CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ADVENT BLOG Thursday 24th December 2020
12 RAMBLINGS OF CHRISTMAS
ONLY 1 SLEEPS TO CHRISTMAS
YIPPEE!!! HOORAY!!! HOORAY!!! HOORAY!!!
Can’t Wait Another Minute!
- A CHRISTMAS QUOTE
”I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.” — Maya Angelou
- CHRISTMAS FEATURE – EVERYONE’S FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONG
Almost there Guys! Only one more sleep if you can get to sleep that is!
New research has revealed which festive tunes have been the most listened to over the years – and which song has been given the most plays.
Christmas time is upon us – which means seasonal songs can be heard on every corner, and your shopping trips will be soundtracked by the likes of Wizzard, Band Aid, Elton John, Slade, Shaky and all the usual suspects.
PRS – the Performing Rights Society, who track plays of songs on TV and radio – issued some research in 2019, which revealed Brits’ favourite top 20 Christmas songs:
Britain’s Top 20 Favourite Christmas Songs
- The Pogues featuring Kirsty MacColl – Fairytale Of New York
This well-loved but occasionally controversial festive song was first realeased in 1987.
- Wham! – Last Christmas
The late George Michael and his musical partner Andrew Ridgeley released this seasonal classic in 1984.
- Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody
Noddy Holder’s evergreen Christmas tune was originally issued in 1973 and has been around ever since.
- Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Made famous by the film Holiday Inn, this eternal song first topped the US charts in 1942!
- Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day
Roy Wood’s sleigh-belled strewn song went head to head in the charts with Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody in 1973.
- Mariah Carey – All I Want For Christmas Is You
Mariah recorded a whole album of Christmas songs in 1994 but this favourite only topped the US charts in December 2019 & UK charts December 2020.
- Chris Rea – Driving Home For Christmas
Rea’s seasonal ode to travel only made No 53 on its original release in 1988, but has remained popular ever since.
- Band Aid – Do They Know It’s Christmas?
Still a landmark Christmas song – the stars of 1984 came out to raise money for the Ethiopian famine relief fund.
- Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas
The singer-songwriter – and member of prog legends Emerson Lake & Palmer – was kept off the Number 1 spot in 1975 by the mammoth Bohemian Rhapsody.
- Johnny Mathis – When A Child Is Born
The veteran US singer’s festive yarn is based on the Italian hit Soleado.
- Boney M – Mary’s Boy Child (Oh My Lord)
After having a mammoth year in 1978 with hits like Rasputin, the German disco group topped the Christmas charts with this medley.
- East 17 – Stay Another Day
British boy band East 17 rolled out the furs and fake snow in 1994.
- Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
Originally written in 1945, the most famous version of this classic was by the much-loved US singer Nat “King” Cole in 1953… and again in 1961, but this time in stereo!
- John Lennon and Yoko Ono / Plastic Ono Band – Happy Xmas (War is Over)
Originally recorded in 1971, this didn’t get a release in Lennon’s native UK until a year later. The song became more poignant when the former Beatle was killed shortly before Christmas 1980.
- nShakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone
This was to be the last chart-topper for the Welsh Elvis when he triumphed at Christmas in 1985.
- Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love
The Liverpool enjoyed their third consecutive chart-topper in 1984 with this holy hit – but had to make way for the charity Band Aid.
- Aled Jones – Walking In The Air
This song was originally performed by choirboy Peter Auty in the animated film The Snowman, but when his voice broke, Aled Jones took over to re-record the composition for commercial release.
- Bing Crosby and David Bowie – Little Drummer Boy (Peace On Earth)
Bing met Bowie on the set of the fomer’s festive TV special Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas. The Starman didn’t think much of Little Drummer Boy, so a counterpoint was quickly composed to showcase his voice.
- Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry
Stiff Records star John Lewis aka Jona Lewie has spent the last four decades enjoying the royalties of this war-and-peace themed classic.
- Cliff Richard – The Millennium Prayer
Miseltoe And Wine may be more Christmassy, but Sir Cliff saw in the 21st Century with this reworking of the traditional Auld Lang Syne.
And, if that’s not enough, according to the new research, polling 2,000 Brits, 4 in 10 (41%) of Brits say hearing Christmas music gets them into the festive spirit. Woo hoo!
