Sure enough, Shayne's timeless classic, That's My Goal, romped home in first place.
By the time the following December had rolled around, everyone knew the game was up. The race for Christmas number one, once an integral part of the festive season for music fans, had become a one-horse affair.
I didn't even bother writing a piece that year, or indeed any subsequent one. Until now.
As you may have heard, things have suddenly become interesting again. The first rumblings of discontent manifested themselves last year when, perhaps more in protest at the choice of X Factor winner's song than its inevitable hijacking of the Christmas number one, an internet campaign got Jeff Buckley's definitive cover of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah to number two behind Alexandra Burke's version.
While that effort merely nipped at the ankles of the X Factor monopoly, it's looking increasingly possible that it could be dealt a humiliating bloody nose this year. According to reports, Rage Against The Machine's classic hard-rock protest anthem Killing In The Name (complete with shouted refrain "F*** you, I won't do what you tell me") is outselling Joe McElderry's single this week thanks to a Facebook group started by husband and wife John and Tracy Morter.
X Factor supremo Cowell has responded by calling the campaign "stupid" and "cynical", which isn't likely to change anyone's mind about which of the two they're backing.
McElderry's sales figures are expected to benefit hugely from its CD release on Wednesday though, so the Christmas number one could well be back in Cowell's trophy cabinet come Sunday after all. According to Official Charts Company managing director Martin Talbot: "This is shaping up to be a very exciting battle between two different records which have captured the nation's imagination. But, although Rage Against The Machine have started off in front, according to our initial sales estimates, there is no doubt that this tussle is far from over."
Whatever the outcome, at least it will have been a genuine race this year, and for that at least we should all be grateful.