7 Forgotten Christmas Songs From Your Favorite Early '00s Pop Stars — LISTEN
The Christmas pop song has been a long-confusing novelty of the music world. Maybe because compared to the likes of timeless crooners Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, and Bing Crosby, pop singers produce auto-tuned nonsense that boast a film of insincerity. We're supposed to believe Ariana Grande needs Santa's help to get a guy? Plz. That's why for every overplayed Mariah Carey "All I Want For Christmas is You" slam dunk, there are about five dozen utterly forgettable songs befitting the X-mas pop genre.
And it shouldn't be shocking that the best/worst of these jingle bell duds came about within the dark intersection of the late '90s and early 2000s. Between boy bands plopping Santa caps over their frosted tips and blonde starlets peddling dance remixes of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer," there was no better time to cash in on a pop Christmas album. Oh, what fun it was to sell and skewer both carol standards and new songs alike. And they did, in masses.
But let's be real, you've long forgotten all those songs, most of them banished to the likes of Now That's What I Call Christmas 2. Luckily I'm here to remind you of the following pop songs of Christmas past.
1. Destiny's Child — "8 Days of Christmas"
This isn't even the only Destiny's Child Christmas song, it's just the best one that made it into the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. Basically Beyonce and the other two brag about all the sweet Tiffany's jewelry and lingerie they're getting from their boyfriends. Dude, I should be dating Jay Z, the only gifts I've gotten from boys are rose quartz stones and a t-shirt that says, "I should be a 5-star general, because I make privates stand in attention."
2. Britney Spears — "My Only Wish (This Year)"
Of course, Spears did a Christmas song filled with her trademark half moans and sexy baby voice. There's also about 50 homemade iMovie videos of this song on YouTube, all claiming to be the "official music video." Just going to leave it at that.
3. Hanson — "Everybody Knows the Claus"
Fun fact: Hanson's Christmas CD Snowed In was actually the best-selling holiday album of 1997. And I say this completely void of irony: it's actually kind of wonderful. You'd think that the Hanson-penned "Everybody Knows the Claus" would be a slow-motion train wreck, but it has a really quick, up-lifting beat. It legitimately makes me so psyched up to see Santa Claus.
4. Backstreet Boys — "Christmas Time"
My boys put out this particularly classy jam for the Jive Records Platinum Christmas album and you can just plaster over a slow-motion montage of kids opening presents and a family eating a big old Christmas ham. They even re-released it in 2012 as "Christmas Time Again." Somehow despite always being Team Backstreet Boys I don't remember either song at all, yet Nsync's Christmas album conjures of vivid memories.
5. 98 Degrees — "Christmas Wish"
Christmas ain't the same without you, girl, and who better to say that than a spiky-haired Nick Lachey? I mean, besides literally any other guy? They were a third-tier boy band, of course it's underwhelming.
6. Christina Aguilera — "Christmas Time"
Aguilera released her Christmas album My Kind of Christmas in 2000, about 5 minutes before she took on her Dirrty XTina persona. You can kind of see that in the video, with her hair half-red and spastically dreading out. Anyway, her covers we're pleasant, the original singles like "Christmas Time" are way fun. I don't know if I would glorify it enough to say it's good, but I always cut Aguilera a bit of slack for actually having a tremendous voice. Also, the harpsichord is a plus.
Side note: along with the aforementioned Backstreet Boys piece, and a handful of others, "Christmas Time" seems to be the default name of a lot of "original" holiday pop songs.
7. S Club 7 — "Perfect Christmas"
What even WERE S Club 7? As a pre-teen I remember their name coming up in pop compilation albums, but did they ever actually release a CD of their own? I don't even know? Anyway, this happened.