The definitive Christmas song list for every man, woman and child!

So either you love Christmas carols, or you HATE them.

People get so passionate when it comes to the festive tunes. You’re either hitting the high notes with Mariah and wailing “All I want for Christmas, is YOOOOUUUUUU!” or throwing a stocking at the stereo when the song comes on the radio for the 3rd time that day… and there are still weeks before Santa arrives.

The first step is honesty here: you are not going to love every single song in the world, so why do you expect the same from Christmas carols? I love Christmas songs and yet there are many I hit skip on my compilation Christmas albums.

The trick is, knowing which songs to go for. There are daggy and possibly I’ll even say it, bad Christmas songs, just as there are amazing and happy and moving and bouncing Christmas songs.

And this is where I present my list to you – the definitive, MASSIVE and all-encompassing Christmas song playlist that will keep everyone from your 6 year-old child to your 80 year-old granny happy and joyful joyful come December 25th.

Here it goes…

First off the bat, let’s get the festive playlist started with –

“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!” – Andy Williams.

Oh God, I hear this in shopping centres and I just want to hug someone, really I do. It’s a classic and uplifting tune, and gets you right in that Christmas frame of mind.

The best line?:

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year

With the kids jingle belling

And everyone telling you be of good cheer…”

Ha! Nothing like someone telling you to be happy that gets you pissed right off! If that doesn’t cheer you yet, let’s move on to some…

Buble.

Oh, yes. ♥ No good Christmas song list would dare to omit a Buble Christmas tune!

He is a Christmas legend! He does Christmas specials!

I have a couple to note from him but let’s start with

“It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

It’s a magical song with hints of whimsical Hollywood, and who can forget lines like –

“And Mom and Dad can hardly wait for school to start again.”

Oh, YES.

Next is Buble’s version of “Santa Baby.”

I preface this by saying that I’ve never really liked the Santa Baby song… anyone’s version. I’ve always found it weird that someone will be singing to Santa in what sounds like such a suggestive and sexual way…

Guys, he is like your grandad. That is just gross. 😖

But Buble, a bloke, does his own manly take on it. It has a touch of swing and cheek, and with plenty of hilarious lines like –

“Santa pally, I want a yacht and really that’s not, a lot

I’ve been a sweetie all year…”

It’s definitely worth a listen.

The last one I’ll mention FOR NOW (yes more Buble is coming so if you’re a fan you’re in for a real treat) is his own Christmas song, Cold December Night.”

It’s got the traditional bells jangling but still has a real contemporary feel to it, while still retaining that Christmas ‘I want you home’ vibe that so many songs encapsulate.

“Stockings are hung with care

The children sleep with one eye open

Now there’s more than toys at stake

‘Cause I’m older now, but not done hoping.”

We’re going to move on now, to another Christmas legend.

Yep. You know it.

How the hell am I meant to write a Christmas song list without mentioning the most commercially successfully penned Christmas song of the last few generations?

It’s, M-A-R-I-A-H. 🤩

Don’t leave! Stay with me please you’ll be glad you did.

I’m going to start with a song you wouldn’t have guessed I would…

“Oh Holy Night.”

This song is something else. Her rendition is classic Mariah, and if you don’t get goosebumps while listening to her high note in the first half, well there is something wrong with you.

From her album, go to 1:39.

Another version. Go to 2:00.

And if you’re still not sure listen to this live piece at 1:41… and then the end of the song.

“Oh night… DIVVVVIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNEEEEEEE.”

Excuse me while I wipe away my tears. 😭

Okay I’ve gathered myself now.

There you go. LIVE my friends. And so much later after it’s first release and listen to that voice!

So clean, so fresh. Wham bam thank you maam. She proves there why she is worth $320 million as of this writing.

Now, I move to the predictable piece.

Bear with me.

“All I Want for Christmas is You.”

You gotta admit, it is a catchy tune. And an awfully clever one. Did you know it took all of 15 minutes for Mariah and her co-songwriter to pen for her 1994 holiday album Merry Christmas? And it continues to amass huge royalties for her all over the world.

It is the 12th biggest selling single ever, of all time as of 2019 (read that, EVER) and because of the layering of multiple music influences within the song, is considered in part by many music critics as the reason for its international success.

Sure it’s overplayed… but personally I love it.

“I just want you for my own

More than you could ever know

Make my wish come true

All I want for Christmas is you.”

I mean the film clip is cute but also a bit cringe-worthy what with Santa (her ex Tommy Mottola) picking her up in the snow… ugh I just can’t. That whole “Santa Baby” thing rears its head and makes me uncomfy all over again.

Because of the upbeat tempo, sounds of bells ringing and Mariah hugging the dog and throwing snow in the air, it’s easy to miss the serious meaning of the song. But if you break it down and look at it on paper, you will see it actually is very simple, yet has a lot of depth.

Or… you can just hear it in a different version.

