Okay, so there isn't really a debate... but since I'm of a very strong opinion on this holiday "issue", I think there should be. I'll start.
First, a reading assignment.
Now, for the purposes of this debate, I'm pitting the first version listed on that link against the "brighter" version (listed second... and minus the introduction, although it doesn't really matter, I don't think).
Here's my stand: I think the first version is a much more satisfactory song, because it's not all b.s. about how perfect everything is. In fact, it's superior--granted, in my opinion--because it admits the present isn't perfect while allowing for a possible future where things are much better.
I think the brighter version is a big liar-head, that wants to act like every Christmas is just the best one ever, and people never look back at other Christmases and wish that they could take elements from various years and combine them all in some future perfect Christmas... where all those who can no longer be with us, or no longer speak to us, are there (and speaking to us) again once more. And where all the gifts are the best gifts we ever gave or received, and the food and the company was just right... you get the idea.
I like that the first version indicates that it's thinking in that direction instead of saying "this year is perfect". And the need for this debate? The dumb version gets more air play... and by "air play", I mean it's the one you hear the most, whether on the radio or at holiday sing-alongs.
There. Rant over. Other side?