In Defense of Christmas Music – Pt. 2

Editor’s old comedy buddy DK Hamilton has been fighting the good fight on his facebook page, defending the rare pearls hidden among the dreck that is most Christmas music, and we thought it was too good not to share.

Ok, this is a great Christmas song but it’s not about Christmas. How can this be?

The first verse is about hanging the mistletoe and trimming the tree? He sings about presents and caroling?


But for comparison, movies that happen to take place during Christmas aren’t necessarily about Christmas. Iron Man 3 took place around Christmas but it’s not a Christmas movie. You can set the movie at any other time of the year and it’s the same story.

“This Christmas” is a love song about a new relationship during its first Christmas. Why is “this” particular Christmas different? Because Donny is in love. Everything is better this Christmas because of his new romance. He could have written “This Labor Day” and he’d be singing about how the potato salad never tasted so good before and how the college marching bands were especially in tune now that he’s watching football with the right one. And if anyone could have written a brilliant song about Labor Day, it was Donny Hathaway.

It’s about love and it’s about Donny Hathaway being happy, and it happens to take place during Christmas.

His new love is the focal point. It’s right there in the lyrics:

“Presents and cards are here
My world is filled with cheer and you this Christmas
And as I look around
Your eyes outshine the town, they do this Christmas.”

The most festive time of the year and he’s telling his love that she outshines it all. And the reason why this Christmas will be special for him is because they are together.

As for the emotional connection, growing up, it wasn’t Christmas in Detroit until WJLB put “This Christmas” in heavy rotation. You don’t have to be a black child growing up in metro Detroit to fully appreciate this song, but I highly recommend the experience.

Next: Prince does a Christmas song in a uniquely Princely fashion.

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