It’s getting to that time of year again, where you book in a night to watch Love Actually, start putting together to-buy gift lists for all your buddies, and when you’re randomly caught drooling over the mere idea of Christmas dinner. Yes, folks, the holiday season is upon us, and the first thing that will creep into your life during this time is most definitely Christmas tunes.
Although we can’t deny we love a bit of “All I Want For Christmas Is You” to wrap our presents to, there is a point that we all reach where we transform into the Grinch (pre-heart swelling) and hate every single song that DARES to use a jingly-jangly bell intro.
But apparently this deep hatred of Christmas music that hits us after a month or so of festive radio overplays is actually scientifically legit.
There’s a psychological impact known as the “mere exposure effect” which, according to music psychologist Dr. Victoria Williamson, there is a “U-shaped relationship” between the amount of times we hear music and our reaction to it. You know the whole ‘playing a song to death’ situation where you end up hating the song you once loved? Yeah, it’s that.
However, it works beyond just hitting repeat and blasting a song through your headphones, as just walking around town and catching moments of Christmas songs getting played in stores is enough for your brain to remember, and then resent later on.
So there’s a sweet spot where you only hear certain Christmas tunes a small amount of times, but that time expires reeeeeal quick — especially if you’re working in retail because you will have to listen to that shit all day.
If you’re one of the lucky ones who doesn’t have mass daily exposure to Michael Bublé, then enjoy the infrequent tune to get you in the holly, jolly mood. But the second you start to feel a turn in your emotions from Buddy the Elf levels of joy to pure Ebenezer Scrooge holiday hatred, TURN THAT RADIO OFF.