Christmas Music: Not for Everyone

Okay, these are American and British statistics, but they must be at least partly extrapolatable into Canada.

According to a survey of 2,000 people this fall, 17% of American and 25% of British shoppers “actively dislike” Christmas music. The question is, why? Possible explanations include:

  1. Christmas Creep, the exhortation for shopping (along with decorations and Christmas music) to start a little earlier this year.
  2. The Mariah Effect: There’s a number of Christmas songs that go into heavy rotation for the weeks leading up to December 25. They’re heard endlessly on the radio, in stores, restaurants and public places. I, for example, was in a hotel restaurant and over the course of a 45-minute breakfast, I heard “All I Want for Christmas is You” four times. Ubiquity breeds contempt.
  3. It’s worse if you’re a retail employee. According to this survey, one in six people who work re-folding sweaters and the like (and thus those exposed most to in-store music) say repetitive Christmas music “negatively affects their emotional well-being.” Fully a quarter of them say the music makes them feel “less festive.”

But let’s not be all Grinchy and dwell just on the negative. If we look through a recent Nielsen report, we find that the biggest fans of holiday music are millennials(36%) followed closely by Generation X (31%) and then baby boomers (25%).

(Via CNN)

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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