Insert Buble, again 🙂

Michael Buble does an amazing version of this song. It is soooo different – no high piercing notes, no fast beats. In his version all the words sound different yet are exactly the same, and subsequently come forth with more meaning. I for one LOVE the start of his:

“I don’t want a lot for Christmas

There is just one thing I need

I don’t care about those presents

Underneath the Christmas tree

I just want you for my own

More than you could ever know

Make my wish come true

You know that all I want for Christmas is you.”

How serious, how solemn… how sweet. There is more of a sombre tone to this one, and though I love Mariah’s classic and catchy version, I have a really soft spot for this one too.

I bet you might just be thinking of Mariah a bit differently now.

Okay, you can breathe easy, the Mariah mentions are over…

It wouldn’t be a Christmas list without a ‘Christmas special’ mention, and this one is a festive musical combination that will KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF…

Brace yourself – Buble and Mariah together.

Singing “ALL I WANT FOR CHRISTMAS IS YOU.”

😯😯😯

OKAY I LIED! Last one I promise.

IT’S TRUE.

Okay now we are truly done.

I’m going to try make the parentals and grandparents happy with this next lot.

We need to go back a long way so that they can rediscover the yester-years and be all teary-eyed in memory, right? Who else can do it better than Bing Crosby (coincidentally the 1st – FIRST! – biggest selling single of all time).

“White Christmas.”

It has that classic old-world feel like all good black and white movies do, and the throwback to the good ol’ days is captured in the line –

“I’m dreaming of a White Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know.”

A couple more golden oldies:

Frank’s “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

And Elvis’ voice was made for “Blue Christmas.” This live version with Martina McBride is fabulous, and just watch the over-excitable girls in the audience about to wet themselves.

BA HA HA. Great film clip.

A couple of slow crooning ones sure, so now we’ll inject some much-needed contemporary pop to the playlist.

We all know her as the blonde-cropped, eye-covering contemporary power-belting Aussie superstar voice that has taken over Hollywood with her distinctive voice and song-writing prowess.

I can only be talking about Sia.

I didn’t know what to expect when her Christmas album came out years ago, but being fans Hubbie and I quickly snapped it up.

Everyday is Christmas features all original songs co-written by the Adelaide native. It’s huge to consider since most Christmas albums are predominantly retakes of old classics… Mariah Carey has 3 original tracks… Buble has 1…

Sia has 10 novel tracks.

They are true to Sia style and contemporary, some almost to the point that they may not traditionally sound like Christmas songs at all. She does the upbeat songs as well as the slow and melancholic ones, and two songs that show this spectrum perfectly are the slow and oddly romantic-sounding “Snowman”

And the sing-a-long favourite “Ho Ho Ho.”

Even baby girl loves this one, so a big tick in the contemporary and also child-friendly department.

I also must mention the very sweet song “Puppies are Forever”

“Puppies are forever, not just for Christmas

‘Cause they’re so cute and fluffy with shiny coats

But will you love ’em when they’re old and slow?”

Awww. What a sweet yet really serious message. Sia is a dog fan so no real surprise in that song. She has done brilliantly in creating a very different Christmas album, with her her intention for the album reportingly being that she felt there weren’t many Christmas songs around that she liked to listen to… so she made them up, of course.

Definitely a worthy Christmas album to have in your jolly itinerary.

While we’re on the subject of those making up their own songs, let’s go back in time to my teen years and re-introduce Hanson.

What? Don’t they sing Mmm Bop? Yes well that and a bazillion other tunes being prolific song writers still to this day. They have two Christmas albums (WOAH!) but it’s their first release from back in the day that many 30-somethings (emphasis, ‘somethings’) will remember to this day.

Their musical influences come from the 50s and 60s and incorporate that classic soulful and rock and roll feel, so it is no surprise that their album Snowed In shows this in spades. (Ha, my first pun!)

They have three original songs here, and two I need to make mention of – the slow “Christmas Time”

“Everybody needs a little loving, around Christmas time

Somehow you got to know you’re going to be alright…”

And the rock and roll and boppy “Everybody knows the Claus”

But they also do great renditions, and “Merry Christmas Baby” is just one of those throwbacks that pays homage to the original in a new way, really well.

While we’re in my teen genre, we need to make mention of some groups and artists that have done really daggy and soppy brilliant Christmas songs.

We’ll start with one of my teen fave’s, and sing along to Nsync’s “I Don’t Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You”

“This is the time of year, when we learn to give

And the greatest gift, is learning to forgive…”

Sage words, especially from a guy with frosted tips.👱‍♂️

You can’t kill me, I’m a fan whose seen him at every Aussie concert! But this is such a 90s crooner… oh man.

Next up on the sickening boyband Christmas list is Backstreet Boys:

With “Christmas time.” Did you hear that lengthy “ooohhhh” at the start of the song from Brian?

Yep. Classic Christmas material.

(Am I meant to be laughing at these songs or convincing you that they’re awesome?) 

