Our mission here at the Christmas Commission, Music Division, is to serve and protect you from the deleterious effects of out-of-season Christmas music harassment.

The rule is this:

§ – There shall be no Christmas music broadcast, piped in, streamed, amplified, listened to, or even inferred in any way before 12:01 a.m. on the Friday after the U.S. Thanksgiving.

None. Zip zero zilch nada. The rule is clear — and we must all follow it.

To clarify, there are three types of Christmas music:

¶ – Holiday music: Secular — frightful weather, sleigh rides, plying visitors with alcohol, Frosty the Snowman bravely facing personal oblivion

¶ – Christmastime-specific music: The season of Christmas — decorating, socializing, singing, marriage proposals, cheer (the good kind), gift-giving, Santa Claus, bullied reindeer, wishing, longing, personal sadness, being cold

¶ – Sacred Christmas music: Religious — Mary, Baby Jesus, and to a lesser extent Joseph; mid-wifing in a barn, effulgent celestial bodies, monarchs from Asia, singing angels, the “gift” of drumming, aromatic tree resins & precious metals, calmness, brightness, all the glory

The rule applies to all three types of Christmas music.

Frequently asked questions

Q: What exactly are you protecting, Christmas Commission?
A: Halloween. Thanksgiving. Fall sports. Fall color. Fall foods. The fall color design palette: browns, oranges, plums, yellows. Also, pumpkin spice. Decorative gourds. Late harvests. The initial steps of seasonal coupling. Herringbone. Tweed. Tweed caps. Maple soap from upstate New York. Maple cookies from Canada. Apple dishes (from all that apple picking). The state of Vermont. Candy corn. Candles that don’t smell like peppermint. Drinks without cinnamon sticks (because cinnamon sticks are pretty darn Christmassy). Mulled wine. Cloves. Persimmon cookies.

We protect societal order and, by extension, common decency. And that order is:

Football—> Halloween—> Thanksgiving—> then Christmas

The distinction and separation between seasons is even more important with climate change. The purported birth of a savior in the desert of the Middle East MUST continue to be associated with the cold — not chilly — weather associated with New England-esque snow and ice and hot cocoa and horse-drawn sleighs and Currier & Ives prints.

Leave the Christmas CDs in the L.L. Bean duck shoe box until the appropriate Friday. Do not jump the gun. Do not bypass fall.

Q: What if there are Christmas decorations already in the stores?
A: No! Walk away, people, just walk away. Although the Christmas Commission’s Commerce Division has really slacked off in recent years, the prohibition on Christmas music remains in effect. Don’t encourage scofflaws. Protect yourself.

For example, one of our CCMD agents visited a wholesale floral design store in late October, and employees were already showing signs of CRTSS (Christmas Retail Traumatic Stress Syndrome): reduced energy, broken posture, automaton type movement, murderously dead eyes.

The store was reprimanded, but the damage had already begun — those employees were SCARRED FOR LIFE.

Q: But what about Vince Guaraldi? He did lots of other jazz stuff that was not Christmas.
A: Jazz stuff?

The lyric phrasing and fluid performances of Woody Herman’s former pianist can be found in his own well-respected catalog of jazz music. However, you must be careful. Whereas Latin Guaraldi with Bola Sete is wonderful most any time of the year, if you start playing “Almaville” in October, you will feel the inevitable pull of his Peanuts work, and then it’s a slippery slope to A Charlie Brown Christmas… which is strictly prohibited in October and most of November.

Q: But what about [insert pop star name here]?
A: NO!! Just no! Be patient. Justin or Anna or Mariah can wait.

Q: What about while prepping dried fruits and nuts for fruitcake? I have to start weeks in advance for the ingredients to be soaked in alcohol properly seasoned.
A: That you would subject anyone to something so disgustingly vile demonstrates a cruel streak that not even we can address. Gah.

There is one geographic exception. If you reside in Claxton, Georgia, the fruitcake capital of North America, and if it helps your underpaid group of baking minions to pick up the pace, a smidgeon of instrumental holiday music is permitted, preferably acoustic guitar. However, once baked and then set aside, stop the damn music!

Q: But what about musicians? Live holiday performances are decently paying gigs… but we need to rehearse.
A: For crying out loud!… OK, fine, whatever. Just keep the doors and windows closed. But seriously, how much rehearsal do you need for “Silver Bells”? It’s not like it’s a new chart you haven’t already played 4000 times.

Q: But what about while I’m setting up holiday decorations? The wiring alone for my computerized, servo-controlled, programmed lights extravaganza to the complete works of Trans-Siberian Orchestra takes a minimum of three weekends in November. And that’s in good weather!
A: Arrgh. You don’t need Christmas music to wire your front yard, eaves, roof, and animatronic Baby Jesus.


Be like Cypher in The Matrix… simply observe the descending streams of holiday green computer code. You don’t need the music.

Q: How do you dorks enforce anything? Like are you guys armed or packing heat?
A: Do not underestimate the steamrolling power of pure unadulterated peer pressure. Eye rolling. Glares. Judgmental Facebook posts. Twitter shade-throwing. Calling your grandma, who remembers how things used to be. Oh, she will tell you. She has lots to say about a great many things.

Q: But what about… ?…
A: NO MORE!! Stop it! No more exceptions. No no no pre-season Christmas music!

Show a modicum of discipline.

Q: What’s your deal? Do you hate Christmas? You sound like Nosey Nancy killjoys who suck the life out of anything fun.
A: Oh no. It’s a most wonderful time of the year. But Christmas has its time and place. And that time starts the Friday after Thanksgiving and ends on Boxing Day. (Or 12th Night if you’re devout.)

Please be respectful. Enjoy Christmas responsibly.

Thank you.