This song doesn’t remind me of Christmas or any person I’ve been. It does make me think of a person I could become. Love is among the substances abused in this song, and as someone who feels like he has an addictive personality, it all seems very plausible to me. There’s also the narrator’s story– settling for her new man and the good life they have together. But even if it’s good for her, is it right? We know the answer by the end of the song. “If you wanna know the truth of it…” she says before her grand confession, and we know what’s happened pretty quickly. That part crushes me every time and gives me chills. Waits masterfully saves it for the ending in the spirit of great craft and a dramatic reveal. Even knowing that part’s coming, when she talks of the cars she’d buy and her hopes and dreams, I fall for it every time. I think she’s going to get there– that she’s going to make it come true just by hoping hard enough. That’s not what happens, though. I think that’s what scares me the most about this song– how much of a sucker I’d be if I were Charlie.