Christmas Songs in September

Luz Family Christmas Tree My wife told me long before I moved to the Philippines (in 2006) that Christmas songs are played and broadcast on radio starting in the first of the “ber” months (September-December), but I didn’t believe her. After spending two Christmas holiday seasons in the Philippines and while in the beginning of a third, her words have been proven to be true.

Listening to Christmas music, for me, is annoying enough all by itself. Listening to it for four months of the year is out of the question, especially when most of it is American Christmas music.

Christmas Song Repetition

Is it just me? I mean, how many times can you listen to a variation of “White Christmas” or “Jingle Bells” before you want to wretch? I attribute the frequency of Christmas music, especially in the Philippines, with the commercialism of the season.

I have nothing against music in general and I listen to music from just about all of the genres, including rap and hip hop. Thankfully, I listen to most music via Internet music stations instead of local broadcast stations. The local broadcast stations are already pumping out variations of the same tunes I’ve been hearing all of my life. Is this a form of brainwashing or what?

Grocery Stores and Shopping Centers

I do the brunt of my grocery shopping at the Royal Subic store at the Subic Bay Freeport Zone and usually near the beginning of the month. During the first eight months of the year, their broadcast system plays contemporary rock music and not too loud to be irritating.

I went to the store a few days ago and guess what was playing? You get a gold star if you say Christmas music. As much as I needed to restock my food supplies, I was very tempted to walk out and go home. It wasn’t just that it was Christmas music. It was louder than usual.

I’ve been to the SM Mall in Pampanga during the holiday months (though not this year, at least not yet), so it isn’t just an extremely localized phenomena. I’m willing to bet it’s countrywide. Of course, I probably won’t be going back to that mall in the future if I can figure out how to get to the SM Mall at the Clark Economic Zone (the former Clark US air base). Well, that’s a different story that I won’t get into right now.

Christmas Caroling

My house is not the nicest house in Olongapo or even in my neighborhood. Compared to the houses around us, however, it’s like a beacon to people who want to go to where they think the money is. I really hate to say it, but Christmas caroling in the local area is all about getting paid to sing or play music on your behalf.

Thank goodness this part of the season doesn’t start until after Thanksgiving Day in the Philippines. If listening to Christmas music isn’t annoying enough for me, listening to groups of people hovering outside my fence and singing the exact same songs is enough to drive me insane. I’m thankful to my mother-in-law and my wife’s family, who also live in this compound, for shewing them away as often as possible. Like me, they know the real reason it happens and it has nothing to do with the spirit of the holiday.

I’m not a Grinch or a Scrooge

If you don’t know what I’m referring to, oh well. I won’t explain it. The point I want to make is that I don’t wait until a particular season or holiday to make “giving” a priority. I believe that giving is a practice which should take place seven days a week, 365 days a year.

If everyone in the world took up the habit of giving (instead of receiving) as a year-long pursuit, the world be a much better place to live in. In the current state of affairs, the commercialism of the Christmas holiday is all about taking what you can get away with taking, honestly or not so honestly.

As far as Christmas songs or Christmas music, however, I’ll take mine as “having none of that”.


17 Responses to “Christmas Songs in September”

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  1. Lin says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. A radio station we frequently listen to at work has a “Christmas in July” special where Christmas songs are played 24 hours a day for the entire month of July. Ugh.

    I enjoy listening to Christmas music like many/most other people do, but you’re right, the sheer volume the music is played in stores is very annoying. I assume Christmas songs are played loudly months before the Christmas holiday officially begins in hopes shoppers will stay longer and spend money shopping early for Christmas gifts.

    If it weren’t for the need to go grocery shopping, I wouldn’t step in any of the local stores or malls until after the new year. I do ALL of my Christmas gift shopping online, and have for several years now. It is the best!
    .-= My last blog: Christmas 2009 Most Popular Best Christmas Gifts Ideas For Kids =-.

    • RT Cunningham says:

      It wouldn’t bother me much at all if it was limited to the month of December. Most of a month is already too much, but four months? Remember the “Airplane” movie? I sometimes feel like one of the passengers who couldn’t stand listening to Stryker’s life stories.

