Just as the holiday season comes to a close, so too does the window of opportunity to play timeless Christmas albums day after day, without any social backlash. Unfortunately, the code of acceptability for Christmas music changes the moment we ring in the New Year; that friend who would once sing along to your favorite holiday song now glares at you with disgust until you tone down the holiday cheer.
But fear not! There are important exceptions to every rule. Here are some second-semester tips for when and where it’s acceptable to whip out those cherished holiday tunes.
The Beach Boys’ Christmas Album: Only the Beach Boys have the capacity to mesh charmingly boyish, perfectly harmonized vocals with the traditional Christmas fare. Although the album successfully infuses Christmastime with a sunny, beachy feel, note that playing the Christmas album outside of that time will result in mass confusion: a buildup of cold January weather, Christmas cheer, and the sounds of a 60s beach party may not mix well. The situational exception to this rule: a Beach Boys themed winter party.
Michael Buble’s Christmas: Always relevant. The chances of you getting a glare for playing this album out of season are next to none. Furthermore, using Buble’s beautiful, jazzy takes on classics to cope with second-semester stress and/or post-break depression is so much healthier than a) drowning your sorrows in a pint of Haagen Das or b) ignoring said stress via drinking games. Pro-tip: combine Buble’s soulful album with option a or b for another potentially great party theme.
Mariah Carey’s Christmas Album: Carey’s pop tunes are still mildly acceptable in the winter months, or for that spontaneous moment of inspiration at 2am the day of a paper due-date. Because who are we kidding, listening to “All I Want for Christmas is You” is the musical equivalent of a double-shot of espresso. What’s that? Viral video of Mariah failing to hit her famous notes? Shhhhhh, shhh *slowly muffles your criticism with fuzzy socks from Christmas stocking*, just enjoy the whistle tones.
Justin Bieber’s Christmas album: What? Dear god. Who are you? Put that away forever. Or re-gift it to your crazy uncle. Never acceptable, even during Christmas time. Unless you like ruining holiday cheer with over-produced musical blasphemy, in which case I hope you are swimming in coal from Santa right now.
The Peanuts Christmas Album: Applicable for study music; also adds great emotional weight to a winter or spring walk (think George Michael’s walk from Arrested Development). If you shuffle this album with your “~*Piano Songs 4 Study*~” playlist on Spotify, not many people will notice the change in pace. Rather, they will be immediately enveloped in the album’s lovely jazz piano tracks.
Disney’s Frozen Soundtrack: Use at your own risk, especially on snow days. If I had a dollar for every time someone played/asked me “Do you want to build a snowman?” during the winter months last year, I’d be richer than Walt Disney himself. There are two outcomes to playing this soundtrack after Christmas: you will either feel like an ice queen ruling over your frozen kingdom, or you will lose a friend or two because they are so done with your Disney antics. Pro-tip for a graceful Frozen-friendship-breakup exit strategy: whisper “okay byeeeee” as you twirl away in a flurry of snowflakes.
What are your favorite holiday albums that you play regardless of the season? Tweet them to us @GUHalftime!