So honest question: when is it okay to listen to Christmas music?
Like, December makes sense since Christmas is in December but, especially for people who work in retail, even December seems too long for listening to the music constantly. So like two weeks before Christmas?
See, I’m the opposite. And maybe this is because I haven’t worked in retail seriously until this year. You see, I love Christmas. I’ve chilled out about it a lot more now that I’m older and its got that whole cost thing that comes with being an adult. But that cost thing is true of practically everything. Like video games: costs money. Going to the movies: costs money. Eating actual food: COSTS MONEY. So, I’m still pretty “Christmas fun times”. Enough to the point that listening to Christmas music is actually kind of relaxing for me.
Wait, wait, hear me out. I’m not talking all the time. I am talking about certain times in my life when I am anxious and for some reason the idea of Christmas just makes me happy, so I listen to some Christmas music. In the summer, in the fall, sometimes whenever some of my favorite Christmas songs come up on my iPod when its on shuffle. Now I usually do this by myself. Like I’m wearing a headset and no one has to know I’m listening to Christmas music.
But sometimes I didn’t. And that’s why I know I had some really cool people in my life. Because at least two people that I’ve lived with in my life have understood my strange love of Christmas music. These would be my mother and my first apartment roommate and good friend Carolyne. Both of these lovely women understood my anxiety and appreciated (and still do) my self-care attempts to deal with it. Rather than let it shut me down I have actively try and deal with wanting to sit down and cry.
Sometimes listening to Christmas music is what I need. Both my mother and Carolyne had been understanding and never complained when I play Christmas music out loud. I try to keep it low and not very often, but there were points that I needed what I needed to keep functioning.
Carolyne and I, as roommates, actually sat down at the start of our lease on our first apartment and literally talked about our preferences and dislikes when it came to living conditions. Things like: our rooms are our spaces and the other keeps any negative thoughts to themselves, shared spaces like kitchen and living room are kept neat, if the bathroom door is closed, its in use, things like that. But we also talked about our personal preferences when dealing with our own learning and mental issues. It really helped, especially when we made the agreement that we could always sit down and explain anything new.
So when I wanted to listen to Christmas music in September because school was driving me nuts, I got to calmly explain it to her. Carolyne was super understanding but also didn’t want to listen to Christmas music 24/7 (also understandable). So I was always free to ask if she minded if I put a Christmas CD on and she was free to say yes or “Could you use a headset?” if she didn’t want to hear it. Which was sometimes the answer. Actually, that was sometimes the answer for any music if we were writing papers or working on projects. That’s why are bedrooms were also always private spaces: we were introverts who sometimes needed space from each other. I think that’s why we were such great roommates: we never had a single fight because we were always willing to be open minded and talk things out. We also let each other have our moments: I woke up at 2 in the morning to find Carolyne on the phone with her mother while sitting on our kitchen floor cutting up a pumpkin to make pumpkin pie. Sometimes you just need a time to be weird without judgement. (If you’re wondering, she was having a shitty week, so I asked if I could do anything. She said not right now and so I shut the door to the kitchen and went back to bed. She and her mother spent the entire night baking in two separate provinces because that’s what Carolyne needed).
Carolyne and I learned what the signs of an impending breakdown were in each other (better sometimes than knowing ourselves) and we would try and pre-empt that. Sometimes it was Carolyne who put the Christmas music on without me asking and sometimes I would suggest a long walk in the park. That was just how we worked.
My mother is a lot less involved in the music thing. She just knows that sometimes I need it so if she walks in on me doing the dishes while listening to a Pentatonix Christmas she usually says something like “Oh I like this version” and lets it go. As long as I don’t get invasive then she doesn’t either.
Maybe that’s why Christmas music is so annoying for retail people. They don’t have a choice: it’s invasive to them because they don’t control when it starts and whether or not its interspersed with normal music. They just have to deal with it while, for me, it’s a tool for me to deal with myself.
Man, sometimes honest questions get you to the weirdest thoughts….yeah, sorry about that.