🤣

Last on the so-bad-it’s-actually-good-or-is-it series of past teen songs is Britney’s “My Only Wish (This Year)”

Oh God did you hear the opening “oh yeah yeah?” Must be a 90s thing!

“‘Cause I have been so good, so good this year

Can’t be alone, under the mistletoe

He’s all I want and a big red bow.”

Wait, what? What has the bow? 💝

Hmmm.

Moving on now… to GREATNESS.

The saddest yet perhaps one of the best Christmas songs of all time, the one that you just love to belt it out to, well…

“Last Christmas.” Another novel song idea, God this is so good. George is literally singing about being stood up, but he does it in the best 80s way, the way Wham! knew how to do so well… and the song continues to transcend genres and decades to this day and be awesome.

“Once bitten and twice shy

I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye

Tell me baby, do you recognise me?

Well it’s been a year, it doesn’t surprise me

(whispers) Merry Christmas…”

What an amazing song. Extra special points go out to this one because our beloved George passed away on Christmas day. Therefore he is forever immortalised in Christmas, for so many reasons.

Since we’re on the sad theme let’s also go serious for a moment with another powerful 80s festive tune – “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

Here’s a fun fact for you… Do you know Bono from U2 did not want to sing the infamous line –

“Well tonight thank God it’s them, instead of you!” –

referring to the poor and starving people dying in Ethiopia. But the brainchild behind the multi-artist collaboration to raise money for the famine, Bob Geldof, told Bono that he had to sing it, as it would mean so much more coming from him.

The rest is history, and the group of fifteen or so artists and groups came together and continue to make history, with proceeds of the song apparently still continuing to help people and charities in need all over the world.

Ain’t that a good idea. Buy the single and help someone starving. Merry Christmas to both of you.

And our final sombre look at Christmas comes from another kind of UK legend… John Lennon.

“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” also often referred to as So this is Christmas, interestingly maintains a real festive feel what with the bells ringing and choir kicking in at the chorus, and of course then there is the whole “Have a very Merry Christmas” message throughout. But John injects his own brand of world self-awareness with –

“And so this is Christmas

For weak and for strong

For rich and the poor ones

The world is so wrong…”

The final lines tell us the real point behind his message “War is over, if you want it.” John was trying to save the world, with one Christmas song at a time. If you like to ponder the meaning of life and Christmas festivities then this is the song for you.

A bit of 70s you fancy perhaps? Listen to the music in the Jackson 5 version of “The Little Drummer Boy.”

All those beating drums! Well you’d expect nothing less in a song about… drums. Young Michael’s voice is so high and youthful, and this rendition is still a classic what with the increasing urgency of tone as the song moves towards the end.

And, we are nearing the end! Almost there. I told you this was a comprehensive list.

I’ve covered the old-school teens (those now, ahem, ’30-somethings’) but now I’m going to move to some artists that today’s youth will appreciate.

Chuck a couple of these on your spotify and watch their ears perk up.

Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe.”

“With you, shawty with you…” Oh God I have to laugh. Not shorty, but shawty.

But the best line?

“The wise men followed the star

The way I followed my heart…”

Let’s move on now to some Arianna, and having heard this a few times it’s actually okay…

“Santa Tell Me” captures the Christmas teen vibe perfectly, what with oversized sweaters and a sleepover with girlfriends in her bed and the Christmas bells ringing in the background to the pop beat… perfect.

A recent addition to the contemporary genre is Taylor Swift’s “Christmas Tree Farm.” It starts off with a massive touch of classic Hollywood and blends into a festive Christmas melody to flashbacks of Taylor as a baby growing up at Christmas time… on a Christmas Tree Farm. So nostalgia is therefore definitely present. (Ha, second daggy pun!)

I’m going to keep going downwards in age and give you something to make the little tikes happy, yes? Why Christmas is mostly about them, what with Santa and presents and reindeer and being on the good list… so remember to include them when planning your music list.

I’m going to give you two classic Aussie bands that have given us two catchy and can’t-stop-singing-them songs.

(ALERT! CATCHY TUNE ALERT! CATCHY TUNE ALERT!)

The awfully catchy (I mean really catchy) “Santa Claus is coming” by popular kid’s group High-5.

Listen to this once with your child, and well… you’ll hear it a billion more times. Both on your stereo and then IN YOUR HEAD FOREVER. You’ve been warned.

(But you also want to keep them happy, so… )

“Santa Claus is coming, Santa Claus is coming

Santa Claus is coming, Santa Claus is coming

SANTA CLAUS IS COMING! SANTA CLAUS IS COMING!”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The next one is from the most iconic Australian kids group of all time, who have even gained huge international acclaim and fans.

It’s The Wiggles! (baby girl’s fave!) with “Go Santa Go!”

