Christmas music before Halloween. I just like how it makes me feel, and I just love Christmas music,” Storm said.
Dr. Rhonda Reeman, a clinical neuropsychologist said, “Many of us associate this music with childhood and a happy time of presents and traditions and all the specialness that happens around that time of year. When the brain makes these associations with something very positive and pleasurable, the rewards system is being activated [which triggers] a number of chemicals including dopamine.”
While Grimsley, Clarke and Storm enjoy listening to Chrismas music earlier in the calendar year, other students like Haven Tenney, a sophomore studying business management, prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving.
She believes every holiday deserves the spotlight.
“We tend to rush to the next thing before pausing to enjoy the moment. I like to let each holiday run its course and appreciate all of the traditions that are involved in each one,” Tenney said.
Along with Tenney, Shane Johnson, a sophomore studying exercise physiology, agrees Christmas music should be listened to later on in the year.
“It makes Christmas music less special when you listen to it for so long,” Johnson says.
Joshua Byrd, a freshman studying physics education, said he is against seeing Christmas celebrated before Thanksgiving.
“Personally, I feel like Thanksgiving is there for a reason and the marketing that comes with Christmas seems to overshadow that,” Byrd said. “I feel like Thanksgiving is the only holiday that gets overshadowed when it gets slapped with everything that comes with Christmas commercialism.”
According to an article written by KSL in 2018, “The most common answer (for why people wait until after Thanksgiving to listen to Christmas music) is that Christmas music is repetitive. Hearing the same songs over and over again could drive anyone crazy, which is why a lot of people prefer to keep Christmas music for after Thanksgiving.”
While there are students who prefer one way, some students see value in both viewpoints.
“The first thing that people think of when celebrating Christmas is putting up lights, listening to music and setting up the tree. That I start doing before Thanksgiving,” said Rebecca Hyer, a sophomore studying public health. “Celebrations such as ugly sweater parties, Christmas games and caroling wait until after Thanksgiving.”