No one is happy right now. The sun sets at 4:20 p.m. The recent streak of good weather has only made the cold drizzle harsher. Your shoes are soaked by rain and slush on the sidewalk.
A plague has enveloped the land. Midterms are destroying whatever remains of your confidence and mental health. You may not even be able to go home for Thanksgiving for a respite from this madness.
What can save you from sinking deeper into this winter abyss? Lucky for you, American consumerism has a tonic for your sorrows: Christmas music.
American consumerism has its warts, but the holiday music it has produced is what we need right now. We need something that can bring people together and uplift them. And after a marathon of an election season, we need a break from politics.
Christmas music is undoubtedly tethered to the Christian holiday. However, the type of things many modern Christmas songs are about have little to do with Christ’s birth, and I do not think they exclude non-Christians in the way the more traditional hymns do.
Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” is not preachy or pious. It is a love song about wanting someone for Christmas more than presents, lights or anything else. Saint Nick is mentioned in the song, but only as an alternative name for Santa Claus.
Carey’s Christmas masterpiece is catchy, upbeat and timeless. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 last year — 25 years after its release — for a reason. Songs such as “All I Want for Christmas Is You” are what you need after a hellacious midterm and another disappointing dinner from the dining hall.
But the fun does not end with Carey’s greatest Christmas hit.
Christmas music is an entire genre, not just an album or a few songs from some artists. Spotify presents an entire section of playlists listed under “Happy Holidays.” The genre also features music for Kwanzaa and Hanukkah.
Songs such as “Jingle Bell Rock,” “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” and “Mistletoe” also have little to do with the celebration of Christ’s birth. They center around some of the holiday season’s universal characteristics: good spirits, holiday romance and time with family. You do not have to be a Christian to enjoy those things.
If you are looking for something a little different that combines the past with more a modern style of Christmas music, I would recommend the first two Brian Setzer Christmas albums.
Christmas is the holiday of nostalgia. It conjures such powerful memories from your childhood: the gift you received after wanting it all year, or maybe the times spent with relatives who have since passed.
The time we currently occupy is not a healthy one to stay in. All that surrounds us is despair, so we should look to another time to escape it.
Christmas music offers us a portal to the past — a portal that can take you to whatever positive holiday-season memories you have. A portal that can help you escape the present, which consumes all joy and vanquishes all hope.
So turn up your speaker, your headphones, your AirPods or whatever you listen to music on, and play some Christmas music. We have no need to wait until after Thanksgiving. Christmas music offers us the escape we need right now.