There is a skit at the beginning of this clip if you need context, you know, to work out who these Wiggly people are… but go to 2:33 if you just want the song. The Wiggles actually have a load of Christmas songs, novel ones too, but this is a terrific one as it’s repetitive, easy for the kids to sing and dance along to as well with those Danny Zuko Greased Lightning type moves…

I’m going to throw a spanner in the works for the next one and add a Christmas parody…

Aren’t all Christmas songs parodies I hear you ask? Calm down I’m joking. If you’ve read this far clearly you are a closet Christmas lover.

I heard this at baby girl’s school Christmas concert, and well, staying in theme with Aussie kids groups, this is an Aussie kids song all about our type of Christmas:

How funny! “Aussie Jingle Bells” is so hilariously outback, that you can’t not smile at lines like –

“Jingle Bells Jingle Bells

Christmas time is beaut

Oh what fun it is to ride

In a rusty Holden Ute.”

OH! Ha ha. The vision that accompanies the song in the film clip, though overdone is actually also spot on for an Aussie Christmas, which I love.

We’re going to stay with the Aussie theme as we head into the final stretch. Why wouldn’t I mention some amazing performers that we have, who make Christmas that much more amazing with their own special versions of classic Christmas songs…

Like two incredible and iconic performers, singing together, Olivia Newton John and John Farnham.

“Baby, it’s Cold Outside.”

Why it took so long for these two to pair up I don’t know, but this song with all the to-ing and fro-ing beautifully represents their voices and the playfulness of this festive tune.

“I wish I knew how (your eyes are like starlight now)

To break this spell (I’ll take your hat, your hair looks swell)…”

I think it’s a charming and cheeky song that honestly, people got all riled up over nothing a while ago.

It’s Christmas people!

Every year I watch the TV carols on Christmas Eve, and the one star who has come into his own performing there time after time is the former Australian Idol winner and great Anthony Callea.

A reality TV winner? On this list?

WAIT. You have not heard him. Included here is the international “Ave Maria,” but if you’re from my generation (so old now) you may remember him tearing down the roof with this rendition of “The Prayer” on Aus Idol, which led to him subsequently winning that season.

He’s gone on to sing that song at carols over the years and he is just AH-MAY-ZING. Search for that song if you like song and then listen to this Christmas melody below. You’ll see why he’s become a staples at the carols and a star in his own right.

Incredible.

Staying on the carols bandwagon, and maybe I am being awfully self-indulgent by naming performers that I feel a soft spot for, but Marina Prior has been a serious carols regular for as long as I can remember, from my childhood. The opera singer has a voice of an angel, and well, you get why she gets to sing “Silent Night” here:

This is one of my favourite traditional Christmas songs. Yes, it’s slow, but as I’ve displayed in this list, just as there is an artist for each age group, so is there a time of day when you should play certain songs. And this one winds up the festive day perfectly.

And also, this list. Because I present to you the final song, and we come full circle by coming back to…

Buble.

The song I’m ending on is the target of a lot of jokes and misspellings out there, such as –

FOR LEASE NAVIDAD

FLEECE NAVIDAD, and

THE LEASE NOBBY DOT? 🤔

(Seriously!)

It’s obviously “Feliz Navidad” which roughly translated means Merry Christmas in Spanish for any people who still don’t know it.

Buble does the most beautiful duet with Thalia in this Christmas special below, and when he sings in Spanish it comes across effortlessly… his Spanish wife would be proud. 🙂

And with that, I end this MASSIVE (I told you) Christmas song list. I haven’t even started to scratch the surface of all the great Christmas songs out there, but this is a great starter and will keep you and your family and friends jolly and merry on Christmas Day.

And to that I say –

“I want to wish you a Merry Christmas,

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas,

I want to wish you a Merry Christmas from the bottom, of my heart.”

🎵🎅🤶🎄🎁❤🎶

Going Retro in time

Retro Café
31 Salamanca Place Battery Point TAS

(Visited August ’18)

What a different experience our proper day #2 eating out for lunch was compared to our proper day #1.

Oh the drama!

It was all about the freaking parking meters.

THE FREAKING PARKING METERS.

This was because we had to book our afternoon trip over to the MONA museum via the ferry, but finding parking to do that, and then working out where to go was a feat in itself…

I will do a Hobart post about our adventures which will recount ALL the fun – both real and sarcastic. Really, we DID have a ball. You just need to know a thing or two about parking meters if travelling there (especially if you have a hire car and have to you know, occasionally ‘park’ or something crazy like that).

🤦‍♀️

But what we also had to do apart from book the ferry tickets, was of course, eat.

We needed no drama. No fuss. Baby girl was cranky and we were going to find out later it was due to her getting increasingly sick (note to self: do not plan a birthday party for your child to be infected with other kids diseases, only days before embarking on a family holiday. Repeat, DO NOT).

Well we eventually parked in a 2 hour slot at Salamanca Place, so we literally went to the closest café on the corner. The Retro Café.

We were sitting outside, and to be honest most of the time we were preoccupied with parking woes so we didn’t see anything retro about it. But it was a simple café, with a simple menu, some specials on the board out front, and on that cold and sunny day in Hobart, we cracked on to the task of ordering.

