Forty years ago, as the playing of Christmas songs was heard more often during the days leading up to Thanksgiving Day, I heard my minister joke about the off-season appearance of the holiday tunes. Speaking from the pulpit, my minister described two men in a shopping mall. Suddenly both men hear a rendition of Christmas songs. Then one of the two men says, "My goodness, I didn't know that it was Halloween already."
Now the public is rapidly becoming accustomed to hearing xmas music in the "off-season." And the "off-season" seems to get shorter and shorter. Christmas music is not only heard well before Christmas, but long after that day as well. In fact, thanks largely to the TV ads sponsored by various automobile makers, the playing of Christmas songs persists for an extended time beyond December 25th.
Much of this has nothing to do with the nature of the music or the song. Christmas has been chosen as an excellent time to invite customers to dealerships with special car deals. Usually those deals last through the first two to three days of the New Year. Consequently, the ads featuring those deals force TV viewers to listen to Christmas songs for a period that goes much longer than the interval of time traditionally devoted to the playing of Christmas music.
In some commercials the words of the traditional Christmas songs have been replaced with words that remind the TV viewers about the enticing product that is then on the car dealer floors. In other ads one hears the traditional words, but the picture bears little resemblance to the period of time in which the traditional words were written. Both types of ads seem strangely out of place when shown more than 8 days after Christmas Day.
One wonders sometimes just how many cars those ads sell by bombarding the TV viewers with so much off-season xmas music. This writer finds that she is almost repulsed by the repetition of the ads, some of which are not of the quality one appreciates in a good advertisement. In other words, they are not the sort of thing one would see during the showing of the Super Bowl.
Sometimes, during such commercials, the TV viewer wonders why advertisers insist on playing such a spirit-killing song. Christmas is over, and the viewers' appetite for Christmas songs has faded. Still, advertisers know that if one hears a familiar tune with unfamiliar words, and if one hears that repeatedly, then one easily learns the new words that go with the old music. Hence, large segments of the population could start to sing product-specific words to a popular Christmas tune. Then the members of the public would somehow serve as the source for a continuation of the short TV ads.
This causes one to ponder on the possible length of time that could be devoted to Christmas ads in the future. Perhaps these automobile ads with their off-season Christmas songs will eventually persist until half-way through January. Then the advertisers might shift their focus to other occasions, such as the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday and the approach of the Super Bowl. What jokes will our ministers tell their congregations when that takes place?