I am completely shameful.
I am actually disgusting.
I am what is wrong with the world and America and consumer culture and commodification of holidays for the sake of capitalistic endeavors.
I am that girl who listens to Christmas music the day after Halloween.
But I don’t care what you think, OK? I love Christmas music. And honestly, it is not fair that there’s only one month out of the entire year when it is socially acceptable to listen to a certain kind of music. I mean, sure, waiting all year makes December super special and extra festive, but if I wanna jam to Cheetah-licious Christmas while throwing out my jacked up jack-o-lantern, then I totally have the right to.
With that being said, I have harbored quite the eclectic collection of Christmas classics. We all lip-sync to that one Mariah Carey song or have that new, weirdly sexual Ariana Grande Christmas song on Spotify, but there are some truly great hidden gems that should be added to every Christmas playlist.
You’ve gotta ring in the season with Hilary Duff’s “Santa Claus Lane.” It is the very definition of a neoclassic Christmas pop hit, and I guarantee that once Hilary Duff makes her third musical comeback, the Santa Claus Lane album will be a cult Christmas essential. The entire title track is basically a holiday hallucination gone wrong — “I went for a walk as the snow came down / And when it stopped, I was in a different town.” Are you sure that was just plain ol’ snow, Hilary? Sounds suspicious …
*NSYNC’s Home For Christmas is a no-brainer in terms of classic Christmas jams. But “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays” was not the only hit on the album. “I Never Knew the Meaning of Christmas” is a touching ballad that surrenders any religious association for the holiday and instead suggests that the true meaning of Christmas is about falling in love. “I never knew the meaning of Christmas ‘til you came into my life.” Baby Jesus will be so glad to hear that.
Now, the only thing gutsier than trying to write your own Christmas song is adding a verse to a song that already exists. And the only person with enough sass and YAAAS to do so is my queen, Lady Gaga, in her live version of “White Christmas,” where she boldly states, “I’ve decided this song is just too short,” adding another playful verse about a white snowman who cries because Santa hasn’t arrived yet. Ugh, that Gaga. Always tackling the hard-hitting, emotional issues with her music. Iconic.
And finally, arguably one of the best-kept secrets of the Christmas season: Ali Lohan’s Christmas album, aptly titled, Lohan Holiday. No, not Lindsay. Lindsay’s little sister. This album is just obscure enough to be quirky, but not so obscure that it is completely irrelevant.
This album is terrible and flawless all rolled into one delightful holiday package. The title track is a duet with her older sis, in which they playfully croon, “Let me take you on a Lohan Holiday / A winter wonderland that’s so, so far away / Don’t have to go nowhere, just let your mind escape.” I wonder if Hilary ended up on Santa Claus Lane after taking a Lohan Holiday …
But the best track on the album is simple, annoyingly catchy and intricately written. “I Like Christmas” is a young girl’s anthem about how she likes Christmas, adolescent passion and passivity, all rolled into one. She doesn’t love Christmas, nor does she feel indifferent about it — she just likes it. You can feel the apathy running through her preteen veins as she belts the song’s final, enchanting lines: “I like / Really, really like, / I like Christmas.”
You can, like, totally hear the sound of a teenage girl scoffing in the background because her parents bought her a pair of ankle-length Uggs instead of the Steve Madden Troopas she really wanted. Ugh, as if!
Spin these hits at your next holiday party, and everyone will be jealous of your super-hip, underground Christmas tracks — courtesy of me, of course.
Move over, Michael Buble. It’s my time to shine!
Rosemarie Alejandrino writes Monday’s arts and entertainment column on pop culture.
Contact Rosemarie Alejandrino at [email protected].