We had a ferry ride waiting, after all.

It was a clearly visible spot amidst some weekly foot traffic. It was interesting to observe the locals about, mainly work people and friends meeting for lunch, and I wondered how clearly it looked to them all that we weren’t from those Kansas quarters?

 

IMAG3026

(The Whaler, which we went to on our last night)

With an increasingly sicker baby girl, we plopped the ipad in front of her and hoped to salvage some shred of this holiday ($$$), breathing a sigh of relief as the food arrived.

Thank God.

Baby girl got (keeping in recent dairy theme), a toasted cheese sandwich.

IMAG3031

I got one of the specials: Grilled vegetable bruschetta topped w/ grilled haloumi and hummus

IMAG3033

While Hubbie got a vegetable salad roll

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I realised how unwell baby girl was by her inability to show interest in any sign of food there… but I slowly and surely through persistence and strong willingness to cure her of any ill health during our trip, got her to finish most of it.

My haloumi was really good. I mean bruschetta. You know what I am getting at here… it was a satisfying yet still light lunch option, a perfect in between of feeling healthy with vegie toppings, and then… well cheese and bread. Need I say more?

Hubbie felt just as healthy with his salad roll. It was a salad roll, and that was that, keeping him light on his feet as we had A LOT of walking ahead of us that day.

We didn’t dawdle there long, just due to, you know, afore-mentioned parking constraints (do people not hang around here long?), meter change issues, and a sick girl… 😦 I headed on in to pay, happy with the meal, hoping the day would lift just as the food had helped us do.

Food: 7.5/10. It was satisfactory café-style food, and did the job in making us less hangry in amongst frustrating parking meters.

Coffee: N/A.

Ambience: It was really quiet and calm, quite coastal-town like whilst on holiday… hold up, we were on the coast there, and it was mid-week and we were on holiday… it just seemed quieter than usual, considering the Salamanca Place locale, an area we would come to know quite well in the days that would follow.

People: People meeting for lunch, business-types on lunch… those who were actually from the area.

Staff: They were nice. Hard to flag down to grab our order though. We found this an increasing Melbourne vs Hobart trend. If you’re native to my Victorian parts, remember this one thing when going out in Tasmania… BREATHE. LET GO. RELAX. (That’s three things but you get my drift).

Price: $30.50… wait, what? Only $30.50? Here, the strike of the cheap Tassie was happening again. Wait a minute, we didn’t have any coffee or alcoholic beverages… still it seemed cheap compared to a similar meal we would have had in a similar region, in our old Morning-Town…

Advice: For the love of God, keep gold coins, ANY loose change on you. When you come to park you will totally get it.

Totally unrelated but also advice: if you are holidaying after throwing a kids birthday party (could happen) DO NOT actually throw the kids party. Throw it after your holiday when you don’t care about getting sick. In fact don’t see any kids, at all before your holiday for like, a month (other than your own child, but if you can avoid them, well…)

In a nutshell: A really cute and simple corner café that gives you some regular and fresh options beyond some of the usual café fare you might find. It’s close to shops and walking distance to other parts of the city… just don’t forget that change.

I just realised with the whole parking meter thing, how truly retro the place really is…

Retro Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Things that shit me… #17

(Is that bad, that I am up to 17?!)

Things that shit me…

Swimming parents who steal your spot in the change rooms.

Please, LET ME EXPLAIN.

And if you are this swim Mum or swim Dad, I HATE YOU. You deserve a bunch of soaking-chlorinated swimmers thrown in your face.

This happens more times than I dare to count. If I start to count, God help me.

When baby girl goes to her swimming lesson, it is at a peak after-school time.

When I take her to the change rooms straight after for a quick dry and change, it is still peak after-school time.

Do you know what happens almost all the time?

Breathe. Phew…

We walk in. Baby girl has to go to the loo, immediately.

So I put her change bag and shoes down. At a free spot. One that is a-v-a-i-l-a-b-l-e. One side of the change rooms is all benches and places to hang your towels and bags, and I pick one that doesn’t have anyone else’s stuff around it before quickly heading into the toilet with her.

I head in with her, because while in there I pull off her sticky swimmers and wrap her in a towel.

We are out in 2 minutes. Sometimes less.

And as we walk back over to the benches, I take a deep breath, knowing…

someone has taken my spot.

They are literally changing their dripping child into fresh clothes. They are practically in my spot, almost standing on baby girl’s shoes, practically nudging her change bag, and anyone else walking in would be totally forgiven in thinking that baby girl’s stuff, is theirs.

But the stealer of space is not forgiven. They have invaded my space and they and their child and stuff is all in my face! If I did go to my spot to change baby girl, we would be hugging (or I would be strangling them) THAT’S HOW CLOSE WE WOULD BE.

You haven’t heard the clincher, wait for it…

I look around, and there is available bench space around that doesn’t include my bag.

?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

LIKE WHAT THE ACTUAL F%$K????

