Ours is a country divided -- almost precisely in half, it turns out -- between head-in-the-clouds idealists and stick-in-the-mud realists. Of course, we are referring to people who love Christmas music and others who could never again hear a bell jingle, jangle, or rock, and it would still be too soon.
So KLOU (103.3 FM) is doing its part to make the whole "how soon is too soon for Christmas music" quandary a more democratic process: The station is letting the public decide via online poll when it will flip the switch and turn into a 24/7 winter wonderland.
RFT Music caught up with Michelle Matthews, KLOU's program director and a native St. Louisan who recently returned after working for Clear Channel in Omaha. She is personally ready for the holly-jolly but insists the public has the final say. (At the time of this writing, "You can't switch soon enough" has a commanding lead with nearly 60 percent of the vote.)
Click here to vote; no ID required.
Riverfront Times: What brought this poll about?
Michelle Williams: Every year it always seems like the big question...when to go? If people are still eating Halloween candy, it's probably too soon. But so many people are passionate about it so we figured we'd do something novel -- ask them.
Are you surprised by the results so far?
I guess at how many people might actually want to listen to Christmas music while eating Halloween candy, but Christmas music makes me feel like a kid again, so I get it.
How do you feel about Christmas music, and when would you choose to go live?
I looove Christmas music. But I get to be the decider all the time at home, so this one time it's not about me.
Do St. Louisans seem to enjoy Christmas music more, less or about the same as other similarly sized markets?
I think St. Louisans embrace Christmas music here because there were so many Christmas traditions here growing up.
Any characteristics unique to this market? Any songs that are particularly loved or hated?
I think because of that love of tradition it's the classics: Burl, Bing, those songs you remember hearing as a kid that made Christmas so special.
Off-topic: Delilah in three words. Go.
So will you actually heed the results of the poll?
I think we need to or Santa puts coal in our stockings. Isn't that how that whole thing works?