Halloween has come and past and Thanksgiving is unbelievably close. This can only mean one thing — full-blown Christmas pandemonium. The holiday season is built on gift-giving, and retail sales are expected to exceed monumental proportions. Consumers are expected to spend over $1 trillion between the months of November and January, which is one pretty penny. It turns out that your spending may be fueled by something more than what's in your wallet. Retailers have some serious tricks up their sleeves.
It seems as if we are patiently waiting for the holiday season all year. It's no surprise that retailers start putting out their Christmas displays once the leaves begin to fall. Some consumers start thinking about their Christmas trimmings as soon as September, and retailers aim to cater to these demands. Thus the inevitable Christmas music begins, sometimes far before the first snowfall. Although this should have us feeling jolly and bright, it may be doing the exact opposite.
Feeling put-off by Christmas banners, decorations, and sales in the middle of October? You're not alone. Pre-holiday sales are proven to tick consumers off, and this persistent reminder of the coming holiday can even lead consumers to avoid buying a product out of annoyance. The most obnoxious sales tactic of all? Christmas songs long before they are appropriate.
Unless you are literally the Grinch, you enjoy sitting by a fire and enjoying a Christmas carol or two. Although it is meant to lift your spirits, many people groan at the thought of hearing it in November. These party poopers may be onto something and one British psychologist agrees that early Christmas music can actual cause harm.
One Psychologist Insists That Endless Carols Are Harmful
A British psychologist named Linda Blair has come forward with the truth about being exposed to too much Christmas music. Being exposed to constant holiday tunes encourages you to "buy presents, cater parties, organize travel, and all the more stressful chores during Christmas," she stated. This can take a serious toll on your mental health.
Christmas Music Can Be Mentally And Emotionally Exhausting
It's almost impossible not to stress out during the holiday season — especially financially. Listening to Christmas tunes is just a reminder of all the money that you need to spend and people you need to feed. "You’re simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you’re hearing," Blair stated. Retailers take full advantage of this mental anguish, as soon as possible.
Don't be surprised when you are hearing "Jingle Bells" in the beginning of November, retailers know exactly how these nostalgic Christmas carols work on our brains — and our spending. Retailers turn up the Christmas music earlier and earlier each year, in an effort to get you in the holiday spirit and shell out more money.
The use of Christmas music long before Santa arrives is known as the "Christmas Creep." Stores are constantly pushing us to get the next big product or take advantage of a holiday deal, and many of us are falling for it. Early Christmas tunes are making us spend, but its hurting employees even more than our pockets.
Consumers may find early Christmas music annoying, but retail employees really take the brunt of the mental strain. Hearing the same holiday songs in an endless loop can make it hard for employees to “tune it out” and makes them “unable to focus on anything else," stated Blair. Another factor? This music reminds employees of the daunting holiday crowds, which would make anyone go crazy.
The major retailer Best Buy began to play holiday tunes on October 22nd this year — an entire week before Halloween even arrived. Sears and Kmart followed suit on November 1st, and it seems the list of retailers that are holding off on jingle bells is dwindling. Overloading us with Christmas cheer long before we are ready.
Luckily, a few major retailers are not in any rush when it comes to Christmas music. Publix, Target, and Dunkin Donuts are among the stores that will be waiting until November 24th to switch over their soundtracks. Although some retailers still wait until Black Friday to break out the Christmas carols, this is no longer the norm.
“The one I have in mind is 'The 12 Days of Christmas.' Once I’m at the third day, I’m counting how many days are left. You don’t want any songs that feel like they last for 12 days," stated Danny Turner, the programming executive at Mood Media. People just don't want to be force-fed Christmas music before it is absolutely necessary, and many consumers get annoyed by the forwardness of retailers.
A poll conducted by the Tampa Bay Times asked consumers when they would prefer to start hearing Christmas music, and the results are telling. Over 54% of survey takers admit they would prefer to wait until after Thanksgiving to enjoy some holiday tunes, and another 24% would prefer after the start of December 1st. Only 11% of people don't mind listening to it anytime.
As badly as you want to break out one of Michael Bublé's Christmas soundtracks, you may be better off waiting a few weeks. Christmas only comes once a year, and we don't really need to experience holiday stress months in advance. Finish your turkey before turning on the carols.
Christmas is most definitely on its way. Take the time to trim your tree or bake holiday goodies if it makes you happy, but wait on blasting Christmas songs if you can help it. It's one thing to get in the Christmas spirit, but it's just daunting to be reminded of all that is left to do before December 25th. It's time to keep Christmas tunes where they belong, for the sake of our mental health.