Monday, December 23, 2013

Why "All I Want for Christmas Is You" Is the Best Christmas Song Ever

Mariah Carey's 1994 hit Christmas single is a classic holiday song. Although it is not as old as traditional Christmas hymns and carols, "All I Want for Christmas Is You" is better than all of them. Here's why:
  • The song is much more dance-able than many other Christmas songs. There aren't any hymns that make me want to rock out, and not too many carols, either.  True, there are some pop Christmas hits that get people wiggling in their seats but "All I Want For Christmas Is You" makes people SO happy. As soon as the sleigh bells and drums come in at the beginning you can't help but dance. (check it)
  • Mariah's singing makes this song better than other Christmas songs because it allows the listener to bust out his/her own inner Christmas diva. "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear", says the film Elf. and when "All I Want for Christmas Is You" comes on, you just have to sing along, and you can't half-ass it. You've gotta belt it. (like this little girl. or any other little girls singing this song on youtube.)
  • The lyrics create some lovely Christmas imagery. "The lights are shining so brightly everywhere and the sound of children's laughter fills the air. Everyone is singing, I hear those sleigh bells ringing..." How nice is that? This song is not about the nativity or Santa's visit which is probably the imagery most people want from a Christmas song but this lyric just nicely describes the season, I think. Plus, great rhyming.
  • The message is the best part of the song, and why I think this is the greatest song ever.
    The singer denounces the materialistic elements of the holiday and the meaningless traditions to focus in on what's really important, saying, "I don't care about the presents underneath the Christmas tree." For the singer, Christmas is not about the things. ("Maybe Christmas, perhaps, doesn't come from a store..." says the Grinch).
    There are many things the singer won't be doing this Christmas: hanging a stocking there upon the fireplace, making a list and sending it to the North Pole for Saint Nick, staying awake to hear the magic reindeer click, the singer is not even going to wish for snow (which is further than I would personally take it, I always want a white Christmas).
    As we grow up we realize what the "true meaning of Christmas" is. It's not about the things we valued as a child. ("Santa Claus won't make me happy with a toy on Christmas Day.") It's not about presents or traditions, but rather about the people we spend the holidays with - friends and family.
    While the "you" in the song is often interpreted as a lover (the singer refers to him/her as "baby" and talks about meeting under the mistletoe) I have seen the "you" interpreted as friends and family members. The "you" can be anybody special in your life, near or far away.
    This Christmas, may we all look to the ones we love and say honestly, "All I want for Christmas is you."

Merry Christmas!

1 comment:

  1. Excellent justifications for an excellent song! All I want for Christmas is "All I Want for Christmas Is You."