      • Lin says:

        I remember from years ago that Christmas songs started being played on radio stations the day after Thanksgiving, but that isn’t the case anymore in many areas in the US. Christmas music can now be heard around the clock in stores and malls starting in September, and one local store even starts this Christmas ritual in August. Needless to say, I avoid those stores at all cost. I don’t mind it so much when radio stations mix Christmas songs with other music throughout the day and night, but nonstop Christmas songs wears on my nerves after awhile.
        .-= My last blog: Christmas 2009 Most Popular Best Christmas Gifts Ideas For Kids =-.

        • RT Cunningham says:

          I used to live in Phoenix. There was always at least one radio station for every genre that didn’t play Christmas music. There are some things I miss about the US and that’s one of them.

  2. Anime Games says:

    Everything has changed now and ber months is not that cold anymore compared before. I lived in the philippines too and I saw the changes that happened before. NOw Ber months is typhoon months and not the cold months that we use to have…..
    .-= My last blog: Krazy Aces Opens Close Beta Registration =-.

    • RT Cunningham says:

      I was complaining about that last year. It seemed there was only one cool (not cold) month out of the entire year. I’m crossing my fingers for this year.

  3. J McCoy says:

    I was stationed in the Philippines at Clark AB, Luzon, from 1968-1970 and perhaps you might get a laugh from this story. As you know (at least this was true when I was there), if you have a pet you were required to have a sign in your yard warning everyone about the pet. It had to be in three languages: Tagalog, English, and Pampangan (the provincial language). My friend had a sign made in the shape of an elephant standing on its hind legs. Painted pink, it wore a top hat and held a martini glass on high. The sign said, in the perquisite three languages, “Beware of Elephant.” You’d be surprised how many people stopped to look – I guess for the elephant.
    Bob Hope came for a Christmas visit and was asked if he had played golf at John Hay (Baguio). He stopped his show and said he was not going to make jokes but tell the truth – though we probably wouldn’t believe him. He said he couldn’t play golf there because it was too high and he was too old. He had been there, though, and thought it beautiful. He then pointed out that if you drove a car on John Hay, you needed to keep your windows up because “Golf balls had the right of way.”

    • RT Cunningham says:

      I don’t know about the Pampanga pet requirement but nothing like that is required in the Zambales province, where Olongapo is.

  4. Mark Rod says:

    Haha, Just when you think listening to those deafening Christmas songs is making you crazy, wait till November comes, children armed with Christmas carols and home made Christmas caroling instruments, they would go singing “Joy to the World” in a very funny off-tone manner, shaking their flattened bottle cap tambourine thingy and just going singing out loud without any concerns as to whoever hear their offbeat songs. It is sometimes amusing to watch, but well, kids are kids, used to do that when I was kid too.
    .-= My last blog: Submit Site to Search Engines =-.

  5. I understand your feelings RT. I don’t celebrate Christmas because it’s roots are not Christian. However, even if I did, starting the music earlier every year seems a commercial ploy to get people spending.

    • RT Cunningham says:

      Christmas is a pagan holiday co-opted by the Christian churches. Santa Claus, however, is based on a devout Christian even though he’s been morphed into something that barely resembles the original.

  6. In the UK we had a charity shop threatened with being burnt down if it displayed Christmas cards for sale before 1st November. Would you believe that? I do admit that August is a bit early but, frankly, with the post being so poor these days, you have to think in good time if you have send cards overseas. The whole world has gone mad!

  7. John says:

    Carolers wassailing from door to door, spreading holiday joy and cheer through song is one of the most memorable aspects of the holiday season. Check out the links on this page for Christmas sheet music, lyrics, videos, streaming music and more.

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  8. I hate it when people play Christmas songs when it isn’t Christmas. My Mother is one person in particular that does this to the extreme. I love Christmas music, but in January or during Halloween? Keep it with the seasons please.

  9. Pete says:

    I would prefer to listen to christmas songs on during christmas itself. I guess its a personal preference. Listening to christmas songs on christmas itself somehow enhances the spirit and soul more than any other day.

  10. Mark says:

    Here’s a link to a bunch of good
    christmas country music…No Christmas is complete without this list…

  11. Success Grants says:

    I agree with ‘giving is an all year thing’ However there is no reason to be snooty about the Christmas season. Even if these people only donate during a specific time of year at least they are still donating.
    .-= My last blog: Personal grant =-.