Whether it’s “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night,” holiday tunes were designed to inspire feelings of warmth and joy.

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How Christmas Music Affects the Brain

Christmas Music: Yay or Nay?

Whether it’s “Jingle Bells” or “Silent Night,” holiday tunes were designed to inspire feelings of warmth, joy, and generosity. Some welcome these tunes, while others scramble for earplugs. So, how exactly does Christmas music affect our brains?

It’s no secret that music can evoke powerful emotions. Songs relax, excite, and inspire. They are associated with strong emotions. These associations depend largely on our unique life experiences. Some associate Christmas melodies with peace and prosperity, while others may associate it with holiday stress. But there’s more to it than that.

Walk into any major store between mid-November (sometimes even earlier) and New Year’s Day and you’ll find that Christmas is in the airwaves. Retailers use a mix of holiday sounds, smells, and displays to make shoppers feel festive.

And studies have shown that it works.

Many shoppers browse for longer and are therefore more likely to make a purchase when Christmas melodies are abound. Add alluring scents like cinnamon and peppermint into the mix, and you’ve got a recipe for sales.

On the flip side, you’ll find that some retail workers can’t wait for their shifts to end. Overexposure to Christmas songs can transform even the most joyous into Scrooge.

Other important variables affect how we feel about Christmas music. Extroverts are more likely to relish in the thought of family gatherings, exchanging gifts, and caroling along with others. Introverts might prefer a smaller celebration and recoil at the first hint of a Christmas tune, or prefer to listen to it with their headphones.

Kids tend to associate holiday jingles with presents, days off, and good times, while busy adults are often stressed with travel plans, gift hunting, and budgeting.

Overall, we can all agree that no matter your stance on Christmas music, we capture the essence of the holiday season by being kind to one another.

 

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