Speed Reads

Christmas Creep

Hate Christmas tunes in October? There may be a scientific explanation.

Do you resent being told you should be simply having a wonderful Christmas time — in October? Or hearing that the weather outside is frightful but the fire inside's delightful while it is still hurricane and forest fire season? Perhaps you simply don't care to hear about somebody whose heart was stolen last Christmas, then given away, before eating your Thanksgiving turkey. It isn't just you.

Linda Blair, a clinical psychologist in Great Britain, says that hearing Christmas music months before Christmas can cause stress, reminding people of all the things left to do before the holidays — buying gifts, making cookies, decorating the house, planning parties. "Music goes right to our emotions immediately and it bypasses rationality," she tells Sky News. "Christmas music is likely to irritate people if it's played too loudly and too early." And if you think it's bad as a shopper — Best Buy starts the Christmas tunes Oct. 22, according to the Tampa Bay Times — imagine working in a mall.

Hearing the same music over and over makes workers "unable to focus on anything else," Blair said. "You're simply spending all of your energy trying not to hear what you're hearing." On the other hand, if you're one of those people who loves hearing about lovely weather for a sleigh ride together anytime after the Fourth of July, well, there's always Pandora.