While the holidays can be a time of warmth and cheer, this season can also bring up complex, difficult emotions.
Kelly Clarkson acknowledged that many people may be feeling lost or lonely on Christmas in one of her new, original holiday songs, "Merry Christmas (To the One I Used to Know).”
“The holidays come with a whole range of emotions,” the singer, 39, said as she introduced the song in her NBC holiday special, “Kelly Clarkson Presents: When Christmas Comes Around.”
“I’m gonna be real with y’all. When I wrote this next song, I was crying my face off, which happens even at Christmastime, everyone,” she said. “I had just put my kids to bed and I was just going through it, having a really hard time.”
Noting that it’s “been a really tough year for a lot of us,” the Grammy winner explained that she wrote the song for herself, “but also because there aren’t many holiday songs for people feeling alone or lost or just plain sad.”
She shouted out Dolly Parton’s melancholy holiday ballad, “Hard Candy Christmas,” saying it paved the way for her own song.
“It’s about getting through a tough holiday,” Clarkson said. “I absolutely love that song, and it allowed me to write this.”
"Merry Christmas (To the One I Used to Know)” is about a person reflecting on somebody who is no longer in their life, maybe because of a breakup.
Clarkson’s voice was full of emotion as she delivered bittersweet lyrics including, “But I know when Christmas comes around/ And the snow falls like a fresh start on the ground/ You aren’t the one I’m missing/ He left long ago/ But Christmas Eve, my gift to me is dancing with your ghost/ So Merry Christmas to the one I used to know.”
At the end of the song, she finished by turning away from the mic.
The emotional track is one of many original tracks on her new holiday album, “When Christmas Comes Around…”
Clarkson’s holiday special also included appearances by her band called My Band Y’All, Ariana Grande, country singer Brett Eldredge, Melissa McCarthy, Jay Leno, Leslie Odom Jr. and Amy Poehler.