Have you noticed that fall gets a lot less cute in November? All of those bright, crisp leaves have fallen to the ground, and now they’re just a brown, soggy chore. By the way, you know what else is hidden under that blanket of brown leaves? Brown dog poop, which is more or less impossible to find now. It’s like the world’s worst Easter egg hunt every time I try to clean up after my dog. I do realize that this marks me as a person who has both a house and a dog, so I know: champagne problems. Nevertheless, it’s cruddy to be sitting at work and realizing, like an grown-up urban legend, that the smell is coming from your own shoe.
To make matters worse, we turned the clocks back last week. I’m not so stupid as to think that this actually took away an hour of daylight, but it did shift it from the evening to the morning, and now we have to negotiate the reality that we won’t be leaving work in the daylight until February.
It’s Indian Summer now, which … can you still say Indian Summer? It seems like it might be offensive but I’m honestly not even sure. It’s such a nice weather phenomenon that I can’t imagine anyone minding it being named after them. I love when it’s sunny and warm, so I’m not complaining, but we all know that Indian Summer is just fall’s awkward stage. It’s still brisk in the morning, it doesn’t feel quite right to wear summery clothes, and for some reason your house refuses to match the outdoor temperature. But I’m trying to enjoy it, because November’s default weather, in the Northeast anyway, is drizzly and damp.
Even my girl Louisa May Alcott knew what was up:
“November is the most disagreeable month in the whole year,” said Margaret, standing at the window one dull afternoon, looking out at the frostbitten garden.
“That’s the reason I was born in it,” observed Jo pensively, quite unconscious of the blot on her nose.”
For the above reasons, I submit that – except for Thanksgiving, God do I love Thanksgiving – the best parts of fall are over and it’s totally cool if you want to play Christmas music.
Christmas music in November is an economically-sound choice. See, if you’re the kind of person who likes Christmas music in the first place, you probably have a decent-sized collection of it. We have roughly seven weeks until Christmas, and now that I say it that does sound very far away (because it is). But bear with me. Let’s say you have 15 Christmas albums. That isn’t even hard to do. A few of those compilations from Bath And Body Works or Starbucks which were surprisingly good in the early 2000s, some boy band stuff even if you never listen to them the other 10 months of the year (NKOTB, N Sync, All-4-One, Boyz II Men), the classics (Mariah is a classic). If you’re going to listen to one full album a day, which you probably wouldn’t, you’re listening to each album every other week or so. That means you’re only listening to each one 3-4 times. Any less than that and you aren’t even getting a return on your investment. It’s simple economics! Or maybe Common Core math. Either way.
Christmas music in early November does come with a few caveats. It is a personal choice and should not be foisted on the unwilling. If you work somewhere that plays Christmas music, you are well within your rights to be annoyed. Also, I am not saying that all Christmas music enthusiasts should begin now, just that it’s cool if you do. I tried yesterday, but I’m really not there until closer to Thanksgiving. Finally, if you do not have a wide range of Christmas music available to you, you risk burnout if you begin now. If you’re depending on one of those radio stations that goes all-Christmas at some point in November, the lineup is usually really repetitive and, well, bad.
One of the main arguments against Christmas in November is that Thanksgiving loses its time in the spotlight. I offer this response: yeah, but there is no such thing as Thanksgiving music. Am I supposed to play Over The River And Through The Woods on repeat for the next three weeks? That song isn’t even directly about Thanksgiving. It’s more like Thanksgiving didn’t have a song and the powers that be were just like “I don’t know, sometimes people go to other people’s houses on Thanksgiving,” and it was written.
All of the traditional markers of fall are waning. The weather is more chilly than balmy, the skies are more gray than sunny, and all of those orange and red leaves are on their way to being poop camouflage. Meanwhile, the indicators of the winter and Christmas season are on the rise. By that, I mean that Starbucks has the red cups now. So I say go ahead. It’s November. Blast those Christmas tunes. If you only get to listen to New Kids On The Block’s Merry, Merry Christmas three times, far be it from me to say that it was too much.