I don’t have a specific date where I believe it’s time to listen to Christmas music — I believe that when you want to start listening to it, you should. For me, that means I’ve been listening to it for a while.

An age-old debate arises during the season of sparkling lights and flurries of snow: When is the best time to start listening to Christmas music?

Some will insist that people should wait until after Halloween and Thanksgiving. But as soon as the weather forecasts even one single snowflake or cold weather, I am ready to start rocking around the Christmas tree, caroling and spreading holiday cheer.

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Whether it’s the Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square, Mariah Carey or Pentatonix, there’s no shortage of remixed Christmas classics or traditional ballads that chronicle the meaning for the season.

The Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square during their 2015 Christmas concert.
The Tabernacle Choir and the Orchestra at Temple Square during their 2015 Christmas concert. | The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

The Daily Universe, BYU’s campus newspaper, asked several students last year when they thought it was acceptable to start listening to Christmas music. Opinions differed greatly.

BYU student Azucena Gutierrez said that the last week of October was the best time to start listening, while Taggert Barton said it is acceptable to listen to Christmas music year-round.

In 2017, Bustle did a poll to show what the general population thinks when the best time is to listen to Christmas music. They found most people believe the best time to listen to holiday jingles is after Thanksgiving, but a healthy percentage of people (26%) said that any time after Nov. 1 was a good time to start listening.

A few years ago, Idina Menzel’s Christmas album stirred up controversy because it was released on Oct. 14. The singer defended her decision in an interview with Time magazine’s Nolan Feeney saying Christmas comes alive for her in October.

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Writing for The Atlantic, Kevin O’Keeffe said that he’s been listening to her album since it came out, but with an important distinction: “I’ve been listening to it in my earbuds only. I would never blast Christmas music at a party in October, because I know people feel passionately about it. My October holiday cheer is mine.”

While I wouldn’t blast Christmas music at a party in October either (unless my friends wanted me to), I like the idea of more holiday cheer, not less.

Holiday cheer, for me, is a real phenomenon where the lights, the decorated sugar cookies and the music makes me more inclined to give to others and think more deeply each day about what is meaningful in life.

I enjoy other autumn holidays like Halloween and will watch Halloween movies during the month of October while sipping on apple cider after a long day at the pumpkin patch, but Christmas holds a deeper meaning to me. I love the glitz and glimmer of the lights in Salt Lake City at night and I’ll take any excuse to decorate Christmas cookies.

But, like Taylor Swift sang, Christmas must mean something more.

Christmas music, in particular, persuades me to do good. The religious nature that the songs often have do certainly focus my attention on doing good, but it’s something almost atmospheric — Christmas music reminds me that not only should I do good, but I should have a disposition of being good. That’s what Christmas music does for me.

I’m no Scrooge about Christmas music — if you don’t want to listen until the very last minute or prefer not to listen at all, I won’t be a Grinch. It’s a matter of personal taste.

But I stand by the take that it’s really never too soon to start listening to Christmas music.