RICHMOND, Va. -- If you thought people were freaking out when Halloween decorations hit store shelves in August, you can imagine the reaction Richmond is having to radio station 103.7 Play's decision to begin Christmas music in early October.
"The phones won't stop ringing," radio host Jack Lauterback said following the morning announcement. "We've gotten a mostly positive response so far. Some people aren't too pleased. One woman even said that she hated us. But that's okay. The Christmas spirit isn't for everyone, sadly. We hope to change that though."
One woman called it bullsh*t, he added.
What exactly is behind the decision to start with Christmas music while temperatures remain in the 70s around Central Virginia? 103.7 Play host Melissa Chase said they just felt Richmond needed a pick me up.
"This year people needed the holiday spirit a little earlier than usual," Chase said. "There was stress over the parking with the UCI bike race and almost getting hit by a hurricane. RVA needed this."
Do we? Reaction on the 103.7 Facebook page is predictably mixed.
"Really? Might as well just play it all year round. I just removed this station from my choice buttons. Just like retailers, it is horrible to push this on us," 103.7 Play Facebook fan Carrie added.
"Seriously? We loved listening to you at work. Well not anymore. This is why people are sick of Christmas before it begins!" Facebook fan Heather warned.
"Geez, I can't believe people are getting so upset over this," Sherry interjected. "It's really no different than walking into a store and seeing all Christmas decorations being put up. It gave my son and I good laugh this morning when we heard Christmas music playing."
For 103.7 Play host Melissa Chase, it's all about the Christmas spirit.
"Don't you wish people were as nice to each other year round as they are during the holidays?" she said. "We're hoping to give Richmond that warm, friendly Christmas spirit again... even if there are still 79 days til Christmas."
Now that 103.7 Play made its big splash and got the attention it wanted, we'll see just how long they stick to their [official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air] guns.