Christmas classics: Holiday music can grow old if played too early

Brandon Bills

Before long it will be everywhere. In stores, on the radio and maybe even in your home. The topic is Christmas music, of course.

“It’s fun that they’ve been around a long time but no one is sick of them,” said Tricia Lagae.

The second week of November and Lagae already had a Christmas song stuck in her head. As a member of the Washburn Choir, Lagae has been rehearsing Christmas tunes in preparation for the upcoming Holiday Vespers concert on Dec. 7.

For some, the holiday season isn’t complete without Christmas music to set the mood. With the exception of those who don’t celebrate Christmas, and a few curmudgeons, most people enjoy Christmas music to some degree. However, the time and place that Christmas music is enjoyed can be surprisingly divisive.

“I start listening to it pretty hot and heavy around mid-November,” said Morgan McMurry.

Others have a different perspective.

“If it starts too early, by the time Christmas gets here, I’m sick of it,” said Baruch Thompson.

Local radio station KMAJ Majic 107.7 is the only station in Topeka that plays Christmas music 24/7 during the Christmas season. KMAJ begins playing Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving and doesn’t return to their regular format until the day after Christmas.

“I look forward to it every year,” said Rose Diehl, program director and midday announcer for KMAJ.

Diehl said that KMAJ started playing Christmas music a few years ago in response to listeners requests. Since then, KMAJ has had the highest Arbitron rating for that period.

“People are looking for that feel-good kind of thing,” said Diehl.

Diehl said original recording of traditional Christmas songs like “Holly Jolly Christmas” and “Here Comes Santa Claus” are amongst the most popular among listeners.

Such classics are learned by children at a young age and have become a shared cultural experience.

“When it comes to Christmas music, we all know the same songs,” said Lagae.

However, Lagae isn’t a fan of all Christmas music.

“‘Santa Baby’ should just die already,” said Lagae.