Dan + Shay Mark a Somber Holiday With ‘Christmas Isn’t Christmas’

The duo speak into a holiday season unlike any before.

Written by Chris Parton
Dan + Shay Mark a Somber Holiday With ‘Christmas Isn’t Christmas’
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE - SEPTEMBER 14: (L-R) Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay attend the 55th Academy of Country Music Awards at the Grand Ole Opry on September 14, 2020 in Nashville, Tennessee. The ACM Awards airs on September 16, 2020 with some live and some prerecorded segments. (Photo by Jason Kempin/ACMA2020/Getty Images for ACM)

Dan + Shay capture the sad spirit of a COVID-19 Christmas with their latest release, singing of a holiday without joy in “Christmas Isn’t Christmas.”

Marking their second holiday track of the year (and second one ever), the downcast ballad mixes a shimmering winter-time sound with a truly heartbroken message. Christmas is all about togetherness, and reconnecting with the people we love, it says. But without those people — and especially that special someone — it’s just not the same. It’s a remarkably poignant message delivered with grace by the duo’s Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney, speaking into a somber year when many families may choose to stay apart.

“Christmas isn’t Christmas if it’s not with you / Red and green and silver bells would all be blue / All the presents are just boxes with no one to give them to / Because Christmas isn’t Christmas if it’s not with you,” goes the sorrowful chorus.

“’Christmas Isn’t Christmas’ is very special to us,” says Mooney. “We wrote this song with our families in mind. We are definitely reminded around the holiday season how important it is to have those people that you love around you. Christmas really isn’t Christmas if you don’t have the people that you love around you.”

The new track was produced once again by Smyers, who also sat behind the controls for the previously released “Take Me Home For Christmas.” Both tracks arrive as the Dan + Shay finish out another big year, including massive success with their crossover hit “10,000 Hours” (with Justin Bieber), and another round of Grammy and CMA Awards wins. Their current single, “I Should Probably Go to Bed” is out now, and they’ll soon take part in ABC’s CMA Country Christmas and NBC’s Christmas In Rockefeller Center