‘A Picture-postcard Christmas with morbid edges” is how co-writer Peter Sinfield described the song. In an interview with Mojo Magazine, Gregory said about the song: “I find it appalling when people say it’s politically incorrect to talk about Christmas, you’ve got to talk about ‘The Holiday Season’. Christmas was a time of family warmth and love. There was a feeling of forgiveness, acceptance. And I do believe in Father Christmas.” In another interview with ‘Uncut’ Gregory told the story of this Christmas song, he said: “I wrote it in my house in west London. I’d tuned the bottom string of my guitar from E down to D and got this cascading riff that you hear on the record. But I couldn’t really place what the song was about. I was out driving one day and it was playing on my mind, and, all of a sudden, it occurred to me that the tune of ‘Jingle Bells’ fitted over it. And I thought, ‘Ah, I wonder if this could be a song about Christmas! At the same time, I was working with Pete Sinfield on my solo side of the Works album, and I said to Pete, “I’ve been working on this melodic idea. It could be a Christmas song. Some of it was based on an actual thing in my life when I was 8 years old, and came downstairs to see this wonderful Christmas tree that my mother had done. I was that little boy. Then it goes from there into a wider thing about how people are brainwashed into stuff. Then I thought, ‘This is getting a bit depressing. I’d better have a hopeful, cheerful verse at the end.’ That’s the bit where me and Greg would’ve sat together and done it. And then I twisted the whole thing, with the last line, ‘The Christmas you get, you deserve,’ which was a play on ‘The government you get, you deserve.’ I didn’t necessarily explain all the politics or the thoughts behind it. It’s not anti religious. It’s a humanist thing, I suppose. It’s not an atheist Christmas song, as some have said.”
Release Date: November 1975
Songwriter/s: Greg Lake – Peter Sinfield
UK – 2
US – 95
The song peaked at number 2 on the UK Singles Charts, and reached number 95 in the US Charts.
Artist’s age on Release Date: Gregory Stuart was 28 years old when he released this song.
Cover Versions: U2 – ELP trio – Elaine Paige – Honeymoon Suite