Now that the giant tree in Rockfeller Center has officially been, holiday spirit can now enter full blitzkrieg mode.
It’s time to purchase and decorate the ole Christmas tree, watch Home Alone every time it’s on TNT, drink eggnog lattes at your local Starbucks (or the one three blocks away), and gossip about how badly Mariah Carey sounded during yesterday’s tree lighting ceremony.
But what’s the best part about this time of the year? Holiday music.
There will always be the old classics, like Santa Claus is Coming to Town, O Holy Night, Jingle Bells and White Christmas, to name a few (Or Adam Sandler’s The Chanukkah Song, so the Jews, don’t feel left out — but let’s face it: our music sucks.)
But there’s a few other songs that I’m convinced that everyone listens to every December, whether they admit it or not.
And they all happen to come from the same era: the Golden Age of music that was the late ’90s. For me, it’s not the holidays unless I listen to these three songs at least a dozen times.
Let’s jump right into it.
98 Degrees — This Gift
Often the forgotten boy band, people forget that 98 Degrees were pretty damn popular in their time. And in that heyday, they released this holiday gem. The harmonizing, the sleigh bells, the emotion the song stirs about the gretat feeling of receiving and giving gifts during the holidays; it’s all there.
It’s quite magical.
Britney Spears — My Only Wish This Year
Britney Spears is probably the last person you’d associate with the holiday season, besides maybe Adolf Hitler, but she released one of the most underrated and little known holiday songs, shortly before her personal meltdown.
It’s an extremely pleasant, clean pop song about wanting to find true love for Christmas. This is the Britney Spears who we could all wish we could remember, before she made songs like “I’m a Slave 4 U” and started becoming extremely trashy.
NSYNC — Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays
This one really needs no introduction. Every one loves this song. Even when I was in high school right after NSync broke up in the mid 2000s, people weren’t afraid to admit they enjoyed it.
So now that Justin Timberlake is universally beloved, there’s officially no more reason for anyone to hide their love for this song. If there was one song that rekindled the spirit that lied in late 90s pop music, then this one might be it. You’d never see a song released like this one in our current generation. Now without Autotune or some type of Iggy Azalea rap solo in the middle.
Not only that, but it captured the joyous feeling that we all used to feel as kids around Christmastime.
“We’ve been waiting all year for this night
And the snow is glistening on the trees outside
And all the stockings are hung by the fire side
Waiting for Santa to arrive
And all the love will show
‘Cause everybody knows
It’s Christmastime and
All the kids will see
The gifts under the tree
It’s the best time of the year for the family.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.