The other day was a long day. Still a little under the weather. Still a lot of work to be done. I closed my computer and stumbled out the door. Surely the combination of fresh air, a friend in my ear buds, and movement would turn things right around.
I talked to a couple friends while traipsing up and down the hills that make up Western Pennsylvania and when the phone calls ended, I resorted to a playlist. Shuffle. After a neutral song that didn’t have any effect on my emotional state, I heard the familiar bells of a classic Mariah Carey song. My hand involuntarily reached toward the skip button on my dangling headphones.
Now let’s be clear. I’m not someone who tries to gatekeep when we can enjoy things. Pumpkin pie tastes wonderful in April too, and if you want to listen to holiday music year round, that’s just fine with me. But as “All I Want for Christmas Is You” began bouncing off my brain, my first instinct was to skip.
I wondered why I was about to deny myself the joy of a catchy song just because I happened to be walking past uncarved pumpkins and signs that say “It’s Fall Y’all!”
And so I listened to it. Three times actually. And by the third replay, I was actively dancing like Snoopy, Charlie Brown, and the crew. I was skipping and singing and bopping right along. And I remembered a dear friend of mine whose go-to karaoke song is “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”
Just around the holidays, right? I’d asked when they told me. Nope. This was a year round thing, as my friend proceeded to pull up a video of them singing the song while the bartender set off fake snow (that they somehow had on hand?) around them. Absolutely brilliant.
I’ve thought a lot about this walk in the days since. If a Christmas song can get you out of an early September funk, listen to it. There’s no rules to when things make sense or where things belong. If it brings you joy, why wouldn’t you do it? If something makes you grin ear to ear until you are giddy and borderline high on life? Lean in.
And if you’re looking for a quick serotonin boost, may I recommend a favorite song, fresh air, and a little Peanuts grooving.