By Eliza Berman
November 25, 2014

With her new Christmas single “Santa Tell Me,” Ariana Grande continues pop music’s holiday tradition of conflating Santa with cupid. As in Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” (“Santa, won’t you bring me the one I really need”) and Britney Spears’ “Santa Can You Hear Me” (“Tell me my true love is here … Santa, that’s my only wish this year”), Grande’s contribution pleads for a little help with some Christmas romance.

The song has all the makings of an Old Navy Christmas commercial: sentimental strings, jingle bells and an a capella breakdown. But it’s catchy, showcasing both Grande’s range and her impressive vocal runs. When she sings, “Don’t make me fall in love again if he won’t be here next year,” it’s almost enough to make St. Nick forgive all of the demands that fall well outside his job description.

It would take a Christmas miracle to match the epic joy of Carey’s modern classic, one of only a handful of Christmas songs that not only don’t make you want to change the station, but actually make you want to keep it on. But “Santa Tell Me” is certainly a suitable substitute for this season.

Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com.

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