Read the Manuscript | Join Worship | Get the Discussion Guide

?I’m pretty sure that song is newest Christmas classic. The only other relatively recent song to become a classic Christmas song I can think of is “Carol of the Bells”, which is only a few years older, actually. But “All I Want for Christmas is You” is the unquestioned champion of Christmas songs:

Mariah first released it back in 1994, when it wasn’t the expectation that artists release a Christmas album. In 2017, it cracked Billboard’s Top 10, and hit #1 in 2019, breaking the record for biggest gap between release and hitting #1. When it hit #1 again in 2020, Mariah became the first artist to have a #1 hit in 4 separate decades. Then, in 2021, it made history by becoming the only Christmas song to get the Diamond Award for 10 million sales and streaming in the US. Billboard recently declared it the #1 holiday song on their Top 100 Holiday Songs chart.

So… why is this in our “Worst Christmas Songs” series? Well this is totally anecdotal, but despite this song being everywhere, I hear so much hate directed toward this song… the only thing I can assume is that it’s the hate that comes with over-saturation. Which isn’t the song’s fault because, really, this song is sort of custom-designed to be a hit.

It’s a fast Christmas song, but unlike a lot of other upbeat Christmas classics (jingle bells, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph) it’s for adults. It’s about love and longing.

Unlike other adult Christmas songs (silver bells, White Christmas), it’s upbeat.

Plus it’s generic – anyone could sing it to anyone. And it’s not spiritual, so it makes sense in more than just Church contexts.

PLUS, musically it’s got a lot more going for it that you might think at first. 

A big part of the reason this song is so popular is that it has staying power. It wraps itself around your brain. I think too, it hits exactly the right notes that resonate with the Christmas season, even though it’s not a religious song.

At its heart, “All I Want for Christmas is You” is a song of hope. It’s a song that’s begging the beloved to be present to the lover, who’s waiting beneath the mistletoe.

It’s a song of yearning, a song of confident faith that the lover will arrive… they’re just not here yet.

And in that way, “All I Want for Christmas is You” may be the perfect Christmas song. Because we too are awaiting Jesus’ return.

Join us Sunday as we seek out that sort of hopeful anticipation!

Recommended Posts