Should Have Been Bigger: Britney Spears’ “My Only Wish (This Year)”

In this franchise, we look back on songs that deserved a little more love and attention.

Christmas is only a few hours away, which means now is the time to really dig into holiday music. Judging by its new peak on the Billboard Hot 100, you’ve probably been listening to Mariah Carey’s seminal “All I Want For Christmas Is You” for the last few weeks. But there are a couple other modern classics that have to make your playlist. Gwen Stefani and Blake Shelton’s “You Make It Feel Like Christmas” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Underneath The Tree” are prime examples. But the holidays won’t really be complete if you forget Britney Spears’ contribution to seasonal pop – “My Only Wish (This Year).” Original holiday music is a tricky sub-genre to navigate. More often than not, the final result feels dated after a year or two. But that is hardly the case here.

Released in 2000, the underrated anthem has withstood the test of time. Over a joyful production courtesy of Brian Kierulf, it puts a wistful (but still undeniably optimistic) spin on a letter to Santa. “Last night I took a walk in the snow. Couples holding hands, places to go. Seems like everyone but me is in love. Santa, can you hear me,” the lonely hitmaker coos. She makes her one request on the chorus. “I have been so good this year. And all I want is one thing – tell me my true love is near. He’s all I want, just for me, underneath my Christmas tree. I’ll be waiting here. Santa, that’s my only wish this year.” The Princess Of Pop really gave the bop her all, and it is a shining (but sadly forgotten) gem in her hit-packed discography.

Despite having all the makings for a hit, Brit’s only official Christmas single (unfortunately we never got a studio version of “Silent Night”) has never received the recognition it deserves. In part, that may be due to a lack of promo from Team B. Shockingly, we never got a live performance or a video for the single. But there’s still time! Every year “My Only Wish (This Year)” experiences a resurgence on streaming services. And if Britney were to drop a reimagined version, release a belated video, or even sing a snippet for her very iconic Instagram, it could easily crack the Hot 100. In the meantime, revisit B’s festive bop below!

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