Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you with complete conviction, my favourite parts of Christmas are as follows; the decorations, the food and the music. E and I have both spoken of our love of “getting the decs up” before and food remains a passion of mine all year round, but few things bring me more joy than hearing Christmas music on the radio.
I was lucky enough to grow up in musical household. My Dad is like a magpie, listening to every and any genre of music in his man cave of floor to ceiling vinyl. E and her mother are Welsh and therefore have music flowing through their veins, happiest when potching about the house, humming a tune to themselves.
One of my earliest memories is Christmas ’93 and hearing Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody being played on repeat, my lovely, mad (and loud) family shouting over it.
Growing up, I honed my singing skills in the local church choir and was often asked to sing the Once In Royal David’s City solo. A few years ago this got me into terrible trouble with my brother. We had decided to chaperone my Nan to midnight Mass, who knows what trouble she’d get into on her own! I was delighted when the opening to John Rutter’s Star Carol echoed round the abbey and I really went for it. About halfway through my rendition, I received an elbow in the ribs from Will, who chided me through gritted teeth; “shut up and stop showing off”. Not wanting to spoil the evening for my Nanny Val and being in a church, I resolved to sing the descant up the octave and add even more warbling.
I love Christmas music so much that in the early noughties, my Dad created my brother and I a “mixed tape” of all our favourites to play in the car in the run up to the holidays. But this wasn’t your average playlist, oh no. Tracks included: South Park’s Eric Cartman singing Oh Holy Night with all the wrong lyrics, Rusty Chevrolet, a spoof on Jingle Bells and a prog rock version of Hark The Herald Angels Sing. The CD only came out for December each year but it’s arrival never failed to get me right in the festive feels. E tells me this CD still exists and she had the pleasure of listen to the eclectic compilation of delights earlier this week.
Christmas music is still a key feature of my home as an adult. A couple of weeks ago, after a couple of Peronis, me and Vince decided to play DJ on Spotify, streaming endless Christmas songs through the TV. Our very own living room disco. We took it in turns selecting our favourites, Vince opting for Crosby and Bowie’s Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy and the King’s Blue Christmas, whereas I’m partial to Kelly Clarkson, The Jackson 5 and The Ronettes.
If, like us, you had tickets to productions and live music events that have now been cancelled thanks to our patchwork Tier system, I can’t recommend enough seeing if the production is streaming online. You can often exchange tickets for streaming passes and it will really help to lift your spirits. Door-to-door Christmas carolling is permitted in all Tiers this year and is a fantastic way to get out and spread some joy in your neighbourhood. We were lucky enough to watch some from our upstairs bedroom window this week and it was magical.
I’ve also linked my Ultimate Xmas Playlist in case you want a home disco of your own! Happy listening. ~L.