CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ADVENT BLOG Saturday 12th December 2020
12 RAMBLINGS OF CHRISTMAS
ONLY 13 SLEEPS TO CHRISTMAS
- A CHRISTMAS QUOTE
The best Christmas present I got from my husband was a week to do whatever I wanted. – Olivia Williams
- CHRISTMAS FEATURE – SOME KEY & IMPORTANT NEWS ITEMS & THE TOP 7 BEST EVER CHRISTMAS No.2s
SOME KEY & IMPORTANT NEWS ITEMS
Dame Barbara Windsor dies at the age of 83
Tributes are being paid after the actress Dame Barbara Windsor, best known for her roles in EastEnders and the Carry On films, died aged 83. Her husband said she had passed away peacefully from Alzheimer’s at a care home last night. Danniella Westbrook, who played her on-screen daughter Sam Mitchell in EastEnders, said: “Bar, you will always be in my heart forever.”
Biden and Harris named Time magazine’s people of year
Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have been named Time magazine’s people of the year for 2020. Announcing the news, the magazine said: “Together, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris offered restoration and renewal in a single ticket.” Former president Barack Obama and outgoing president Donald Trump have also received the honour. Last year’s winner was climate activist Greta Thunberg.
THE TOP 7 BEST EVER CHRISTMAS No.2s
The 7 greatest songs robbed of the Christmas number one
Christmas number 2s
If you land yourself a Christmas number one, you go down in history of one of the relatively few artists to have achieved such a feat.
But spare a thought for the songs who got so close to the summit. While some of these are pretty lamentable (‘The Floral Dance’, Teletubbies, Jive Bunny etc), some were genuine classics that we love to this day.
Here are the very best Christmas number twos that we kinda wish had taken the top prize instead…
- Greg Lake – ‘I Believe in Father Christmas’ (1975)
Number one: Queen – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’
It’s one of those iconic Christmas songs that everyone knows, at least when they hear it if not by name. The late prog-rock musician scored a surprise massive festive hit in 1975 with his Sergei Prokofiev-sampling anthem.
He later claimed that the song was written in protest at the commercialisation of Christmas, though co-writer Peter Sinfield said that it was actually about the loss of childhood innocence. While we obviously love the song that beat it, we also reckon Greg deserved his chance of Christmas number one glory.
- Wham! – ‘Last Christmas’ (1984)
Number 1: Band Aid – ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas?’
Not only is it one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, but it’s also the best-selling single to never reach number one. One may have assumed that it was once Christmas number one, but it happened to come out the same year as Band Aid, aka the UK’s best-selling single for 13 years.
George and Andrew Ridgeley also donated all takings from the single to Band Aid that year. It equalled its number two peak in 2017 after George Michael fans launched a campaign to get it to the top in tribute to the late singer.
- The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl – ‘Fairytale of New York’ (1987)
Number 1: Pet Shop Boys – ‘Always On My Mind’
It’s often voted as the very best Christmas song of all time, but it still couldn’t reach number one. Outrageous! While the Pet Shop Boys cover of Elvis Presley is pretty inspired, we’re surprised it wasn’t the other way round!
It has climbed back into the Top 40 every year since 2005 and has sold over 1 million copies. The song was recorded after Elvis Costello bet Shane MacGowan that he couldn’t write a Christmas single.
- Mariah Carey – ‘All I Want for Christmas Is You’ (1994)
Number 1: East 17 – ‘Stay Another Day’
Yes, would you believe it, Mariah didn’t reach number one either. Thanks to downloads and streaming, it has also re-entered the chart every year, and even reached its peak of number 2 again in 2017.
However, East 17 beat Mariah to the top in 1994 with their Christmassy-sounding ballad. Mariah’s classic has reached over 1 million UK sales in 2013.
- The Darkness – ‘Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)’ (2003)
Number 1: Michael Andrews and Gary Jules – ‘Mad World’
Until 2016, 2003 was the last year in which the Christmas number one was not a charity record or related to The X Factor in some way. Not only that, but numbers one and two that year couldn’t have been more different.
