Yes, I am recycling an old post after being back for just one day. Hey, you have to ease into these things, ya know?

It seems I hear it every year when I’m at the mall. I’m not sure why that’s when I notice it. Maybe it’s because shopping and music seem to be so interconnected these days. Some people can tune it out, but I always catch at least a little bit of what is being played over the speakers above my head. Of course, with Christmas being only three days away, holiday tunes are the order of the day, which means I heard it … again.

If you didn’t guess from the title of this post (and, really, if you didn’t, I’m concerned about you), the song I’m referring to is “Last Christmas,” by Wham!. I’m not sure when this song slipped into the required listening category of holiday songs, but I hear it at least once every Christmas season now. That’s actually sort of remarkable for a song that was released as a B-side all the way back in 1984. I would say that’s the power of a great song, but… Oh, c’mon, you’ve heard it. It ain’t exactly “White Christmas.”

As my hyper-analytical mind is prone to do, I actually started thinking about what this song is saying this year. Here’s a guy who is saying that instead of giving his heart to someone like his ex, he is going to save it for someone “special.” The irony of this lyric struck me as I was listening to the song (you guessed it) while walking through the mall this week. The ex George Michael is singing about? Last year, he was convinced she was “special,” too. There may have even been someone “special” before that.

Yes, I am a ridiculous human being for putting this much thought into a Wham! Christmas song. The point I want to make, though, is this: Isn’t it funny how we can become so convinced that a person or a situation or a job or a season of life is so special that he, she, or it can never be matched? And isn’t it even stranger when we eventually discover that whatever is was we were idolizing actually wasn’t as special as we thought it was? It’s so easy to forget that seasons move us through life, and we never know what new experience is waiting just around the corner. What seems special today might not seem so special tomorrow, but it’s difficult to see past the present. That’s why we get stuck sometimes.

On the flipside, though, it’s a good thing to recognize how special the people and moments in our lives are. I don’t believe there is anything wrong with not wanting to let go of them. The guy in this song is actually still kind of pining for the girl. I know of situations in my own life right now that I would do anything to get back to. They ought to be treasured not because they were special, but because they are. There are some people and things I will never give up on. They will always be special to me.

I know that was way too much effort to put into a post about a Wham! song, but I really wanted to have a Christmas theme this week. Maybe next year I’ll plumb the lyrical depths of “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer” or something like that. That one doesn’t get played at the mall much, though.

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