21 Days Until Christmas

My favorite labored rhyme in a Christmas song? “Chimney” and “Bimini.” I’m posting a holiday song every day from now until December 25, and today, it’s that most loved Christmas crooner … Billy Squier … and 1981’s “Christmas Is the Time to Say ‘I Love You.’”

The video for the song was an on-air Christmas card from MTV. The veejays and crew and office staff got together on bleachers and Billy lip-synched in a magnificent sweater of the era. Here’s the clip, introduced by the 1990 Martha Quinn, reminiscing about nine years earlier. Jump to 1:28 if you don’t wanna hear Miss Quinn.

Lyrically, “Christmas Is the Time to Say ‘I Love You’” is pretty standard and kinda lovely – sharing the holiday spirit around the globe and hoping it just keeps going – which is why I’m surprised it hasn’t been covered by more contemporary singers. Katharine McPhee had done it, and Darlene Love, whom I’ll write about more as we close in on December 25. The cover that best captures Billy Squier’s enthusiasm is pop punkers SR-71 on the 2001 Special Olympics benefit album, “A Very Special Christmas 5.”