The eventual winner – a somewhat depressing piano cover of Tears for Fears’ ‘Mad World’ – stayed ahead of The Darkness, who celebrated the wacky side of Christmas, harking back to the days of Slade and Wizzard.
- Take That – ‘Patience’ (2006)
Number 1: Leona Lewis – ‘A Moment Like This’
Take That were robbed of a Christmas number one back in 1993, when ‘Babe’ was kept off the top by Mr Blobby of all things.
They had a second chance over a decade later with their amazing comeback single, but again they were pipped to the post, this time by the third of winner of The X Factor, which was a bit of a shame.
- ABBA – ‘I Have a Dream’ (1979)
Number 1: Pink Floyd – ‘Another Brick in the Wall’
While Pink Floyd’s track is an outstanding classic, it’s not the most Christmassy of all time, is it?
At number two that year was the world’s biggest group, with a gorgeous festive-sounding ballad. 20 years later, Westlife made amends by taking their cover version to the Christmas top spot, but ABBA were robbed.
3. CHRISTMAS MOVIE
A CHRISTMAS CAROL (1951)
4. CHRISTMAS SONG
- Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (feat. Frank Sinatra) Kylie Minogue 2:16
5. CHRISTMAS CHILDREN’S BOOK
Snow Ghost: The Most Heartwarming Picture Book of the Year by Tony Mitton and Diana Mayo
Hardcover : 32 pages
Publisher : Bloomsbury Children’s Books
Age Rang: 4-7 years old
Snow Ghost came whispering out of the air,
“Oh, for a home to be happy – but where?”
Flying through the swirling, snow-filled skies, Snow Ghost searches for a place to call home, swooping gracefully over the whirling traffic of town, winding her way through the dense, tangled wood and to the top of the blustery hill. Then on the quiet calm of the moors, she sees a girl and a boy playing. She breathes magic and sparkle into their play until it’s time for them to stumble back home to bed. And while shimmers of moonlight cast their glittering light, Snow Ghost curls herself round the roof of the farmhouse. She has found her happy home at last.
A timeless story of hope and belonging, perfect for sharing with loved ones this winter.
6. CHRISTMAS CAROL
7. IT’S A CRACKER (CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE)
Which Christmas carol is about an animal with three legs? Little Wonkey
8. EVERY CHRISTMAS TV TIMES COVER
9. A FAMOUS SCROOGE
10. SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT – A TOP TV CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FROM THE PAST
South Park – Mr Hankey, The Christmas Poo
USA/Season 1/1997Aired on Comedy Central
“Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo” is the ninth episode of the first season of the American animated television series South Park. It originally aired on Comedy Central in the United States on December 17, 1997. This episode marks the first appearances of Craig Tucker, Mr. Hankey, and the school counselor Mr. Mackey.
In the episode, the Jewish character Kyle feels excluded from the town’s celebrations during Christmas, and is comforted by Mr. Hankey, a talking and singing lump of feces wearing a red hat. Mr. Hankey does not come alive in the presence of other characters, so they think that Kyle is delusional. In another plot strand, the townspeople remove all religious aspects of Christmas from South Park to remain politically correct and inoffensive.
11. NICE LITTLE CHRISTMAS NUMBER
111 In the 1800s, artificial Christmas trees were made from dyed goose feathers or the stuff hula skirts were made from – green raffia.
112 £41 million of diaries were sold in 2008 but only £17 million in 2017.
113 102 marriages on Christmas Day in the years 1996-2015 There have been 102 marriages on Christmas Day 1996 – 2015, an average of just 5 marriages a year.
114 145,000 care workers will be working on Christmas Day itself.
115 82,000 nurses will be working on Christmas Day itself.
116 37,000 chefs will be working on Christmas Day itself.
117 1,082 million – In total though, on Christmas Day 2016, 1.082 million people worked – that’s 3.4% of all in employment
118 1.574 million – Boxing Day 2016, 1.574 million people worked – 4.9% of all in employment.
119 2,590 – The number of people decided to file their online tax returns, according to HMRC.
120 91% -The research showed that 91% of the British population celebrate Christmas in some shape or form. But see the next number…TOMORROW
12. CHRISTMAS TV ADVERT