I understand there are many of you out there who can’t stand Holiday music but lets face it, you probably won’t make it through the holidays without hearing at least a few Holiday songs. As big of a Grinch as you might be, you may feel a tinge on nostalgia when you hear that one particular Holiday song that whisks you away to our childhood. Those days of leaving cookies out for Santa and waking up excitedly to see what’s waiting for you under the tree. For me it’s the Chipmunk Christmas song. Every time I here Alvin proclaiming his desire for a hool-a-hoop, I can’t help but smile and think about carefree Holidays where my only concern was what new toys I would receive. Ah nostalgia.
Nostalgia typically happens when memories of events and people from the past are induced via the senses. One of the biggest producers of nostalgia is music. According to research, nostalgic memories typically make you feel good afterward. Specifically, remembering past times it has been found that nostalgia improve mood, increase self-esteem, strengthen social bonds and fill life with meaning. Nostalgia is a way for us to tap into past experiences that remind us that our lives are worthwhile, that we are people of value, that we have good relationships, that we are happy and that life has some sense of purpose or meaning.
Holiday songs are so much more powerful when it comes to inducing nostalgia because the Holidays are already attached to memories filled with family, friends, and tradition. So if you’re a musician why not write or cover a Holiday song and share it with your fans? Go ahead and give the gift of nostalgia! Times are tough and most people are yearning for the good ol’ days. In our current economic and political climate, nostalgia is a pretty good gift to give.