While I was in Massawhosits, my friend Bill sent me this article from the BBC page about Fairytale of New York. I especially like this part at the end:
In a smaller way, when Christmas gets a little intense, there may be a comfort in hearing Fairytale Of New York and thinking: at least everyone else is rowing as well.
Maybe that's why the song is magical. Like Streets of Philadelphia, which is a dirge and a march at the same time, Fairytale of New York is hard and soft, rough and tender, and sums up in four minutes more emotions associated with Christmas than a dozen compilations. It's like a train wreck to the tune of a waltz, and I can't wait to hear Amy Winehouse do the Kirsty MacColl part.
Still the best Christmas song ever . . .