Christmas Is
by Dolly Parton (featuring Miley Cyrus)

Album: A Holly Dolly Christmas (2020)

Songfacts®:

  • Here, Dolly Parton trades lines with her goddaughter Miley Cyrus about what Christmas means to them. They remind each other that the holiday is a time for giving and sharing and that not everyone is equally blessed. And of course, Christmas is a celebration of "the greatest of all gifts," the birth of God's son, Jesus Christ.
  • Speaking on BBC's Graham Norton Show, Cyrus recalled Parton's old-fashioned invitation to be her duet partner on this song.

    "She faxed me," Cyrus recalled, adding that she does not even own a fax machine.

    "So, she gets upset when you don't respond. And it's like, 'I'm sorry, I don't even know,'" Cyrus continued.

    Fortunately, Miley's father, Billy Ray Cyrus, owns a fax. He keeps it in his gym, so she popped over to her dad's place and replied to Dolly on his machine.
  • Dolly Parton recorded the song for A Holly Dolly Christmas, her third festive album following 1984's Once Upon a Christmas with Kenny Rogers and 1990's Home for Christmas. It debuted at #1 on the Country Albums chart, becoming Parton's eighth record to top the tally.
  • Because of the work involved in getting the physical versions of A Holly Dolly Christmas ready for release on October 2, 2020, the pair recorded the duet in July, "So I was singing about Christmas in the middle of LA summer," Cyrus recalled.
  • Dolly Parton wrote the song solo; her regular producer Kent Wells helmed the track and played the guitars. Miley Cyrus' then-boyfriend, Australian singer-songwriter Cody Simpson, gets a credit for "vocal tracking engineer."

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