(NBC News) – The holiday season is just getting started, but are you already sick of hearing Christmas music?
Are those jingling bells lifting your spirits or getting on your nerves?
Love it or hate it, Christmas music is the soundtrack of the season.
Dr. Gerald Shiener, a psychiatrist said, “Music can associate to happy times and the holidays are supposed to be a happy time.”
Psychiatrist Dr. Gerald Shiener says if our childhood memories of the holidays are happy, Christmas music can trigger lots of pleasurable, positive feelings.
But if your memories are not so happy, holiday music can have the opposite effect.
Dr. Shiener said, “A lot of people’s memories of those childhood family dinners are just big fights that ended up with people yelling at each other and scaring the kids.”
Or it’s a reminder of unmet expectations.
Dr. Gerald said, “Everything we see on television, everyone is having a good time, everyone is forgiving everyone else, but in reality, you’re thrown in with your families, old rivalries and tensions come out.”
Control is also key.
It’s no surprise that people who choose to listen to christmas music tend to enjoy it more than retail workers who don’t have a say in the matter.
And for some, it just starts too early.
Dr. Shiener said, “By the time the holidays really do come, we’ve had enough of that music. we’ve heard jingle bells and silent night six times a day for six weeks.”
While any song has the potential to trigger strong emotions, experts say christmas music is special because it’s the only genre we only hear at one particular time of year which is why it’s so connected to the emotions of the holidays.
Interestingly, if you ask people what songs they know by heart, typically most of the songs are christmas songs.
They are that much a part of us and this season.
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