They have room to change their child elsewhere, and these morons continually pick a spot where my stuff already is!

And you know what I do? Like today… I head over to my stuff, snatch it away and walk off… to a free spot.

FACE PALM.

I am at swimming every week having these knocked-around-like-Beyoncé moments:

The woman no matter who she is, will NEVER say anything. I should park my car so close to hers so she can’t get into her driver’s side, and just stare at her when she has to climb in through the passenger and accidentally lodges herself on the parking brake.

Not pissed much.

This riles me up soooo bad. And I know I am all glass half-full gratitude gal over here… but do not be surprised if one day you hear a news report and it goes something like…

“Chaos today on the Peninsula as a woman is pelted with swimming noodles after taking the spot of another in the change rooms… full details after the break.”

That will be me.

‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #7 “Boxing Day”

It’s the day after Christmas, where a good majority of people spend the aftermath of the festive day either shopping it up and trying to get the best bargain, or drinking VBs and turning lobster-red at the cricket with their best-est mates.

So why do Australians call December 26, Boxing Day?

It occurred to me that I did not know, when I discovered just last week that the next Frozen movie was not arriving in our cinemas in late November like the rest of the world. No… we had to wait until Boxing Day.

As I said the words out loud to baby girl, I realised she would be baffled.

“What is boxing day?

Honey I have no clue. But I am going to try find out for you.

Oh, and that is another thing we Aussies tend to get the day after Christmas… the box-office blockbusters.

The term originated in the UK and therefore the story of it lays there, so it comes to reason that several countries part of the British Empire (i.e. Australia) would therefore celebrate the 26th of December.

One popular theory hails from the 1800s, and the Oxford English Dictionary explains it as: “the first weekday after Christmas day, observed as a holiday on which postmen, errand boys, and servants of various kinds expect to receive a Christmas box”. 

It was a day in which the rich gave to the poor, whether it was to those less fortunate, or their own servants. Also servants were deemed to have the day off after Christmas, and went back home to their families with ‘boxed presents.’

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Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

While the exact origin is unknown, the European tradition of giving to those in need dates back to the Middle Ages. And it is one that certainly should not be forgotten. At a time of year when consumerism and spending is rife, we should definitely not forget this time-honoured tradition and try to give what lot, or little we can, to someone in need.

Whatever the reason be, perhaps the most exciting thing for us Aussies is that it’s a public holiday. Spend the day as you will, shopping it up, watching a movie, or going to the cricket. Or something else… how do you spend your Boxing Day?

I can almost guarantee we will be getting Frozen this year… shiver.

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

Strong Arms in old Richmond town

The Richmond Arms
42 Bridge Street Richmond TAS

(Visited August ’18)

This was the first place we dined out for a meal, properly (bar takeaway), when we holidayed in Tasmania in late August of 2018.

Firstly, they had said it would be cold. So cold. I was preparing, you know, for the worst.

We brought our jackets. For sure. We were from Melbourne after all. If anyone knew, it was US.

But instead, sunshine shone so much that day, we left our jackets in our car.

In Tasmania! True story.

Secondly. We had heard a bit about this old-fashioned Richmond town. It was nothing like the inner-city suburb that Melbourne knows so well, home of the yellow and black footy supporters. No.

This was something else entirely. Sure it held a lot history much like it’s sister city back in Melbs…

But unlike Melbourne’s Richmond, Tassie’s Richmond still looked like it was in the 1800s.

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After a wander up and down, into Sweets and Treats, Richmond’s lolly shop, for coffee and what else, lollies, we really needed a bite to eat. It was our second day in Tasmania having arrived the day before, and really, our first proper spot of sight-seeing.

What a place to start on.

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We had travelled approximately 30 minutes from Lutana where our accommodation resided. The scenery was striking and beautiful. What immediately struck me was the constant views. They were all the same, yet so different and continuously beautiful. That’s because largely, there were hills, and water.

Hills and water.

Hills and water.

HILLS AND WATER.

It was very picturesque. We started to understand quite quickly why people said Tassie was such a beautiful place. We went up Grasstree Hill Road and then back down it, winding around and around to finally reach our destination at Georgian-style Richmond town.

And of course when lunch time came, we really had to go old-school too.

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At The Richmond Arms.

The interior certainly matches the exterior. Where the outside shows the age of the building and the time it came from, we found not much was changed inside. Though perhaps slightly updated, the rooms are definitely of another time and place, so don’t go expecting anything life-changing here. The room we sat in was away from the area that housed the bar where Hubbie went up to order and pay at, and in one way it felt like we were sectioned off into a room that may have very long ago been a lounge room.

The Richmond Arms Hotel also has accommodation, something to consider if you want to spend more than a day in Richmond. There is plenty to do and see, and considering the history and beauty of the town, why wouldn’t you?

