Christmas Creep Confessions: We Played Christmas Music On Halloween

An anonymous reader, who works at a certain bookstore, says that her manager started playing Christmas music a week before Halloween… and on Halloween itself.

My manager began playing Christmas music the week before Halloween. I’ve had numerous customers come up to me and complain.. saying we’re pushing to much into the season. The music continues to play, nonstop. We only stopped for a short hour or two on Halloween to play Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” a couple of times. Christmas is here, at Borders Books and Music in Massachusetts.


Edit Your Comment

  1. akronharry says:

    You mean you played “holiday” music? Accordng to Retailers of America Association, the 20008-09 holiday season kicks off on Halloween and ends Valentines Day.

  2. Cyclokitty says:

    This brings back bad retail job hell memories. I worked in a cesspool mall job (The Nature Company) and they started the Christmas music at around Halloween too. Whenever someone complained we had to switch the cd to whale songs or dolphins. Horrible. Just horrible!

    Although the worst Christmas music retail experience was the year the manager went nutso and kept playing the Christmas music well into January. He thought people would want to buy the leftover Christmas stock if the music was heard. I am surprised I didn’t snap. Surreptitious sips of vodka certainly helped.

    My heart goes out to Anonymous and everyone else who is working a retail Christmas.

  3. Preyfar says:

    It’s only a matter of time before a disgruntled employee finally snaps and goes on a rampage after Jingle Bell Rock is played for the 3,103rd time in a week.

    As a consumer, I can’t stand that music piped into the store non-stop for the 20 to 30 minutes I’m out shopping… let alone having to work in that environment. Especially if you’re not religious.

  4. jdhuck says:

    I commented about Target doing this last week. Retailers push the holidays as much as possible.

  5. tony_important says:

    If I’m in a store within the next week and I hear christmas music, I’m going to drop kick somebody.

  6. arkangel says:

    The Christmas spirit seems to burn more brightly in some people. I wish they’d keep it to themselves and not inflict it on those of us who’d prefer to save it for after Thanksgiving.

    Come to think of it, if this bookstore happens to be Borders, maybe playing Christmas music before Halloween is an attempt to sell some of those freaky mini pink, black, and radioactive green Christmas trees they got in?

    • CFinWV says:

      @arkangel: And it used to be special to hear those songs, you WELCOMED it, you didn’t groan with horror! You saw the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade, Santa would pull up and then woooooooooosh they’d open the floodgates that is Christmas Retail Marketing. Even radio stations spared us until after Thanksgiving.

      • arkangel says:

        @CFinWV: Exactly! Now the only carol I can stand is “The Twelve Things At Christmas That Really Get To Me”.

        I think whoever wrote “Keep Christmas With You All Through the Year” is to blame for this…

  7. Parting says:

    My local shopping center started playing Christmas music on 1st November. The day after Halloween.

    I was horrified to hear little reindeer music. Aaaaaargh!

  8. Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

    I feel for them.. but you will never know true terror until you work at a music school for kids who are getting ready for the Christmas recital in September.

    Atleast the music on the radios is by professional musicians.

    Jingle Bells 100,000 times by every kid in the joint for atleast 3 months straight is enough to cause anyone to snap.

    Thankfully I don’t work there anymore.. and I never murdered anyone.

    PS. You don’t want to hear Jingle Bells on the tuba.

    • farcedude says:

      @Kimaroo: I dunno about the tuba slander. You should go see if there’s a Merry Tuba Christmas show sometime in December in your area – usually done by college music programs. They’re usually pretty good.

      • Kimaroo - 100% Pure Natural Kitteh says:

        @farcedude: No one can understand the horror I speak of unless they experience it.. it could even be entirely possible that what I heard wasn’t even a tuba…

        …I’ll never know…

    • HogwartsAlum says:


      We have this at the ice rink, when everyone is getting ready for the Christmas ice show. The Christmas music starts before Halloween as people are getting their programs together.

      I have skated in every single Christmas show except one and I REFUSE to use Christmas music. I always use something else. And if I hear “Suzy Snowflake” one more time…..

  9. B says:

    Need some good Halloween music? i recommend the covers of Rosemary’s Baby and The Omen theme songs by Fantomas. Or pretty much anything off their Director’s Cut album.

  10. Raekwon says:

    There are a few radio stations in my area competing to be the first one to go all Christmas. The winner this year started the week before Halloween and the others started at Halloween. My work also put up Christmas lights the day before Halloween.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I too, work at the aforementioned bookstore & although I did not work on Halloween so don’t know if they played “Thriller”, we have also been listening to Christmas music for some time. When I asked, I was told it was to push Aretha Franklins Christmas CD. Borders Exclusive! Someone did buy a copy though. Sigh.

