Last Christmas, This Year by Mia Compton-Engle

I think I speak for everyone when I say that no serotonin boost compares to the opening chords of Wham!’s musical masterpiece Last Christmas (1984). I mean, let’s be honest—you know Last Christmas, you love Last Christmas, and even now, as you recall this forgotten friend, you’re nodding awkwardly to the beat of Last Christmas in your head. At this point, you don’t really have a choice—either you embrace Last Christmas or Last Christmas embraces you, a fate far too traumatizing to imagine, let alone articulate here. I’ve accepted the former—a burning passion for Last Christmas—and encourage you to do the same. Better to be swept away by mind-numbing oblivion in the form of a harmless 80s synth jingle than confront any number of potential existential crises, am I right! In other words, our world has countless problems, but Wham!’s Last Christmas certainly isn’t one of them. Dear Viv, this is the hill upon which I am prepared to die (and accordingly ascend to heaven, where I will inevitably find myself in Wham!’s esteemed company, and we will perform Last Christmas karaoke version on repeat until higher powers rightfully conclude that we are menaces to society and banish us forever. But I digress. The gist is that I’m unhealthily obsessed with Last Christmas). 

Every year, this one being no exception, I eagerly anticipate the holiday season exclusively for Wham!’s siren song. Not only is Last Christmas a tried and true means for familial torture (just ask my parents; they’ve made it painstakingly clear that playing Last Christmas twice in a row is two times too many), but I genuinely appreciate the song’s lyrical ingenuity. In just four minutes and 22 seconds, Wham! captures the entirety of human emotional capability, from heartbreak to heartache and anguish to… nostalgia about anguish (?). I laugh, I cry, I hit rewind and begin again, over and over until Last Christmas becomes a dizzying labyrinth to which sole salvation is Wham!, omnipotent savior, *angelic sigh*. Of course, Wham!’s exaltation would be incomplete without due appreciation for half the duo, your friend and mine, leading lad George Michael, the objectively inimitable English heartthrob who established his pop stardom through Careless Whisper (1984) and… well… other songs too. Probably. Regardless, cool guy, sweet tunes. Nothing like a smooooth sax to set the mood this winter, uncomfortably intimate tone intended. Oh yeah. 

Anyway, disregarding my out of pocket tangent, if the most wonderful time of the year has offered me any insight, it is to cherish Wham!’s disturbingly intoxicating serenade. But don’t just take my word for it; cozy up under that beloved blanket, fire crackling, snow storm raging all around, life’s questions decidedly unanswered, and act by my example: queue Last Christmas again, and again, and again.

2 thoughts on “Last Christmas, This Year by Mia Compton-Engle

  1. I love this Mia! The way you voice your passion for this song makes me have a deeper appreciation of this song 🙂

  2. Thanks for making me laugh aloud. And viscerally reminisce about my time as holiday help at Bath and Body Works, wearing a red and white gingham apron, stocking Country Apple and Warm Vanilla Sugar lotions, while this song played. On repeat. Your parents would have loved it.

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