Hilary Duff’s Christmas Album 'Santa Claus Lane' Will Always Be A Timeless Classic Worthy Of Another Listen

I don't know if you remember this, but, back in 2002, Hilary Duff dropped a Christmas album titled Santa Claus Lane, and the world was never the same. Or, at least the approximately 500,000 lucky souls who bought the album were never the same. All right, so those numbers sounds pretty bleak for Duff, but that's only because Santa Claus Lane came out before the Disney channel star made a name for herself in music — pre Metamorphosis, pre self-titled Hilary Duff, pre Most Wanted. And maybe, just maybe, that's why Santa Claus Lane was the most important thing Duff ever did for her career.

It catapulted her into music, and, as we all know, Hilary Duff went on to become a brilliant musician. (I say this with 100 percent sincerity. Don't challenge me.) Let's just make one thing clear: During the holiday season of '02, this album was my jam, and I will defend it, along with her, until my demise. After which they will play her songs at my funeral and write "Why Not" on my tombstone. (Too dark?) Anyway, Santa Clause Lane has all the classic Christmas songs you would expect, plus six (!!!) originals. It's a perfect blend of old meets new, classic meets modern, Hilary Duff meets Lil' Romeo (I'll get to that part in a second).

Here are all the reasons why it should go down in history as a necessary Christmas album.

1. It Covers All The Classics

Five of the 11 songs are classic Christmas song covers. There's "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town," "Jingle Bell Rock," "Sleigh Ride," "Last Christmas," and "A Wonderful Christmas Time." So, pretty much you have everything you need.

2. But Puts A New Spin On Them

However, none of these songs are typical "covers," because Duff put her own spin on them. She has electrical beats in the background, and guitar riffs. If there are Christmas bells and whistles, you better believe there is also auto tune.

3. It Has Original Songs

Instead of an album full of just reboots, Duff put together a ton of new songs. All of them are good, but I have to say "Tell Me a Story (About the Night Before)" will always be the best. Maybe that's because I remember it incessantly showing up during commercial breaks on the Disney Channel. The nostalgia is actually so real that it hurts.

4. With Hilarious (Amazing) Lyrics

"I Heard Santa on the Radio" has some of the most bizarre/amazing lyrics I've ever heard. Take a peak: "Hey hey hey/and Ho ho ho and Now its time/For the jolly DJ show/I heard Santa on the radio/I knew it was Santa on the radio/Mixing up the music like a Santa should/And radio, radio/Never sounded so good." Wait, what? So Santa is a DJ? I'm not seeing that connection literally at all, but I appreciate the effort to do something new and interesting.

5. Lil' Romeo is On A Track

The aforementioned "Tell Me a Story (About the Night Before)" features none other than (yas) Lil' Romeo. Side bar: Where is Lil Romeo now? He's not still "Lil'," I imagine?

6. So Is Christina Milian

"I Heard Santa on the Radio" — the previously discussed, strangest Christmas song ever — is a duet with Christina Milian.

7. Every Song is So Catchy

They are! Truly! I dare you to find a song on this album that doesn't bring you joy, and happiness, and holiday cheer.

Anyway, don't ask me. Consult the album yourself. (Which, if nothing else, should be bought for the incredible — and so 2002 — cover photo.)

Images: Walt Disney