Radio Stations Around the World Are Attempting to Cheer Up Listeners With Christmas Music

It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas ... in July.
It's beginning to sound a lot like Christmas ... in July.
Rodion Kutsaev, Unsplash // Public Domain

With many businesses still closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the virus still spreading throughout the country, this summer doesn't feel like summer for many. Several disc jockeys agree, and they've decided to skip ahead to December. As Her reports, some radio stations are celebrating Christmas in July with classic holiday music.

The idea behind the festive programming is to spread some Christmas cheer to listeners during this stressful period. Some stations, like KEZ 99.9 in Phoenix, Arizona, started playing holiday tunes when lockdown first started in March. Since then, radio stations from San Diego, California, to Ireland have joined the trend. If you don't hear "Winter Wonderland" or "Jingle Bell Rock" on your local airwaves, head to the internet. ChristmasFM.com is going online early for one day only on Thursday, July 9.

The early return of Christmas music isn't just a mood-booster for listeners—it's also good business for radio stations. Like many industries, radio has been hit hard by the pandemic as people have been spending less time in their cars and sports broadcasts have disappeared. Christmas is always a popular time of year for radio, and by celebrating it a few months early this year, stations are hoping to boost their ratings.

Not everyone is cheered up by hearing Christmas music before December. If the sound of sleigh bells in November (or July) fills you with rage, this could be the reason why.

[h/t Her]

Looking to Downsize? You Can Buy a 5-Room DIY Cabin on Amazon for Less Than $33,000

Five rooms of one's own.
Five rooms of one's own.
Allwood/Amazon

If you’ve already mastered DIY houses for birds and dogs, maybe it’s time you built one for yourself.

As Simplemost reports, there are a number of house kits that you can order on Amazon, and the Allwood Avalon Cabin Kit is one of the quaintest—and, at $32,990, most affordable—options. The 540-square-foot structure has enough space for a kitchen, a bathroom, a bedroom, and a sitting room—and there’s an additional 218-square-foot loft with the potential to be the coziest reading nook of all time.

You can opt for three larger rooms if you're willing to skip the kitchen and bathroom.Allwood/Amazon

The construction process might not be a great idea for someone who’s never picked up a hammer, but you don’t need an architectural degree to tackle it. Step-by-step instructions and all materials are included, so it’s a little like a high-level IKEA project. According to the Amazon listing, it takes two adults about a week to complete. Since the Nordic wood walls are reinforced with steel rods, the house can withstand winds up to 120 mph, and you can pay an extra $1000 to upgrade from double-glass windows and doors to triple-glass for added fortification.

Sadly, the cool ceiling lamp is not included.Allwood/Amazon

Though everything you need for the shell of the house comes in the kit, you will need to purchase whatever goes inside it: toilet, shower, sink, stove, insulation, and all other furnishings. You can also customize the blueprint to fit your own plans for the space; maybe, for example, you’re going to use the house as a small event venue, and you’d rather have two or three large, airy rooms and no kitchen or bedroom.

Intrigued? Find out more here.

[h/t Simplemost]

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The Most Popular Songs Named After Each Country

Burst, Pexels // Public Domain
Burst, Pexels // Public Domain

Geography is a popular source of inspiration for many songwriters. When a musician sings about their home country, it can be a way to express patriotism—or criticism. Crooning about a foreign place, on the other hand, is a way to transport listeners to a different part of the world. Inserting place names into lyrics is so common, nearly every country on Earth has a song named after it. Budget Direct compiled the most popular of these songs in the map below.

To make the graphic, the insurance website searched every country name on Spotify and picked the songs with the highest play counts. The most-played track on the map is "China" by Anuel AA with 631,980,232 streams. Though the lyrics don't actually mention the country, the artist claims China's influence can be heard in the song's rhythm.

"Born in The U.S.A." by Bruce Springsteen is the most popular song named after the United States, which is funny considering the song's not-so-patriotic message. "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita, "Russian Roulette" by Rihanna, and "Walk Like an Egyptian" by The Bangles are a few of the other hit songs that make the map. Some entries, like the national anthem of Bosnia and Herzegovina, are deeper cuts.

You can check out the full map of popular songs named after countries below. And if you'd like to continue your musical tour of the world, Budget Direct put together a Spotify playlist of the tracks here.

Budget Direct//CC BY-SA 4.0