By Simon Vozick-Levinson
Updated November 29, 2007 at 12:00 PM EST

If you know me at all, you can probably guess that my favorite thing about Fred Claus — nay, the only thing that makes me care about the current Vince Vaughn/Paul Giamatti holiday dud in the slightest — is Ludacris, who appears in the film as a tiny, badass elf, via the magic of CG technology. This fact alone has me contemplating seeing the movie, or at least waiting excitedly until Luda’s best scenes turn up on YouTube.

Even better: Last week, a new song called “Ludacrismas” leaked, in which the ATL rapper not only repeatedly shouts “FRED CLAUS!” over a sample of “Here Comes Santa Claus” (which would probably be enough to hook me), but spits a few actually-kinda-hot Xmas-themed verses. “I tell him all I want for Christmas is two gold front teeth,” he opens, “and ten-carat diamonds on a fat gold wreath/That I can wear around my neck/Get money and respect/Tell Santa Claus to bring a ten-million-dollar check!” Sounds like a reasonable wishlist. Later, he threatens to “kick back and just chill like a playa would do/Remix all the Christmas carols, then I’ll play ’em for you.” I can only hope he makes good on that promise. (Listen to the clip for yourself, below.)

So imagine my delight to open my mail yesterday and find a copy of Fred Claus: Music From the Motion Picture. (Sweet early Hanukkah present!) My smile broadened as I scanned the album cover and spotted elfin ‘Cris perched on Vince Vaughn’s forehead (third from left) amid all the other non-rapper elves, a sly smirk on his face and a tasteful gold ornament in his hand. So lovable, that little Luda. Are you imagining my delight yet? Well, now imagine that delight curdling into acrid disappointment when I flipped the CD over and discovered that it contains Johnny Mercer singing “Jingle Bells,” the Jackson 5 doing “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” even Israel “Iz” Kamakawiwo’ole’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What A Wonderful World” (??) — but no “Ludacrismas.” Nowhere. It’s not a hidden track. It’s not on iTunes, either. This is unacceptable.

I’m holding out hope that the tune was meant for Luda’s next album; for now, I’ll just keep playing that leaked MP3 over and over again. But “Ludacrismas” had better get an official release, and soon — or, as Luda is my witness, I swear I will never again get psyched for a heartwarming family film featuring a digitally-shrunken representation of a successful rapper. Anybody want to join me in that vow?