No matter how accidentally problematic she could be, your mom probably did her best.
In 1994, I wrote the last good Christmas song. Deal with it, world.
It’s called “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” I wrote it with a man named Walter Afanasieff, who went by the nickname “Baby Love” in the 80s. We won’t speak of him again.
Back to the song. Not only was I on top of the damn world when I released it, but give it a listen. It’s got bell chimes. I do that “ooooohh hooooo oooooh baby” thing. There are so many octaves. The message that love matters more than gifts connects with everyone in a “nah, not really, but I’m not gonna disagree publicly with it” way.
Watch the Super 8-ish music video. I wear a cute hat. It’s got everything you need for the holidays, forever. When I was married to Nick, he told me my song was the big hit at his eighth grade holiday party, and it nearly caused a fight because someone stole all the Starter jackets the kids threw into a pile in order to dance.
I mean, look at the top of the Christmas charts right now. It’s me—or a bunch of songs written before the Civil War. “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock” are the same song. Everything else is a mix of stuff Tommy Mottola used to screamsing at me and a bunch of 80s UK goop. Paul McCartney. Wham! All the “Do They Know Its Christmas?” microaggressions. And you can go ahead and add the The Waitresses in there, because New Wave music is legally British no matter where it’s played. You have no choice. Now listen to my song.
You just can’t put a new song on the radio. Baby Boomers are the only ones who listen to the radio. Are you going to start sharing and downloading a new Christmas song? Please. The Boomers win, and so do I. All that Nat King Cole and Dean Martin? Boomers don’t even *like* these dudes. They just hate change more than they love music. I win.
And even if you cracked airplay, no one will climb the charts like I did. You can’t write a massively popular holiday tune now. See how I said “holiday,” and you thought about it? I got you. If it’s religious, people will wonder why. If it’s not religious, people will wonder why. If it’s by Pentatonix, people will wonder why. You can’t win. I won.
So what are your pathetic options? You could have a new cover of an old standard, as everyone is dying to hear 21 Pilots do “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel.” Some people think a new classic is “The Christmas Shoes.” Those people are wrong and worship death. What else is there? What the shit else? “Christmas Is All Around”? A fake rewrite of a real song for a Hugh Grant movie? Ooh, Bill Nighy, classic megastar. I have five Grammy Awards.
No one’s stepping up to save Christmas. Who are the big stars in the world? Kanye’s not in a position to write you a Christmas song. Taylor Swift’s marketing team hasn’t allowed her to even come down on the Starbucks cup issue yet. And I paid off Adele to stay out of it.
Fight it however you want. I can take it. After the towers fell, Americans only started to heal by coming together to attack my performance in “Glitter.” You can’t break me. I’ll just keep winning.
I wrote the very last good Christmas song. For the rest of eternity. Crank it.
Sean Sullivan is a writer for “The Koch Brothers Mystery Show” podcast, now in its second season.