Wishing for a few more Silent Nights

‘Tis the season to spread holiday cheer and since Halloween has been over for almost a month, it’s no wonder you’ve caught yourself humming along to the infectious tunes of “Jingle Bells” or “Deck the Halls.” Corporations like to snag us early before we spend all our cash on comfort foods and end-of-essays “celebratory drinks” but before I make you guys think that I am about to write a piece about consumerism with regards to Christmas, you are mistaken. I leave that up to the brilliant minds of my fellow opinion writers and instead, let’s go back to that infectious “Jingle Bells” tune that I mentioned.

Holiday cheer has spread everywhere and there is no doubt that we are already starting to get a bit irritated with some of the Christmas music that has been playing. Those brave and admirable peers who must work part-time jobs can probably recite the store’s Christmas playlist front to back on the fifth day. The songs gets stuck in your head and either you are annoyed from constantly stopping yourself from belting out tunes, or your roommates have suddenly invested in ear plugs. Despite this irritation that is bound to come up, let’s not get worked up yet. We still have exams and another month to get through before being able to fully indulge in the holiday chaos and there are ways to avoid getting tired of Christmas music at such an early stage.

The easiest and most avoidable solution is this: stop going to the mall. I don’t know about you guys, but I have not had more than three hours of sleep each night due to school stress. The big, bad slump of November has reached a climax as we have found that all of our essays are due simultaneously. How does anyone have time to go to the mall with this much pressure? Retail therapy is one of my favourite things to distract myself from stress, but if you have that 12-page essay hanging in the back of your head and “The Little Drummer Boy” pops on at H&M, how are you going to handle your sanity? The jingle and festive chimes of the uber-enegetic vocals of the tune are just enough to make you run out of the store. Not only have you wasted time not finishing that tedious essay but you’re stuck with a song on repeat in your head and wondering what the heck your gift to your mom will be.

Although malls are the biggest target for this kind of problem, I know that unless you stay in your cave of dirty clothes and dishes, you will run into Christmas music at some point. This is where it is time to bring up Plan B: acknowledge it by listening it to by your favourite artists. I know that once I step foot into my house, all I will be hearing is Il Divo and Chaka Khan’s renditions of “Silent Night” until New Year’s Eve. I don’t know about you but it is the really “traditional” songs that ring in my head and get on my nerves.

I hope to come up with my own playlist to finally overthrow Chaka Khan’s scat singing with modern tunes. “Baby It’s Cold Outside” by She & Him, “Christmas Lights” by Coldplay, “Jingle Bell Rock” by Arcade Fire and “Santa Bring My Baby Back To Me” by Belle and Sebastien will be amongst the few that I hope to include. If I am lucky, maybe I can add in some humour songs such as “Dick in a Box” by the Lonley Island and “Happy Holidays You Bastard” by Blink-182 in the mix just to give it a little twist.

For those who do not celebrate Christmas and have to deal with the irritation of repetitive music, trust me, you are not alone. This year will be my ninth Christmas but it took a long time to grow out of my cynical I’m-the-only-Jewish-kid-in-my-class-and-I-have-to-sing-these-stupid-songs phase, but even then when I had to join in, I still found them to be very pretty.

So I know it has started early and you can deal with the irritation numerous ways.

Whether it is avoiding stores as much as you can (hey, you will save a ton of money), substituting lyrics with crude potty humour or letting the vocals of your favourite artist do their own rendition, don’t get too upset.

If anything, it’s a reminder that soon enough we will be free from exam stress and can actually have time to get frustrated over the songs and not have to worry about filling out another scantron. Until next semester ….

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