To begin, a short story: On Saturday afternoon, I was at a dive-y sports bar enjoying an adult beverage with some peers. A jukebox-type situation in the corner played the hits of the ‘80s, ‘90s and today. Around 12:30 p.m., Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" came on.
Clock it: November 16, 12 days before Thanksgiving and 39 days before Christmas.
When is it too early to play Christmas music? There seem to be two time frames people often refer to as the right time to crank the Christmas tunes: 1) The day after Halloween; or 2) The day after Thanksgiving.
The first, the post-Halloweeners, don't even let the jack o' lanterns rot before they have the tree up, the ugly sweaters out and the Christmas music playing (all of the time. There is only one way to listen to Christmas music: All of the time).
These people argue that the holiday season starts November 1 and that Christmas music is fair game once the clock strikes midnight. Whoever picked "All I Want For Christmas Is You" at the bar is this kind of person. Starbucks is this kind of person too (their holiday cups and Christmas cheer are already full display, well before Thanksgiving).
Others wait until after Thanksgiving, giving the Day of Thanks a moment in the spotlight before smothering it with little drummer boys and silent nights and bells that jingle. Once the turkey—and the stuffing, never forget the stuffing—is eaten, the Christmas pre-party may commence.
A lot of radio stations will wait until November 29 to start playing Christmas music. I wait until Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving, to play Christmas music. First of all, because Turkey Day is dope and shouldn't have to share the attention with its more popular big sister, Christmas.
Secondly, because isn't the anticipation for Christmas already bad enough? Why extend it by cracking into your iTunes "Christmas Jamz" playlist too early? But that's just my opinion. What say you?
Anyway, here is a cool viral video of NBA players performing "Jingle Bells" with basketballs. You know, if you're already listening to Christmas music...