Kel-ly. You don’t have to put on the red dress.

Your team at Christmas Spirit Fail notes with much dismay that Love Actually seems to have entered the (adult, anyway) Christmas movie canon. This is probably in part due to its silly notion that the purpose of Christmas is little more than that people declare their secret loves for one another, no matter how fantastical those romances may be. No matter whether the object of your desire is older or younger, gay or straight, boss or serving-wench, single or married to your old chum — Christmas is the season that sanctifies your romantic desires.

(And in drearily secular Britain, sure, why not?)

Kelly Clarkson doubles down on that principle with her new holiday album and its lead single:

After starting out with some of the purest inanities ever uttered in a Christmas album (“Everybody’s happy/prayers are being nicer/miracles all around”), Kelly goes on to describe an unrequited love:

From afar I’ve loved you/but never let it show/and every year another/December comes and goes
But this Christmas/I’m gonna risk it all/This Christmas/I’m not afraid to fall

Kelly does this by showing up dressed in red, perhaps, which is assumed to be the universal language–replacing “words I never said”–for “I love you.”

So watch out, ladies, when you put on the red dress this Christmas, lest you signal something you don’t really intend to the men in your company.

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