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The Jetstream Journal

Have Yourself a Stressful Little Christmas

Olivia Peluso, Snapshot Editor

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It’s November 1st — you blare Christmas tunes throughout your house as you happily destroy any remaining evidence of Halloween night. You have flashbacks to Christmas 2016 as you string the lights and hang the mistletoe. While you sing along to “Jingle Bell Rock”, you reminisce about all the lights, presents, parties, and festivities that will soon flood into your life. As you place the final ornament, you defeatedly turn down the jolly tunes. As you continue your monotonous day without the constant blaring of holiday happiness, “jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell rock,” continues to play on repeat in your mind. It seemed that the holiday jingles were increasing your happiness and only setting the mood for the holiday season, but you did not realize that your stress and anxiety was only raising, quick.

Not so jolly anymore, huh?

You may have thought that the only things running through your mind while singing holiday tunes is memories of baking cookies and decorating the tree, but it has recently been emphasized by clinical psychologist, Linda Blair, that stress and anxiety may be running through your brain. She mentions that instead of reminding listeners of holiday joy, Christmas music playing too early could be doing just the opposite.

You remember the long list of things you have to complete before December 25, including sending Christmas cards, purchasing gifts, holiday party planning, and preparing for all the family, tolerable or not, to arrive. “Jingle Bell Rock” still loops in your mind, and instead of letting a smile come onto your face, your eyebrows furrow, your eyes narrow, and your face forms an unreadable expression. It seems you have remembered all the stress surrounding the holidays.

By listening to songs about Christmas, it allows your brain to remember all the tasks that need to be completed. It is similar to when you see an advertisement for socks and you remember that you need long, warm socks for winter.

If you work at a store which constantly plays Christmas songs or you frequently shop at one, you happen to be at a higher risk of becoming tense and stressed due to the holiday hubbub. Hearing the same songs repeatedly throughout the day only increases worry.

Some stores have begun placing Christmas decorations on display as early as October, seeming to have forgotten Thanksgiving. Seeing these decorations also reminds you of the endless list of things to do. Larger companies such as Target have begun to play Christmas music after Thanksgiving in hopes of creating more emphasis on Thanksgiving and reducing stress. Other companies begin playing Christmas music as early as mid-October.

You may be starting to listen to Christmas music now as December begins, but next year, if you are someone who cranks the Christmas music in November, you may want to rethink your decision before turning on “Jingle Bell Rock” while decorating the house elaborately. The immediate moment you begin singing along could be the moment your stress increases and your holiday cheer decreases.

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Have Yourself a Stressful Little Christmas