"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" is a Christmas song written in 1951 by Meredith Willson. The song was originally titled "It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas". The song has been recorded by many artists, but was a hit for Perry Como and The Fontane Sisters with Mitchell Ayres & His Orchestra on September 10, 1951, and released on RCA Victor as 47-4314 (45 rpm) and 20-4314 (78 rpm). Bing Crosby recorded a version on October 1, 1951, which was also widely played.
Background and writing
A popular belief in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, holds that Willson wrote the song while staying in Yarmouth's Grand Hotel. The song makes reference to a "tree in the Grand Hotel, one in the park as well..."; the park being Frost Park, directly across the road from the Grand Hotel, which still operates in a newer building on the same site as the old hotel.
It is also possible that the "Grand Hotel" Wilson mentions in the song was inspired by the Historic Park Inn Hotel in his hometown of Mason City, Iowa. The Park Inn Hotel is the last remaining hotel in the world designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright, and is situated in downtown Mason City overlooking central park.
In popular culture
"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" was later incorporated into the pre-Broadway version of the score of Willson's 1963 musical Here's Love and can be heard on that show's original cast recording, where it is sung in counterpoint to a new melody and lyric, "Pine Cones and Holly Berries."
Johnny Mathis recorded the song for his 1986 album Christmas Eve with Johnny Mathis; this version gained popularity after its inclusion in the 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. Gradually, Mathis's recording began to receive wide radio airplay, and for the past several years this version has been a Top 10 Christmas hit.
"It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" is featured in the DVD version of Very Merry Christmas Songs, which is part of the Disney Sing-Along Songs franchise.
The song was briefly featured in the 2003 film Duplex, in a scene showing how much Alex and Nancy had to sell in order to obtain enough money for a hired hitman.
Other notable versions
- 2002: America on their album Holiday Harmony
- 2008: Harry Connick Jr. on his album What a Night! A Christmas Album
- 2009: Connie Talbot on her album Connie Talbot's Holiday Magic
- 2009: Andrea Bocelli along with Kenny Loggins, Olivia Newton-John and Richard Marx, on his album My Christmas
- 2011: Michael Bublé on his album Christmas (US #96, UK #77 / #38 in 2016)
- 2016: Laura Pausini on her album Laura Xmas