Apologies for the thoroughly conventional song choice, but there was no other way for any other song to take up the final day of this holiday week series: A statement of hope that the holidays for us will be holly. And jolly. Plus, it’s a pretty great little tune.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas
Burl Ives
“A Holly Jolly Christmas”

I don’t think this song needs an essay’s worth of explanation for what makes it so good. Ultimately, it comes down to two things. First, it wholly feels like the “cup of cheer” in both sound and lyrics. It’s hard to dislike when its concerns have little to do with the pomp and circumstance around the holidays, and everything to do with simply being good to each other and having a nice time. Like, consider that the absolute farthest it goes with holiday season trappings is hanging the mistletoe; even then, it’s just so you can share a little moment with a certain someone.

Also, props and respect to all of the acoustic guitar soloing thrown across the track. Yes, own the moment like there’s no tomorrow. OWN IT.

The second thing about “A Holly Jolly Christmas” is the singer. There is quite the bench of singers from back in the day most known these days for their Christmas material—Perry Como, Gene Autry, Bing Crosby, it can go on and on—but I’ve always had one of the softest spots for Burl Ives. I just love the sound of his voice, for one, and there is this gentleness in how he performs that makes his presence feel warm and comfortable.

And that makes him likely the most optimal performer who could have ever done this song. There might be no one else—definitely none of the other Christmas Singers, that’s for sure—who could not only sell the “kiss ‘er once for me” line without being even slightly hokey or creepy, but do so with so much winking charm.

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And just like that—seven days, seven holiday-appropriate songs that I adore—the week is done. Thank you for joining me on this little excursion!

RedStripe Loved Trax—originally from days of Tumblr past—is usually a series about the music Justin adores, with special emphasis on songs from (or introduced by) video games and anime. This week, however, running from Sunday December 3 to Saturday December 9, is a daily rundown of favorite songs related to the holiday season.

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With the week now over, it will once again carry on with the usual schedule starting next week.