A couple of weeks ago, I had the dubious distinction of co-hosting this year’s Christmas Party at work.
This involved me and three others planning and then hosting the event, which got moved to an online virtual party a little more than a week before it was scheduled for, due to the latest Covid strain and the advice to avoid face-to-face meetings unless they were absolutely necessary. This meant a lot of frantic rewriting, but it all went well in the end, with remarkably few technical issues. I’ll maybe write some more about this later.
You won’t be surprised to learn that my main contribution with regards to content was a pop quiz, in the form of a Spot the Intro round. The organisers last year had done one about Christmas Number Ones, so I had planned to do one about Christmas Number Twos, mostly so that I could make a particularly lavatorial joke.
However, you’d be surprised how many records which were #2 in the UK charts on Christmas Day are not particularly Christmassy at all, so it got changed to The Not The Christmas Number One Quiz, which isn’t a particularly snappy title, I must confess.
I prepared 20 intros of Christmas records and invited the attendees to name the song, the artist, the year it was originally a hit, and what was actually #1 that Christmas.
This allowed we to slip in a few gags when delivering the answers: “That was Coldplay with Christmas Lights, setting the template for the soundtrack to every M&S advert since” and, my favourite, “From 2008, that’s It’s Christmas Time by Status Quo, which was kept off the #1 slot by Alexandra Burke’s Hallelujah. That, and 38 other records.”
Anyway, that put me in the mood for doing a Christmas mix, remembering that this time last year Christmas was cancelled and I posted a very long and defiantly un-Christmassy mix.
My brother is picking me up to go to be with our parents later today, so this mix is intended to be played on the journey over there (you’ve been warned, bruv!), and then when we arrive too. As such it’s geared towards Christmas Eve, travelling home, Santa visiting (and what the randy old dog gets up to when he does) and the hope that this Christmas is better than last year. It’s full of slightly obscure tunes and the occasional cover of a Christmas favourite. And you’ll be relieved to hear that, unlike most of my mixes, it’s only about an hour and a quarter long. There’s only so many jingling bells one can take.
The length doesn’t seem to have effected the occasional skip or jump (my usual disclaimer) but having listened to it through that shouldn’t spoil your enjoyment too much.
And yes, of course The Wedding Present and Status Quo (R.I.P. Rick) make appearances.
I’m having fun guessing at which song my father will try to work out how to turn the volume down a little, and when exactly my mother will ask just what on earth we’re listening to. I reckon if it’s not when Helen Love is covering Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight) then it will certainly be when Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo makes his annual appearance. And so we’re back to Christmas #2s.
Here you go:
And here’s the tracklisting:
- Saint Etienne – Driving Home For Christmas
- Summer Camp – Christmas Wrapping
- Low – Just Like Christmas
- Cuckooland – Silver Bells
- Charley Pride – Christmas In My Home Town
- Bruce Springsteen – Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
- George Jones – My Mom And Santa Claus
- John Prine – I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
- Bob Dylan – Must Be Santa
- Girls Aloud – Not Tonight Santa
- Eels – Everything’s Gonna Be Cool This Christmas
- The Ronettes – Sleigh Ride
- Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings – White Christmas
- Joey Ramone – Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
- Helen Love – Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight)
- The Housemartins – Caravan of Love
- Cocteau Twins – Frosty The Snowman
- South Park – Mr. Hankey the Christmas Poo
- The Wedding Present – Step into Christmas
- Fountains Of Wayne – I Want An Alien For Christmas
- Shonen Knife – Space Christmas
- Ash – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
- Julian Casablancas – I Wish It Was Christmas Today
- Status Quo – It’s Christmas Time
- Darlene Love – Marshmallow World
- Weezer – We Wish You A Merry Christmas
I haven’t had time to prepare anything else to post over the Christmas weekend, but I’ll probably be back before the New Year, so for now I’ll just wish you all a very Merry Christmas.