It's one of the sappiest songs The Pretenders ever did. It's also a Christmas song....ish. It's been called "good enough to NOT be a Christmas song" because it is a song that doesn't need the holiday to make it relevant.
And Chrissie Hynde hated it. Which is why it was only a B-side in the United States - to "Middle of the Road". In the UK, however, it was released as a single in its own right, reaching #15 there. And now, it's a Christmas staple. It's a slower-paced, mournful song, written not for long-lost lovers, as it seems, but for James Honeyman-Scott, the band's original guitarist who had recently passed away, a victim of cocaine intolerance.
Update: We had to use a new video, from the show Top of The Pops. It's still the same song, though. That's what happens when musicians perform live.
This song has been frequently covered. One recent cover I thought you'd enjoy is one done by Boston staples The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. This video contains a lot of rare footage and home movies by the band, adding to the song's legacy as a mournful look back at Christmastime.
I wanted to give you frequent readers of this blog a gift. So, here is an uncredited (in the title of this post, anyway) third version of this song, by KT Tunstall. She is the one who made the earlier declaration that this song was "good enough to not be a Christmas song". And her version is absolutely beautiful, and faithful to the original.