Despite the age of the tables and chairs, I really was quite taken aback by one feature wall within… it had a quote so beautiful, so treasured and meaningful, and also so close to my heart, as it was a sentiment confirmed to me as the years have gone by, a written manifestation of what I had known all along, but never really verbalised… that I had to photograph it:

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‘An opal-hearted country,

A wilful, lavish land,

All you who have not loved her,

You will not understand

though Earth holds many splendours,

Wherever I may die,

I know to what brown country,

My homing thoughts will fly.’

– Dorothea Mackellar “My Country.”

WOW.

After ordering Hubbie brought over our drinks, a beer for him, and of course a local for me – the Richmond Arms Sauvignon Blanc

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Considering it wasn’t awfully busy it still took some time to receive our meals… I used this time to run around the old-fashioned shops within the street, to find out of all things, a mobile phone car charger! It appeared that my phone was just not coping with all the photos I was snapping, and I couldn’t bare to waste all my battery and go home having not photographed all of Richmond-town. Oh, the horror! My prayers were answered at the large convenience corner store kinda opposite the Richmond Arms.

Exhale.

When the food did arrive, we were very hungry, and it looked delish. Well worth the wait.

I had the Asian vegetable and Hokkien noodle stir fry

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Hubbie had the Chicken schnitzel – served with chips/salad or vegetables and your choice of sauce (no salad, with sauce)

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And baby girl had the Macaroni cheese

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Firstly, Hubbie was so jealous when he saw my meal! I guess the thing with being married to someone is you have to give each other bites of your meal… for better, or for worse. I for one know Hubbie is hanging to have a bite of whatever I order when he starts offering me bits of his… in an attempt to subtly hint “hey, I want some.”

Ha ha.

The sauce was very flavoursome and the noodles and vegetables all combined well to make a delicious dish. There were bits of all kinds of veggies, and the presentation really was up there, not what I expected from the kitchen of that hotel… I was surprised. Pleasantly so.

Hubbie enjoyed what he had ordered. He was happy in that it was a hearty pub-style meal, and to be honest, simply what he had expected… it was chicken with vegetables after all. He was full, let’s just say.

Baby girl’s macaroni was overwhelmingly cheesy – hence the mac and cheese – so she struggled with it. She was not hating it, but wasn’t so much a fan as that was during her ‘plain’ phase. And this cheese-dripping-over-every-inch-of-macaroni meal was as far from plain as you could get. We fed her that, and chips and vegies from Hubbie’s plate to satisfy her lunchtime requests.

No fault of the meal’s… it was all her tastebuds that decided for her. It was an especially cheesy meal, not for the faint-cheese-hearted.

When it was time to go, we left happy and satisfied. We had been venturing through Bridge Street, and next… to Zoodoo Zoo it was!

It ended up being a most wonderful day 🙂

Food: 8/10. It was hearty, tasty, presentation was great… it ticked many of our boxes for good old-fashioned fare.

Coffee: N/A. We can’t put all our food and coffee eggs in one basket can we? We like to try out as many places as we can when we’re someplace new, meaning food and coffee don’t tend to happen at the same place. That happened over at Sweets and Treats earlier! I hope to one day be back at the Arms, and then I will know.

Ambience: Quiet. Lunchtime in Richmond tends to be a calm affair, even with the fact that it is a destination… it may pick up on weekends?

Staff: Almost non-existent, other than to bring our food over. If you need them, you know where to find them… up at the bar.

People: Pensioners pensioners pensioners. You know there were a lot of older people wandering around the street, clearly tourist-minded, however considering what there is to see, do and appreciate, I am surprised there were not a lot of younger families? Perhaps we came during off-peak season, which come to think of it, is not a bad thing.

Price: $69.00. Is that it? For food and drinks? Crap I am moving to Tasmania now…

Advice: Go when you’re not yet overly hungry, so you don’t mind waiting that extra bit for that steaming plate of love that comes out of the kitchen some time later.

In a nutshell: A really authentic and memorable lunch experience. The food is not average or out of date in any respects, despite what the interior and exterior may look like. The surrounds are interesting and reflect the nature of the street and town as a whole, which make the whole experience that much more pure and relevant. In my mind, legs and ARMS, it’s the only place to go.

The Richmond Arms Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

‘What Does It Mean’ Monday #5 “Choking the Chicken”

Yep. You read right.

Today I am doing something a bit different. Sure I am going to be exploring the above phrase and its origins, but rather than basing my research on online google searches, I am going to say right now, what I am about to say can’t be found on google.

I AM GOOGLE TODAY PEOPLE. You won’t find this info anywhere.

I am going to bring forth a theory based on someone else’s fact, and so if you disagree with me, I’d love to hear it… but I think it’s pretty darn good.

Since I talk about origins, of course I can’t proceed without talking about what my Monday phrase first means. So, how do I put this…

‘Choking the chicken,’ diplomatically speaking, is the act of pleasuring oneself, intimately…

With the term specifically reserved to men. For good reason.

Think similar terms like “taking the dog for a walk,”

“spanking the monkey” and

“bashing the bishop.”

