HO HO WHO: Sabrina Carpenter, co-star of Girl Meets World, the Disney Channel’s reboot of millennial touchstone Boys Meets World.
A MR. FEENY CHRISTMAS: Where does this song fit into the Meets World-iverse? If I’m reading the Girl Meets World wiki right, Carpenter’s Maya is a female version of Shawn, the main character’s burnout buddy from Boy Meets World. Apparently, everyone on the earlier show has a peppy tween analogue in the new one—there’s even a kid version of Minkus, Boy Meets World‘s pencilneck foil. The wiki tells me that Shawn and Maya are great pals, presumably because they’re both holding back their friends. But I don’t remember Shawn making mall music!
GIRL MEETS TAMBOURINE: Carpenter is either nuts for Christmas or the Disney media machine is especially hungry, because this is her third Christmas song in as many years. If I’m Carpenter’s manager, I’m concerned about the material she’s getting, because “Christmas The Whole Year Round” is a poor follow-up to last year’s earthier “Silver Nights.” This song is for waiting in line at the Gap, “Silver Nights” is for eating hot cocoa with your lover, who is apparently really into Disney songs.
CHEER FACTOR: 6/10. I can’t believe I’m writing this, but Carpenter is surprisingly realistic about the prospects for actually having “Christmas the Whole Year Round.” Still, forcing the listener to contemplate the reasons we can’t actually have Christmas “the whole year round”—from family stress to the mundanity of our lives in, say, January—makes this song too depressing to make it a real Christmas banger.