    • ChChChacos says:

      @MoiraMetellus: (I wrote this article) and yes, we must push Aretha Franklin at our store. I’m constantly pushed to do this… and people are actually buying it. But on the Aretha cd (we play it in the store) she rambles on for a little bit and talks on one of the tracks and actually says Sh*t. And our customers hear it! It’s terrible.

  12. kc2idf says:

    It is probably okay as long as the holiday music in question is from Tim Burton’s film, The Nightmare Before Christmas.

    A couple of suggestions for additional halloween music in various genres . . . some is thematic, some is just creepy:

    Gregory’s Funhouse / It Could Only Happen on Halloween
    Bobby “Boris” Pickett / Monster Mash
    The Toyes / Monster Hash (May not be appropriate for all audiences)
    The Who / Boris the Spider
    J. S. Bach / Toccata and Fugue in E Minor (preferably performed on an organ)

  13. BeeBoo says:

    Another good reason not to go shopping.

  14. jdmba says:

    I was in a CVS this morning and it is in full christmas mode.

  15. RandomHookup says:

    I think you have a legitimate reason to complain under the Geneva Conventions and the “cruel and unusual punishment” standards of the Constitution.

  16. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    am i the only one who read the headline in his RSS and interpreted it as “Consumerist played xmas music on Halloween”?

  17. MrsLopsided says:
  18. charliew77 says:

    On Halloween night, I went to my local Target to see if I could pick up a last minute costume element. All their H’ween merch had been condensed into 1 aisle. The rest of the area was Christmas merch, and one of their music displays adertising their generic holiday albums was playing Christmas music rather loudly. It was jarring to be looking at Halloween costumes, and hearing “Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire.”

  19. Brazell says:

    Starbucks brought out their Christmas cups as well. I asked them about it on Monday and they said, “Well, it’s after halloween.. here they are.”

    Along with the “Thanksgiving Blend” which isn’t aweful.

  20. nicemarmot617 says:

    I used to work at a B&N that started playing the same CD of 12 Christmas carols on November 1. Generally, by November 15 I wanted to kill myself. And everyone else in the store.

  21. grimdeath9740 says:

    They were playing christmas music last Monday at walmart here in north texas :/ cmon we cant even get thanksgiving first?!

    • battra92 says:

      @grimdeath9740: What sort of music is there for Thanksgiving.

      I’ve Got Plenty to be Thankful For – Bing Crosby (from Holiday Inn)
      We Gather Together – old Dutch Reformist hymn

      That’s all I can think of.

  22. Craig says:

    Christmas music on Halloween? Now that’s scary. (Unless it was Weird Al’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy,” in which case it was totally appropriate.)

  23. ajlei says:

    Okay, okay, I work at a couple different Borders (west coast) and we are definitely not playing Christmas music yet at either store. By post-Thanksgiving, I’m sure, but the OP’s experience is an exception, not the rule. And.. I apologize to whoever it is — I adore Christmas music and personally would not care how early we listened to it, but the customers complaining have got to be a pain in the ass.

  24. P_Smith says:

    A store should make that a selling point:

    “No xmas music in our store! Shop here and save your sanity!”

    I’d go in.

  25. SecureLocation says:

    I walked into Kmart the other day with to buy a wrench. Heard the xmas music playing and walked right out again. Quit trying to shove it down our throats.

  26. trixare4kids says:

    Alas, they were playing Christmas music in the Lucky’s supermarket in Alameda, California on Sunday. I heard “The Little Drummer Boy” and thought, “WTF?”

  27. Anonymous says:

    A few apartments in my building had already put up Christmas lights before Halloween, and one even has a fully lit-up Christmas tree in the window already. That’s just wrong.

  28. boxjockey68 says:

    ya know…it’s actually nice to be broke right now…I don’t have to listen to it yet!

  29. battra92 says:

    Walmart the other day played Hallelujah by Handel and a store in the mall (I forget which) played Angels from the Realms of Glory (a favorite of mine.)

    Personally I can’t wait for XM to start their 24/7 Christmas music but then my shopping is about half finished already and I will most likely spend December at home.

    With the current financial crisis, I can think of a better song …

  30. mmejanvier says:

    So happy that I work for a godless indie coffee shop. I don’t have to endure Christmas music. Or eggnog lattes. *shudder*

  31. Anonymous says:

    It hasn’t even snowed in Michigan! For all of our sanities, why is it beginning now? I love christmas, it is perhaps my favorite holiday besides my birthday, however to begin christmas music after HALLOWEEN? It is a nightmare.
    I do not work in a retail store, and thank God I don’t. I would lose all of my sanity before Thanksgiving hits. Once Thanksgiving is over people, that is when it begins. I work in a movie theater, and luckily we play movie previews on the televisions we have in the lobby. If I heard christmas music starting soon, I would die. We, at the moment have only fall decorations out, and we put them out not even two weeks before halloween. We are a little late on our decorations, which is very nice. It makes it seem as if we arent trying to get people to come into our theater with a mad rush for gift cards.