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Unpopular Opinion: Last Christmas is a Better Christmas Song than All I Want For Christmas is You

Johanna Zenn

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Happy holidays y‰’all! Through the stress of finals, I‰’m sure some are finding a small semblance of comfort by playing holiday tunes while making endless amounts of Quizlet flash card sets. As everyone knows, staple of the holiday season is the constant playing of Mariah Carey‰’s iconic 1994 hit, “All I Want for Christmas is You.” There‰’s no denying this song‰’s rightfully earned place in the canon of Christmas music, but I would like to argue for another hit that‰’s also often played around the most wonderful time of the year. “Last Christmas,‰Û by Wham, is a particularly odd yet wonderful holiday song. While only played around Christmas, the song focuses on the demise of a relationship, rather than the time of the year. It begs the deep philosophical question, does every song that merely mentions Christmas belong in the realm of “christmas songs‰Û? Are these songs not to be played any other time of the year? George Michael is allowing us to ask the real questions while giving us an angsty, synthy, 80s pop song about love lost during the holiday season.

That‰’s not even the end of it. The music video is also one of the highest forms of art that I‰’ve ever seen. Set the scene: a group of friends are on a ski trip for Christmas. There‰’s a log cabin, tons of laughs, and frolicking through the snow. While decorating the Christmas tree, George Michael‰’s character locks eyes with one of the other members of the group, and thus the dramatics begin. She seems to be in a relationship with another man on this ski vacation, but has feelings for George Michael. Cut to him peering dramatically in a stylish fur-trimmed snow-coat while his friends have a snowball fight. Then there‰’s a lot of scenes of good-looking people eating nice dinners and hanging out, and George Michael and his lover frolicking in the snow, possibly symbolizing a newfound lightness within him now that he‰’s found someone. The video ends with the group leaving their ski trip, changed forever as people. Not everyone likes “have-yourself-a-bummer-little-Christmas‰” type songs because it adds something depressing to a magical season, but on a more serious note, I personally think it‰’s important to remind ourselves, whether it be through somewhat cheesy 80s songs or something else, that it‰’s okay not to feel completely happy and jolly during the holidays. It‰’s okay to feel your feelings and let yourself be sad even though everything (your family, friends, dumb car commercials, etc.) is telling you to feel happy. So that‰’s why it‰’s important to have days for “All I Want For Christmas is You‰’ and days for “Last Christmas.‰” So whatever your Christmas song preference, I hope it brings you comfort this season.

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