What follows is a lyrical analysis of this year's sexiest Christmas hymn.
Sixty years ago, the world was shocked by Eartha Kitt's efforts to extort gifts from Santa Claus using the faint promise of sex, as detailed in her iconic erotic Christmas carol "Santa Baby." Now horny, sparkly Christmas snowflake Ariana Grande has burst into our Christmas season with another song about holiday lovemaking.
Like so much of what is belted out of Grande's mouth, the love story at the heart of "Santa Tell Me," is alternately romantic and perplexing; sensual and utterly incomprehensible. Unlike "Santa Baby," here there is no mention of sables, yachts, or gifts of any kind; Ariana Grande is in it for love. She straight-up wants to fuck Santa.
 tell me if you're really there
Don't make me fall in love again
If he won't be here next year
Santa tell me if he really cares
'Cause I can't give it all away if he won't be here next year
Feeling Christmas all around
And I'm trying to play it cool
But it's hard to focus when I see him walking 'cross the room
"Let It Snow" is blasting now
But I won't get in the mood
I'm avoiding every mistletoe until I know it's true love
That he thinks of
So next Christmas I'm not all alone, boy
I've been down this road before
Fell in love on Christmas night
But on New Year's day I woke up and [you?] wasn't by my side
Now I need someone to hold
Be my fire in the cold
But it's hard to tell if this is just a fling or if it's true love
That he thinks of
Oh I wanna have him beside me like ohOohOoh
On the 25th by the fireplace ohOohOoh
But I don't want no broken heart
This year I've got to be smart
(Santa tell me
Santa tell me
Santa tell me)
If [ya?] will be here
(Santa tell me)
(If you're really there)
Teeeeell meeeee, baaaabyyyy!
(Don't make me fall in love again
If he won't be here next year)
If you won't be—if you won't be heeeere!
(Santa tell me)
(If he really cares)
Do you care?!
 Like a toddler randomly commingling the porcelain figurines of a Christmas crèche, the chorus of "Santa Tell Me" sets a scene of true chaos, where no characters are easily identifiable either by their actions, or relation to one another. Grande begins by addressing Santa Claus in the second person, a decision that suggests the entire song will be directed toward him. She refers to Santa by first name only, rather than "Santa Claus," or the more formal "Saint Nicholas"—indicative of a casual intimacy.
 Right up top, Ariana Grande demonstrates a peculiar obsession with ensuring that Santa Claus is both real, and present to hear her love song
 She addresses Santa as an Eros-type figure, capable of causing her to fall in love (possibly with himself?)
 In the third line, Grande abruptly introduces a third person pronoun—he. Now she is asking you (Santa) if he (unknown male) really cares—presumably about the happiness and romantic fulfillment of Ariana Grande—and if he will be "here" (perhaps in the Boca Raton home of Grande's grandparents—the site of many Grande family celebrations) next year. Obviously, it would be confusing for Grande to address Santa in both the second and third person within the same conversation. We will return to this objection.
 Grande also reveals she is wary of "giving it all away"—presumably a euphemism for engaging in sexual intercourse—to a partner who is unwilling or unable to make a long term commitment to the relationship. She is a virginal Mary with the sagacity of Magdalene.
 In the second verse, we learn nothing about the identity of the song's mysterious male character, but a great deal about the unique sexual idiosyncracies of one Ariana Grande. From its opening lines, we can surmise that the effect of Christmas on Ariana is similar to that of the moon to a werewolf: it creates a palpable temporary madness. Here a miserable Ariana Grande describes her floundering attempts to "play it cool" and ignore her innate biological urges despite the fact that she can "feel" Christmas all around.
 We learn too that "Let It Snow" is a song that typically puts Grande "in the mood" for sexual activity, even over the more obvious choice of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." (Perhaps she means the Boyz II Men version.) We are also made to realize that Ariana Grande does not even want to kiss the object of her intense sexual longing until she is certain his intentions toward her are adequately romantic, as indicated by her avoidance of "every mistletoe."
 A revision to our previous comparison to the Blessed Mother; Ariana Grande is no virgin.
 Out of all the verses, the third offers the most clues to the identity of Ariana Grande's would-be romantic partner. The most prominent of these occurs in the first two lines, where she explains that she has fallen "in love" on Christmas night on at least one prior instance. Grande was raised Catholic ( though she later became a student of the Kabbalah), from which we can infer that she likely spends December 25th at home, with family. This limits the pool of potential suitors to those individuals she is likely to encounter on Christmas night: male cousins of marriageable age[A]; random CVS employees she encounters on an unexpected trip to purchase paper towels[B], non-alcoholic mixers, etc.; Santa Claus (who visits in the wee hours of Christmas morning, i.e. at night).
[A] Two factors eliminate the possibility that the song is about a male relative: (1) Family is one of the most important things to Ariana Grande, and it is unlikely she would jeopardize familial accord with a sexual dalliance; (2) According to many confident Internet comments, Ariana Grande has only female cousins
[B] The CVS employee is disqualified as a possible contender when we learn that Ariana Grande was unable to locate her "love" on New Year's Day. A CVS employee would have been easy enough for Grande to track down—all she'd need do would be return to the CVS where she fell in love.
 While Ariana Grande famously possesses the voice of an angel with a mouth full of marbles, it certainly sounds as if she switches back to the second person on line three, redirecting her comments toward Santa Claus, the original audience for her remarks, as established in the chorus.
 Santa would not be present anywhere in the vicinity of the Grande residences in either Boca Raton or Los Angeles on New Year's Day, having long since returned to his home at the North Pole.
 Grande speaks of her need for a man to be her "fire in the cold"—possibly a reference to Santa's fire engine red suit, or to his burning love for Ariana Grande.
 After entering a house through its chimney, Santa Claus typically finds himself deposited at the base of a fireplace. This is therefore a likely place for Ariana Grande to encounter Santa Claus.
 The 12-hour period from 8 p.m. December 24th through 8 a.m. December 25 is the busiest of the entire year for Santa Claus. Ariana Grande is no doubt aware that it would be virtually impossible for him to carve out time to make love to her by the fireplace of her family's Florida mansion on this particular night; hence, even as she expresses her desire for a union, she acknowledges that she is likely to be left with a "broken heart" when Santa is unable to commit himself fully to her on the busiest night of his work year.
 Yet again, it is not totally clear if Grande is employing the second or third person pronouns here, but so much of art is about perception and at this point in the song it is nigh impossible to perceive that Ariana Grande is singing about anything other than making love to Santa Claus. It certainly sounds like Ariana Grande is beseeching Santa Claus to tell her if he will be a willing and able candidate to receive her good tidings (in the form of sex) on December 25th. But she might still be using the third person pronoun, i.e. speaking to Santa Claus about an unnamed male character.
 As the song reaches its climax, so too does Ariana Grande, screaming wild nonsense in jingle jumbled ecstasy. She has fully given herself over to the spirit of Christmas hinted at in the second verse.
 Grande responds to the chorus line "Santa tell me / if he really cares" by demanding of Santa explicitly "Do you care?!" This presents us with a final and game-changing method of interpreting all the prior the switches in grammatical person: Perhaps all the instances of third person are not Grande talking to Santa Claus about a third party, but Grande talking to a third party about Santa Claus. She isn't telling Santa to tell her if someone else really cares. Rather, she is saying "[I want] Santa [to] tell me / if he [i.e. Santa] really cares."
putting out a kewt Christmas song for u on nov 24th called Santa Tell Me! lil something for the holidays :) so excited #10DaysTilSantaTellMe
— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) November 13, 2014
Happy holidays and don't forget to wear a condom.
[Image via AP]