Remember Children of Men, Alfonso Cuaron's brilliant dystopian sci-fi movie about a worldwide pandemic of absolute infertility, wherein the youngest person on Earth is 19 years old?
Well, the youngest Christmas song to be promoted the rarefied rank of a standard -- Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" -- turns 19 this year. If you think Hollywood has a remake problem, take a look at the holiday charts on Billboard or iTunes. Our pop stars still write new Christmas songs, but we're not embracing them.
In a new essay for Slate, I scratch my chin over when and how the secular seasonal songbook, a living document until a couple a decades ago, came to be locked down tighter than Santa's workshop.