And if you still have NO IDEA what I am talking about, you clearly should not be on this blog.

Onwards for those that do.

With the phrase well and truly explained and the image clear in our minds (sorry!) I will now go onto the fascinating story of HOW I CAME TO FIND OUT ITS ORIGIN.

And guess what? Real chickens are involved.

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Photo by William Moreland on Unsplash

Some time ago we were visiting some family friends, who had backyard chickens at the time. Baby girl being the age she is, was fascinated with the chooks, and our friend caught some for her to pat.

As he held one, he was telling us about the chooks, and how he had to sometimes… choke them. Not choke as in strangle, but massage the area beneath the hen’s neck which is called the ‘crop,’ which if it became watery and squishy in nature, might mean the food they had eaten had not emptied fully, which could lead to an infection for the hen.

To keep this from happening – he laughed – he had to “choke the chicken.”

At first I stared in awe. I mean, the term kind of went over me, as I stared, watching him massage the neck of the hen, up and down, until something, slowly and quietly, spewed and dribbled out from the hen’s mouth.

Oh God. Then it hit me. 

CHOKE. THE. CHICKEN.

The official term used is ’emptying a chicken’s crop.” Look it up on youtube. Hell, I’ll give you the link that I watched. Go to 4:20. There you go, easy peasy pumpkin easy. And then watch as the chicken… well, you know.

I must advise, only those that know what they are doing should perform this manoeuvre. You can fatally harm a chicken if you don’t do this the right way. But as you can see in the video… OMG. Like it looks, the same! Oh God. I feel sick. Please don’t vomit guys, don’t vomit.

And there you have it. Choking the chicken. Bet you didn’t see that one coming.

Okay I will stop now.

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!

 

Decorating like a Rebel

Doughnuts. Read, dough-nuts.

And then some people say donuts. Do-nuts. I can be a grammer nazi all I like, but when it comes down to it, if someone is gonna give you an opportunity to decorate delicious doughnuts and then take them home for a very reasonable price, well they can call them DO-NUTS all they like.

Insert school holidays. Insert Rebel Donuts. These guys do these decorating classes each school holiday break, and for $9.50 which includes the online processing fee (at the time of this writing) you can book yourself in to decorate not one, but two doughnuts!

Ok… so I may have omitted something here, but…

It’s for your kidshhh. (Find one for the session if you don’t have one).

You (or your child) get to pick the filling – think nutella, caramel, cookies and cream, jam – and then the topping, which could be your doughnut dipped in white or milk melted chocolate, and then… you decorate to your hearts content!

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Think mini m&ms, sprinkles, chocolate licorice, hard candy and soft jellies… it’s a candy-lovers paradise!

These classes run most mornings during the week, and last for half an hour. Considering most doughnuts are about $4 and you are getting 2, customised to taste, and then further personalised by yours truly to pretty up… well it’s a pretty awesome deal.

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And then you go home. And you eat it. NOM NOM NOM NOM NOM.

You can find Rebel Donuts at 968A Nepean Highway Mornington

Find details of their school holiday classes via rebeldonuts.com.au

Now we just need an adult decorating doughnut class… waiting patiently here…

(And you can read more about Rebel from my first intro into their doughnut world – tee-hee – here) 😉

Baby girl says the darndest things #6

I have the most interesting conversations with baby girl, who is 6 going on 17.

She knows everything, and expects me to read her mind.

This from a while ago.

It is morning.

 

“Honey, why was your door open this morning? Did you open it?”

“Yes.”

“You opened it and then went back to sleep?”

“I had to go toilet.”

“Did you go?”

“No I was waiting for you.”

PAUSE. “Did you call me?”

Hands in air. “I was standing here waiting for you!” Indicates the door.

“Honey how can I help you when you don’t call me? I was sleeping.”

“Mama! You should have known!”

(Face palm).

“Ok, so did you go toilet then?”

“No.”

“Do you have to go now?”

“No.”

 

I give up. 🤯

 

‘What Does It Mean?’ Monday #1 “Hold Your Horses”

Have you ever wondered at the term “hold your horses?” I say it a lot, primarily to baby girl being the impatient 6 year-old that she is, and to our cat Mister F, well because… he can’t wait for anything and meows incessantly when he wants something.

It makes simple sense if you stop to think about it. In a historical sense, it refers to keeping your horses or carriage from moving and holding them still, and this is interpreted in our every day speech to mean:

to not get ahead of ourselves

to not rush

to be careful, and

to not celebrate too early.

“Hold your horses, we’re not there yet.”

“Hold your horses, you don’t know what is around the bend.”

“Hold your horses, you haven’t won the game.”

“Hold your horses, have another think about what you just said…”

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Photo by Daniil Vnoutchkov on Unsplash

First said as “hold your hosses,” it became our modern day interpretation in references like from the magazine Chatelaine in 1939, with –

“Hold your horses, dear.”

Is there a phrase or quote you want me to investigate?

Let me know, and I’ll give it a go!