Christmas came early to Justin's Brazilian fans when he debuted the lead single from his Under the Mistletoe holiday album during his October 5, 2011 concert in Rio de Janeiro. The teen star told the crowd, "This is the first time anywhere in the world that I'm playing this, so this is special. This is just for you." The song was released on October 18, 2011.
Justin wrote the reggae-laced Christmas tune with The Messengers, who are a Canadian songwriting and producing duo comprising singer/lyricist Nasri Atweh and multi-instrumentalist/arranger Adam Messinger. They have linked up with the Biebs on a number of occasions before, including co-penning his hit singles "Pray
" and "Never Say Never
The video was filmed on a faux snow-covered street in Tennessee. It was directed by Roman White, who previously helmed Justin's "One less Lonely Girl
Justin explained why he released a Christmas album: "It was getting near the holiday season and I hadn't put out an album in a while, so I was thinking, you know, I had a lot of ideas and I thought maybe I could write a few Christmas songs," he said. "So I was like, 'Hey let's do a Christmas album.' And I was able to put together a cool Christmas album for all my fans."
The origin of the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe is obscure. The most likely explanation is that either the custom stemmed from the association of the plant in Dark Ages Europe with Freya, the Nordic goddess of love and beauty, or it could have come from the ancient belief that mistletoe symbolises fertility.
Guys, if you wish to follow the correct mistletoe etiquette this Christmas, you should remove one berry from the plant before kissing a lady. When all the berries are gone, I'm afraid to say no more kissing is allowed underneath the mistletoe.
Justin's love interest in the video is played by the Tennessee-based model/actress Allie Williams. Director Roman White told MTV News that when he and his team were casting for the visual, everything was very secretive. "We were literally casting these girls, we couldn't tell them who it was, and we couldn't tell them any of the stuff, because we were trying to keep this shoot as much under wraps as we could," he said. "So this girl came out, her name is Allie Williams, and she was my number one pick from the minute she walked in. So I ended up casting her, and we went and did the fitting, and I got permission from my producer. I told her who it was, and she was really excited to be in it, to say the least."
Part of the sales from Under the Mistletoe are being donated to various charities, including Pencils of Promise and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When Under The Mistletoe debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200, Justin became the first artist to record three chart-topping albums before the age of 18. It was also the first Christmas album to land at the peak position in its debut week. The previous holiday chart-toppers all climbed their way to the top.
The song peaked at #11 on the Hot 100, making it the third-highest-charting festive hit in the chart's history, following the Chipmunks' "Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)
" (#1 1958-59) and New Kids on the Block's "This One's for the Children" (#7 1989).