My Gift to You

The Twelfth Day of Mellowmas: Baby-Makin’ Mellowmas

Jeff: Jason, baby?

Jason: I can’t tell if you’re trying to sweet-talk me or you’re singing a version of “Santa Baby.” Either way, I’m skeptical.

Jeff: Jason, baby, you know what time it is?

Jason: Please say it’s 12:01 AM on December 26th and I’m done with everything that’s awful about this season.

Jeff: Awwww no.

Jason: I don’t like the way you’re talking right now.

Jeff: It’s time once again for a little New Jack Mellowmas, my friend.

Jason: Is it REALLY that time? Really?

Jeff: Awwwww yeah. How would you feel about some Alexander O’Neal up in here? (Spoiler: It doesn’t matter how you answer.)

Jason: I’d shrug, because I have no idea who that is.

Jeff: Perfect! That’s the Mellowmas gesture. Followed by quickly clapping one’s hands over one’s ears.

Jason: Did we do any New Jack Mellowmas last year?

Jeff: If I’ve let a year go by without any New Jack Mellowmas, I’ve let us all down.

Jason: All I can ever remember is Keith Sweat from years and years ago.

Jeff: *ahem* Jeffrey Osborne

Jason: I think that was years and years ago, too!

Jeff: Oh, and the O’Jays. And who could forget Teddy Pendergrass?

Jason: We need to hire a Mellowmas historian.

Jeff: I hear Dave Lifton is cheap. Or maybe that’s just his mother. (“ME!” –Dave Lifton)

Anyway, Jason, Alexander O’Neal has a gift for us this Mellowmas. It’s called “My Gift to You.”

Jason: Wow. You weren’t kidding. He literally has a gift for us.

Jeff: Hold on, I’m spraying Drakkar everywhere.

Jason: Whoa, smells like 7th grade.

Jeff: I’m not really sure what year this was recorded, but I’m going to go ahead and say 1989.

Jason: You’re probably right. Let’s see.


Jeff: Damn, I’m good.

Jason: I don’t think that phrase is correct during this time of year.

Jeff: I love this already.

Jason: Ding dong, ding dong!

Jeff: I want to live in this song.

Jason: Falsetto! OooooOOOOOOOhhhhh! Oh HELL yes!

Jeff: Dance with me, Jason.

Jason: Can’t. Too busy dry humping the air. Oh hello, ’80s backing vocals!

Jeff: “This package I will bring to you is my gift to you.” *cackle*

You so smooth, Alexander.

Jason: Ten bucks says that’s Atlantic Starr in the background.

Jeff: Ten bucks says this song inspired “Dick in a Box”! I LOVE THIS SO MUCH

Jason: Yeah, I do too. It’s because you and I are suckers for nostalgia.

Jeff: This song might as well have been recorded in a mall, with overdubs in a school gym.

Jason: This sounds like so many other songs, none of which I can actually name right now.

Jeff: My gift to yoooooooooooooooooooooooou

Alexander O’Neal meant all fourteen syllables of that.

Jason: You know what this song needs? More synths.

Jeff: Is this a bridge?

Jason: There’s like a little bit of Gregory Abbott in here too.

Jeff: These synths are cracking me up. Whoever produced this had a sense of humor.

Jason: Not in 1988, they didn’t! This was absolutely perfect for the time.

Jeff: It was perfect for the time, but it also has these funny little touches in the background every so often — these little keyboard runs that aren’t really there for any reason.

Synth sleigh bells! My favorite!

Jason: So many September babies as a result of this song.


Jason: Readers, help us out. There are at least three or four songs in the Billboard 100 from 1988 that fit this mold. You can pick from 1987 too, if you like.

Jeff: I feel like Mike Heyliger is pissed at us for not knowing what they are off the tops of our heads, but I’m too blissed out on Alexander O’Neal’s “My Gift to You” to worry about that right now.

Jason: Yeah. No more thinking. Let’s just stand here and slow dance.

Jeff: Yeah, baby.

  • Beau

    You’re all missing the subtext in this song. Can’t you hear the anger in his voice? This is a blatant anti-Reagan missive. The gift is the dismantling of the Star Wars initiative. The bit about expecting a gift if you don’t give is a comment on deficit spending. How did we all miss this call to rise up?


    “I feel like Mike Heyliger
    is pissed at us for not knowing what they are off the tops of our
    heads, but I’m too blissed out on Alexander O’Neal’s “My Gift to You” to
    worry about that right now.”

    Nah, I can’t fault you guys for being white and suburban.

  • Speedy Pepper

    The song that got Mellowmas pregnant! It’s the new Immaculate Conception, only way smoooooooooooooooother.

  • rockymtranger

    Can you hear the beat of this sped up a little as the base of “Every Little Step?” I’m just sayin’.

    I was concerned there would be a lot more clowning on this track, but if you’re going to try and come up with a genre-specific take on Christmas, you could do a LOT worse than this. This reminded me that I used to own this album a LONG time ago but somehow I don’t now. Must remedy this immediately.

  • kingofgrief

    I get “Secret Lovers” out of the equation, which as a 1985 release was clearly light-millennia ahead of its time.

  • Mordalo

    I was enjoying the song until Jason said he was dry humping the air.

    That’s an image, right up there with the Judy Collins photo, that I could live without but will never get out of my mind.

  • jefito

    The New Jack Mellowmas tracks tend to receive a lot less clowning. I tend to be the one who forces them in — they make me happy.

  • jefito

    Now imagine Jason dry-humping the Judy Collins photo.

  • jasonhare

    Oh, the paper cuts!

  • Jay

    Why does the cover look like Death Eaters standing outside 12 Grimmauld Place?

  • Jay


  • Jay

    “Whoa, smells like 7th grade.”

    Now blouse out your shirt and pinch-roll your Cavariccis. Got your nameplate?

  • Jay

    As the Holiday Birds wheel about.

  • jefito

    Dorothy Finch is really the star of Mellowmas 2013, isn’t she?

  • Mordalo

    I would reply to that, but I’ve gone temporarily insane over that thought.

  • CraigoryVOL

    “This song might as well have been recorded in a mall, with overdubs in a school gym”

    My new go-to description for this sound.

  • Jay

    Oh and “Make Sure You’re Home” is still GOLD.

  • jefito

    This whole record is pretty great, really.

  • jasonhare

    Thank you for taking the blame.

  • Terje Fjelde

    Mm, these synths are like sweet candy, This is my comfort zone. I checked my 75-80 bpm R&B songs from 1987 to 1988 – and yes, they all sound exactly like this – notable exception is Guy, who only use about a quarter of the synths. By the way, and this has been on my mind lately: Is there a name for New Jack Swing, without the swing? Could we invent one, please? Straight Jack?

  • Jeff

    You dudes are bumming me out. This is one of my all-time favorite Christmas records. Maybe not so much this song. “The Little Drummer Boy,” late-’80s drum-machined to within an inch of its life, is tremendous. “Winter Wonderland” done in big-band swing style. A solid cover of Donny Hathaway’s “This Christmas.”

  • Nummymuffin

    I would even suggest it’s got a bit of “Baby, Come To Me” in it, especially just before the chorus.