This Christmas, a Game to Save You From Tears

Last Christmas I gave you my heart

Listening to Christmas music can bring people together. Not listening to a particular Christmas song, it turns out, can have the same effect.

Please allow us to introduce a December tradition you may not know about: “Whamageddon.”

The goal: To go as long as possible without hearing the 1984 Wham! song “Last Christmas” before Christmas Day.

But the very next day you gave it away

In Britain this month, a D.J. at a soccer stadium in Northamptonshire played the song during halftime of a match and faced a bit of (lighthearted) backlash.

“I never knew people took it so seriously,” Matt Facer, the D.J., told BBC Radio. “I gave it a spin, thinking it would be quite funny to wipe out 7,000 people who couldn’t avoid it, but clearly it isn’t funny.”

“I think it’s funny,” said Thomas Mertz, 42, who runs a Whamageddon website. “I sincerely hope that people aren’t too mad at D.J. Matt for playing the song.”

This year, to save me from tears

The game started about 18 years ago when Mertz and some friends in Denmark noticed how ubiquitous the song was and started telling each other when they had been “hit” with it, he said.

Whamageddon has a Facebook page with more than 16,000 followers and a website that got more than 500,000 visitors last year, according to Mertz.

“It’s just a funny little thing that a couple of idiots from Denmark did to entertain themselves during Christmas,” Mertz said.

But the game is also about adding levity to a season that can be stressful or lonely.

“It’s just not a good time of year to a lot of people,” Mertz said. “If we can add a little bit of fun to that, I think it’s worthwhile.”

Are you ready to lose the game? Click above.

I’ll give it to someone special

Mertz emphasized that the game is not about disliking the song or its genre.

“It’s a common misconception that people think we do this because we somehow hate Christmas music, or Wham!, or pop,” Mertz said.

In fact, that could not be further from the truth.

“You wouldn’t know it from looking at me. I am a 6-foot-5 bearded bald guy,” Mertz said, “but pop music is my guilty pleasure.”

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