“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is a popular Christmas song written in triple time in 1963 by Edward Pola and George Wyle. It was recorded and released that year by pop singer Andy Williams for his first Christmas album, The Andy Williams Christmas Album. However, the song was not released as a promotional single by Williams’ record label (Columbia Records) that year, as they instead opted to promote his cover of “White Christmas” as the official promo single from the album. The song is a celebration and description of activities associated with the Christmas season, focusing primarily on get-togethers between friends and families. Among the activities included in the song is the telling of “scary ghost stories,” a Victorian Christmas tradition that has mostly fallen into disuse, but survives in the seasonal popularity of numerous adaptations of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Other activities mentioned include hosting parties, spontaneous visits from friends, universal social gaiety, spending time with loved ones, sledding for children, roasting marshmallows, sharing stories about previous Christmases,It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year and singing Christmas carols in winter weather.
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Since 1995, the song was used humorously in the Staples office supply retail chain’s annual back to school advertising campaign. In the commercials, the parents joyously shop for school supplies to this song in anticipation of the upcoming school year while their children sullenly follow. The Johnny Mathis rendition of the song is used to comic effect in the 1996 film, Jingle All the Way. BarlowGirl’s cover of the song was used to promote Christmas at the White House: An Oprah Winfrey Special. In the Autumn and early winter of 2011, Nissan Motors advertising for their annual sale included a production number featuring an Andy Williams-like voice actor, with lyrics modified to promote the sale event.
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