The Start of Christmas Music and Thanksgiving


Aarav Julka

A visual graph of the data collected in the study.

With Thanksgiving less than one month away, it is time for many to start embracing the holiday season. As people wait for the first snowfall, Christmas shopping lists and vacation plans begin to take shape. Time honored Benet Academy traditions such as the Christmas Drive will soon occupy the attention of students and faculty. To keep the Christmas spirit fresh this year, a new question is being asked for the first time in Benet Academy’s history since 1887: when is it acceptable to begin playing Christmas music during the winter? 

To begin the quest of answering this debate, the Benet Herald sent out an unbiased researcher to conduct an all school survey separated by grade level. The first step was to assess the current thoughts of the Benet Academy population. A total of 214 responses from students were collected over a week. Of the 214 students who participated in the survey, the majority were juniors, numbered 132. Overall, there did not appear to be any significant differences between the percentages of opinions between grade levels. 

Of the respondents, nearly 67% believed strongly that Christmas music was acceptable to be played exclusively after Thanksgiving. One student in this group stated, “Once I begin hearing Christmas music on the radio or in the mall, I know that the holiday season has begun, and I start getting excited about doing my Christmas shopping.” Approximately 21% were okay with Christmas music being played before Thanksgiving, and approximately 10% had no preference. One student from the 21% group proclaimed, “Christmas music has to be played as soon as Halloween is over because Thanksgiving is part of the traditional holiday season.” However, about 2% of students gave unique responses to the question, which boiled down to 3 basic responses. 

The majority of this 2% reported they believed Christmas music was okay to be played before Thanksgiving, as long as the first snowfall had already occurred. The remainder of the 2% felt that whether Christmas music should be played before Thanksgiving depended on what song was played. A lone student, whose response did not fit any of the other categories and who wished to remain anonymous, stated that he did not want to pick a side, as he was worried that he might end up on Santa’s naughty list or end up being chased off school property by proponents of the opposing opinion. 

To gain further insight into the question, the researcher then examined what role admission to Benet Academy may have had in formulating these opinions. They decided to go to the Benet Academy Open House. The same question about Christmas music was asked to 20 other people. After receiving their responses, 17 said Christmas music should be played after Thanksgiving, two said it could be played before Thanksgiving, and one student panicked and asked if the question was a surprise test. These results amounted to 85% of possible future Benet Academy students supporting Christmas music after Thanksgiving only.  

In the end, several results became clear: two thirds of current Benet Academy students surveyed felt that Christmas music should be played only after Thanksgiving, 85% of prospective Benet students surveyed at the Open House felt the same way, and at least one Benet student still believes in Santa Claus. While the sample size of prospective students at the Open House was almost ten times less than that of the current Benet Academy students sampled, both groups trended toward the same belief.

As Thanksgiving approaches and the Christmas season draws near, confidence runs high that despite differing opinions, the Benet Academy student body will not wage contentious arguments in the hallways over the playing of Christmas music. After all, its presence means that Christmas break is that much closer for each and every student.