This post is probably a little late, but never mind. I feel like I’ve had a particularly cliched Christmas this year, and so to empirically determine whether my feelings are justified or not, I’ve taken lines from well-known songs about Christmas to see how closely my experience matches up. Sadly there are no songs about drunken relatives shouting obscenities randomly at the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special. And no-one has yet written a song about the glories of cheese at Christmas, the excess of breadsticks and pate, how lovely it is to eat Christmas cake with a cup of tea at three in the afternoon, or about the films that you always see at this time of year – Zulu, It’s a Wonderful Life, Ben Hur etc
Yes Not sure No
chestnuts were roasted on an open fire 1
jack frost nipped at my nose 2
yuletide carols were sung by a choir 3
folks were dressed up like eskimos 4
there was a turkey 5
and some mistletoe
tiny tots with their eyes all aglow found it hard to sleep 6
I sang a song as I drove home for christmas 7
I was top to toe in tailbacks 8
I hung up a stocking on my wall
I waited for my family to arrive
my granny told me that the old songs are the best 9
she was up and rock ‘n’ rolling with rest 10
I hoped that the snow would start to fall
I rode on down the hillside in a boggy I had made 11
faithful friends who are dear to me, gathered near to me once more 12
over the ground lay a blanket of white 13
a heaven of diamonds shone down through the night 14
two hearts were thrilling in spite of the chill in the weather 15
sleighbells rang, I was listening 16
in the lane snow was glistening 17
I went walking in a winter wonderland 18
in the meadow we built a snowman 19
we pretended he was parson brown
he said are you married and we said no
i saw mummy kissing santa claus
the kids were jingle belling 20
everyone was telling me, “Be of good cheer”
there were parties for hosting 21
marshmallows for toasting 22
caroling out in the snow 23
there were scary ghost stories
there were tales of the glories of Christmases gone by
there was much mistletoeing
hearts were glowing when loved ones were near 24
It was the most wonderful time of the year 25
Looks like the No’s have it – Christmas was not as cliched as I thought it was after all.
1 On New Year’s Eve, since Summerhill has a lovely open fire in the dining room and I thought it would be fun to try – some were more roasted than others, but all round I would like to claim it as a personal success
2 It was frosty and my nose did get cold and I assume that this is what this particular cliché refers to. If it actually means a guy named Jack Frost then this clearly belongs in the no column.
3 The annual Hawkshead Hill Christmas Eve tramp, where all my parents neighbours have a nosey round your house, drink your mulled wine and then take you along to the next place where you repeat until slightly merry and able to get back home only with difficulty.
4 If modern-day Inuit wear bobble hats, gloves, scarves, big coats and carry wind up torches then, yes.
5 Beautifully cooked by my middle sister a la Nigella, and more than making up for the raw/overcooked (nothing inbetween) beef the day before.
6 I think this is a yes, not being intimately involved with my nephew’s sleeping habits over the Christmas period
7 Nothing unusual there
8 Don’t even get me started on this. It took me three hours to drive 25 miles, and the first hour and a half of these were spent just trying to get across the river Thames to a main road. I’ve not tallyed up the number of miles I drove but I did a total of ten motorway journeys in 14 days…
9 I’m sure if either of my grannies were alive there is a chance of them doing this…
10 …but probably not this
11 I’ve never actually done this
12 A spangly weekend in Edinburgh with eight great friends, some lovely evenings with mulled wine, mince pies and cheese, lots of tea and chat in Fleetwood, and then a happy visitation by Mike and Julie and the glorious Heather.
13 If frost counts then yes; if it has to be snow then no
14 O yes! There was a particularly clear night when the sky looked amazing. Unless you were trying to look through the telescope my Uncle Dave donated to my dad (he’d replaced it and bought himself something comparable to the Hubble for Christmas) who could see exactly nothing through it.
15 More than likely somewhere, but my heart was thrilling alone this year
16 They weren’t, I wasn’t
17 We’ve already established there was no snow
18 On New Year’s Eve we were surrounded by thick freezing fog, which meant the next day, when the fog lifted, everything was frozen white, even the tops of the trees. It was the most magical landscape and by far one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen, and even better for being the perfect New Year’s Day – a clean, fresh, white new beginning.
19 See previous snow related comments
20 Oddly enough, because on an average year there are generally hoards of children trying to palm off juingle bells as a carol on your front doorstep, this year there were none
21 Lots of parties, including the office Christmas party which is a story in itself
22 Chestnuts trump marshmallows
23 See earlier comment – we were outside caroling, but not in the snow
24 For the most part although there were moments where my heart was not glowing at the joy of the proximity of the closeness of my family – I realised there were reasons I hid in my room as a teenager and played the Cranberries as loudly as I could and they weren’t all hormonally related
25 The jury’s out