Got that Festive Feeling?
When to Write that Christmas or Holiday Song
It seems that every year, when the nights get longer and colder, when our living room is festooned with presents, ornaments, and glistening lights, I really really want to sit down and write Holiday songs.
Another thing that compels me to write Christmas songs is that I feel like it’s an rare opportunity to write something that could be extraordinarily meaningful. Christmastime is always equal parts anxiety and joy for me. It’s materialism and spiritualism, it’s unconditional love and unrelenting pressure. It’s timelines and deadlines and flight paths and slow lanes. I always want to write something that could take someone back to the heart of it all – love.
Do you ever feel that way? Are you ever overcome with the holiday spirit and want to pour your heart out into a song?
If you do get a bump in inspiration over the holiday season, I encourage you write it out! Here’s why:
Take advantage of that holiday spirit and write holiday songs
We are usually only thinking about the holidays during the holidays. Right now, you’re thinking about the holidays and everything that comes along with them. You’re at your most Christmas-y, your most Hanukkah-y. Because come January 1st, you’re going to lose interest.
Really. Try to write a Christmas song in the middle of summer. No way! You want to write about beaches and rain and warm nights and anything else that celebrates the wonderful summer season.
Holiday songs have no expiration date
That’s right, they happen year after year, same time, same date. The holidays will never go away. And therefore your songs will always be relevent. You get even more mileage out of holiday songs when it’s written to be a classic rather than a hit. Hits rely on trends, which are totally ok to indulge in, but they do put a limit on how long your tune will feel contemporary. If you can write your songs a la “I’ll be Home for Christmas” or “All I Want for Christmas Is You,” you have a potential holiday standard on your hands.
Want to know why Mariah’s song sounds like it’s been around for decades? Check out this in-depth look at Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”
Pitch your holiday songs early in the New Year
According to this article on BMI’s website, written by the ever judicious Jason Blume, most artists are looking for holiday songs for their Christmas albums around January through July. They’re finishing up recording in August.
The same timeline can be applied to music placement with Film projects and in the case of Advertising agencies – they search for songs that simply ‘suggest’ seasonal/holiday themes, thus allowing the agency/client to get more mileage for their campaign, which in turn lessens the chance of the music sounding dated.
This may seem insanely early for anyone to start thinking about Christmas, but this is the music industry’s typical timeline for holiday music projects. Starting practically a year in advance allows time for song selection, recording, pressing, distribution, and promotion – all right in time for the temperature to drop and the holidays to roll around.
Seasonal and holiday periods provide plentiful and potentially lucrative opportunities!
Have original holiday songs? Contact Plutonic Group via our Music Submission page!