"December Will Be Magic Again" was written and originally recorded in 1979, but not released until the Christmas season of the next year on 17 November 1980. The single peaked at number 29 on the UK Singles Chart, but due to its early release date had slipped before the Christmas week. No promotional video was filmed for this single, but an alternative recording of the song was performed on Bush's 1979 Christmas television special. In addition to the version on the single release, another very different cut exists (on CD) with bongos and slide whistles on the rhythm track. Neither has ever appeared on a Kate Bush album, except for the This Woman's Work box set, but both have managed to find their way on to various Christmas compilations.
The B-side was "Warm and Soothing", a simple piece of Bush singing with just her piano accompaniment. In this sense it was similar in style to "In the Warm Room" and "Feel It" from her first two albums. This was the first song she recorded at Abbey Road Studios.
Initial pressings of the 7" single have "Cut by Chris Blair", "Songs & arrangements by Kate Bush", and "Cover by Nick Price" centered on the rear sleeve. Reissues have these acknowledgements spread out across the bottom. Originals also have "Happy Christmas" etched into the dead wax on Side A. The song was featured on the 12" single of "Experiment IV" and later on the second of two CD editions of the "Moments of Pleasure" single in 1993 and had a slightly different mix. In 2006 the song was included on Elton John's Christmas album, Elton John's Christmas Party.