It annoys me whenever I hear “Last Christmas” by Wham! played on the radio during the yuletide season. No offense to anyone, but I would like to respectfully submit that it is NOT a Christmas song.
Why? Because except for the opening line (“Last Christmas, I gave you my heart…”) there is no mention of Christmas whatsoever. Nor is there any mention of the usual Christmas-related trappings such as caroling, gift-giving (the aforementioned heart notwithstanding), reindeer, or the birth of Jesus. There isn’t even the slightest mention of winter or snow, for that matter. The same song could have just as easily been written about Valentine’s Day, except that the lyrics wouldn’t have fit the meter.
I’d like to propose that in order to qualify as a Christmas tune, a song should meet at least one of the following criteria:
[li]It should make some sort of reference to the birth of Jesus (e.g. “Silent Night,” “God Bless Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “Joy to the World”)[/li][li]It should mention some of the usual Christmas trappings such as Santa, Christmas trees, or sleigh bells (e.g. “Jingle Bells,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” “Santa Baby,” “O Tannenbaum”)[/li][li]It should mention Christmas in more than just a passing manner (e.g. “Christmastime is Here,” “The Twelve Days of Christmas”). This is especially true if it alludes to the Christmas spirit (e.g. “Do They Know It’s Christmastime?”).[/li][li]For instrumental tunes, they should be closely associated with a well-known Christmas show (e.g. “You’re a Mean One, Mister Grinch,” Vince Guaraldi’s “Linus and Lucy”)[/li][/ul]