It doesn’t matter what side you’re on. Whether you can’t stand the sound of holiday music before December 1st, or you don’t mind sneaking in some Mariah Carey high notes before Thanksgiving, the annual debate over the most appropriate time to play holiday music is just a symptom of a bigger issue. The soundtrack of holiday jingles that gets annually reintroduced into basically any public forum with a speaker force feeds a nearly identical shortlist of “classics” into all of our lives. Virtually none of these classics have changed in decades, the result of which causes some people to pull out their hair while others hark the heralds.
The solution: keep the joy, lose the repetition. The classics have their place, but as long as you have the aux chord and an open mind, there’s no reason to stomach cyclical cheer from the exact same artists every December. This playlist containing 40 new(ish) holiday songs from recent years can offer some much-needed relief from the progressively maddening collection of cookie-cutter holiday classics.