For some of us, Christmas just wouldn’t work without Christmas music! Music plays a big role at Christmastime, whether we’re playing it at home or tapping our feet to Christmas songs as we shop for presents. But why do we love Christmas music so much? Why do some people hate Chrsitmas songs? And what Christmas music is most popular? This blog post tries to answer these questions and more as it explores the true nature of Christmas music!
According Mic.com, one of the main reasons we love Christmas songs is due to the ‘exposure effect’. It has been proven that the more often we hear a song, the more likely we are to love it. And, as Christmas has a huge canon of familiar songs played on repeat each year, we are exposed to Christmas songs in a way we aren’t to other kinds of music. This means that even if we didn’t like a Christmas song when we first heard it, hearing it again and again over the years will probably make us like it eventually. This is the ‘exposure effect’ at work.
The answer to this question also relies on the ‘exposure effect’. The ‘exposure effect’ can go a step further for some people, as hearing the same songs too many times can cause our brains to reach saturation point. After that, hearing the same Christmas songs can start to irritate some people. It’s a little like eating the same food every day: there are only so many days in a row you can eat spaghetti Bolognese before you get sick of it! If you’re a bit of a Scrooge when it comes to Christmas music, it might be best to actively choose the Christmas songs you like most, and ignore the ones you don’t. This way, you can get in the mood for Christmas without overdoing it!
The best way to answer this question is to look at our own music playlist here at Santa Radio, and to look at the popularity of different Christmas songs on music streaming services like Spotify. Overwhelmingly, people seem to choose classic Christmas songs, which we’re categorising as anything Before 2010. From White Christmas and Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, to All I want for Christmas and Last Christmas, it seems that most listeners prefer older Christmas songs. This is because Christmas is steeped in tradition, so many of us create our own habits, which includes putting up the same Christmas decorations each year and playing the same Christmas songs each year. Nostalgia factor is huge at Christmastime, so the classic Christmas songs always seem to win out over the more recent songs!
According to a study by Nielson in August, the group of people most likely to love Christmas music are millennials (people between 18 and 34). In fact, millennials make up an impressive 36% of all Christmas music lovers! As we discussed above, the most popular Christmas music is usually not from new artists and tends to be several decades old. In fact, millennials seem to prefer Christmas music from before 1970, with just a few exceptions. Nielson suggests that nostalgia factor plays a huge role in this, as millennials are significantly more likely to feel nostalgic and to buy into anything that reminds them of their childhood.
Every year, more and more people ask Google ‘how to listen to Christmas music’, ‘where to stream Christmas music’, ‘when Christmas music will start playing on their favourite radio station’, etc. Christmas music isn’t going anywhere, with more and more people who appreciate the nostalgia factor that comes with it. Here are Santa Radio, we’re more than happy to provide the service everyone is asking for, playing Christmas song after Christmas song for your listening pleasure! We hope we’ve answered a few people’s questions about Christmas music. Make sure you check out our Christmas music playlist — you can even suggest a song if you can’t find your favourite Christmas track!