YouGov have done similar research in December 2020 and came up with the following
TOP TEN OF FAVOURITE CHRISTMAS SONGS
- Fairytale of New York 17%
- All I Want For Christmas is You 8%
- Last Christmas 7%
- White Christmas 6%
- Merry Christmas Everybody 5%
- Silent Night 5%
- Driving Home For Christmas 4%
- I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday 3%
- Holy Night 2%
- I Believe In Father Christmas 2%
3. CHRISTMAS MOVIE
4. CHRISTMAS SONG
- Driving Home For Christmas Chris Rea 4:03
- One More Sleep Leons Lewis 2:50
5. CHRISTMAS CHILDREN’S BOOK
2 cosy books to snuggle up with Christmas Eve:
The Phantom Carwash (Banana Books) by Chris Powling (Author), Jean Baylis (Illustrator)
Hardcover : 48 pages
Publisher : Heinemann Young Books
Early Readers: 5-7 years
Lenny dreams of getting a real car-wash for Christmas, but he knows he’ll have to do without. He thinks his gran is mad when she tells him to write to Santa Claus – but when something strange turns up on the waste-ground near his home, he begins to wonder whether she was right after all.
Lucy and Tom at Christmas by Shirley Hughes (Author)
Paperback : 32 pages
Publisher : Red Fox Picture Books;
Reading level : 3 – 5 years
It’s Christmas, and Lucy and Tom are getting ready!
There are cards to make, a tree to decorate and presents to hide.
And how can you get to sleep when Father Christmas may be coming?
his classic picture book from the creator of Dogger is the perfect book for Christmas excitement.
6. CHRISTMAS CAROL
7. IT’S A CRACKER (CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE)
Why is the turkey never hungry at Christmas? It’s always stuffed
8. EVERY CHRISTMAS TV TIMES COVER
9. A FAMOUS SCROOGE
10. SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT – A TOP TV CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FROM THE PASTThe Royle Family – Christmas Special 1999
UK/Special/1999Aired on BBC
Christmas with the Royle Family. “Snowballs My Arse, its a bloody swiz this Christmas lark!” Original Broadcast: 25 December 1999. Written by: Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash, Carmel Morgan. Christmas with the Royle Family is the seventh episode and Christmas Special of series two of The Royle Family.
11.NICE LITTLE CHRISTMAS NUMBER
231 90 per cent: the proportion of British families who put up a Christmas tree
232 40,320 – Assuming Rudolph was in front, there are 40,320 ways to rearrange the other reindeer.
233 9.5 – Rating out of 10 given to Father Ted The Christmas Special – A Christmassy Ted (1996) shown on Channel 4 10.00pm 24th December 1996
234 19.5 million – The highest number of viewers for a Christmas Day soap EastEnders (BBC1, 1986, early evening): 19.50m The year Denfamously surprised wife Angie with divorce papers
235 “21.77 million – Highest Christmas Day Viewing figure Crocodile’ Dundee (BBC1, 1989): 21.77m This is the modern system of compiling ratings which began in 1981 and only includes programmes from that year.
236 21.3 Million – ‘The Morecambe and Wise Show’ – December 25, 1977 had 21.3 million viewers
237 24.25 million – Only Fools and Horses ‘Time On Our Hands’ – December 29, 1996 had 24.25 million viewers
238 1932 – The first BBC Radio Christmas broadcast by royalty, King George V. On Christmas Day 1932 he delivered a 251-word, three-minute wireless message, penned for him by poet and writer Rudyard Kipling. It was broadcast live just after 3pm, which was considered the best time for reaching most of the countries of the empire by short-wave radio. It was thought up by BBC director, John Reith, who saw it as a way of inaugurating the BBC’s Empire Service (now the World Service). George V was initially uncertain about using the relatively untested medium of radio. He was persuaded to do so following a visit to the BBC and a discussion with prime minister Ramsay MacDonald who sold the idea of the Christmas broadcast as a tool to help the monarchy maintain unity within the empire.
239 1952 – Our monarch Queen Elizabeth II made her first Christmas radio broadcast live on the radio in 1952
240 £100m – Calendars are big business: the UK market has grown around 30 per cent over the past 15 years, making it worth around £100m each year
12. CHRISTMAS TV ADVERT