Christmas music for a festive mood, or not?
You are bound to hear them everywhere in December, spiritual Christmas songs, cozy singalongs and seasonal party music. As background music at work, at home, and while shopping or as the main act of the Christmas or New Year's party. In any case, you can't escape them. They aim to get you in the mood for the holidays, since we all know songs have a big impact on our mood. But what makes that music so special? And how happy does it really make us?
The first Christmas songs were the religious kind like "Silent night" and "O Come All Ye Faithful". These originally somewhat slow and dusty songs were mainly intended to tell the origin story of the birth of Christ. If you read through the old-fashioned texts, you will get a clear picture of the story surrounding the birth of Christ. Of the wanderings of Mary and Joseph, the stable in which Jesus was born, the ox and the donkey, the shepherds, the angels and the three wise men from the east.
A lot less deep and serious are songs such as “Rudolph the red nosed reindeer”, “Jingle Bells” or “Last Christmas”. Those songs convey the atmosphere of Christmas to young and old with a feeling of warmth and coziness. They provide a cheerful mood, evoke nostalgic feelings in us and create pleasant memories. And those emotions have a positive neurological effect on us! Cozy and cheerful Christmas songs stimulate the pleasure circuit in your brain, which releases dopamine and serotonin. These are the brain chemicals that make us happy and thus contribute to a pleasant holiday season.
But sometimes all those festive season songs do not release any of that happiness into our brain. Especially when we hear the bellowing of Mariah Carey for the umpteenth time, who tells us she wants you for Christmas. Or when the songs physically hurt your ears due to the volume at which they are playing. Although the volume in public spaces rarely exceeds the permitted limit, it can be very different at parties. So, is your holiday song irritation level high? Or is all that festive music too loud? Then you can always fall back on Pluggerz filtered hearing protection for music! Then you can sing along loudly with each song, without consequences for your ears! (Just for the others in you company…)