Christmas is hands-down my favorite holiday. The pretty lights strung on houses. The festive coffee specials. The constant smell of pine and spices that lingers wherever you go. And, of course, getting to listen to Christmas music! Yes, I throw on the classics like “Santa Baby”, “Jingle Bell Rock”, and my personal favorite, “The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late)”, during events and at work. But let’s be honest, I’m a pop-punk girl at heart and since my favorite band is Simple Plan it should come as no surprise that 2002’s “My Christmas List” my go-to holiday jam. That is, until they released a new Christmas song after over a decade of waiting impatiently. In writer/music lover’s nature, I couldn’t help but want to delve into the Christmas-ness of the two songs.
2002’s “My Christmas List” (skip to 3:00 to bypass “Grow Up”)
In my admittedly biased opinion, “My Christmas List” should be a holiday staple for any pop-punk/emo kid that was a teen in the mid-2000s. Its punk-y yet still festive instrumentation gives off a vibe that is fun and not trying too hard as a holiday track, which can sometimes be obvious in rock-based originals. “My Christmas List” was written during a time when the boys of Simple Plan were young, wild, and — dare I say it — immature (a.k.a. The Just Balls era). At that point in their life, they were fresh off of the success of their debut and were living it up every chance they got.
The lyrics absolutely embody that “not a kid, but not an adult” period in one’s life where Christmas becomes a list of things that appeal to both parts of the self. Frontman Pierre Bouvier flip-flops between gifts that appeal to his younger self (“a lifetime supply of Skittles and slurpees and Eskimo pies” and a PlayStation 2) and gifts that his adult self would crave more (“a shopping spree in New York City,” “a first class trip to Hawaii,” and a car). While “My Christmas List” is quite cheesy in nature (c’mon, it’s a Christmas song!), it’s overall theme goes beyond the standard Christmas song and has more realistic depth.
2016’s “Christmas Every Day”
Fast forward 15 long years later and Simple Plan finally graces us with a new Christmas song! Instead of focusing on the “things” that they want, “Christmas Every Day” is focused more on the experience factor for the holiday season. In a way, its lyrical tone takes on a nostalgic feel as Bouvier sings of days where you stay in your pajamas all day watching Christmas movies as the cold winter air howls outside your warm home. Since the holidays bring a lot of people joy, Bouvier also imagines a world in which Christmas cheer goes on “52 weeks in a row” with “no more wars and no more fights.” In times where so much darkness and hatred runs rampant, sometimes all you need is a fun, cheery holiday track to lift your spirits. “Christmas Every Day” is a great track to add to your holiday party playlist even if it took 15 years to come into our lives!
The Winner: Both tracks
I think both are equal in terms of their Christmas-y appeal! Not only do they make you lightly bob your head while decorating the Christmas tree, but they also make you want to rock out to them too. You could say they’re refreshing alternatives to the overplayed holiday tracks that you hear everywhere.
Happy holidays, everyone!