Every so often you come across a realisation that makes you stop and think, and it literally blows your mind.
You discover yourself in a whole other way.
I came across a blog post on Instagram recently, by author Sally Hepworth. She had been interviewed on a podcast and had happily shared her list of no’s… that is, things she says a firm NO to, time and time again.
Her list was so surprising, so long, so wide and varied, that she was asked to share it again… the short version, I believe. 😮
Here are some (emphasis on ‘some’) of the insane things on her list that she says NO to:
Entering the school grounds of her kids for ANY reason
2. Cooking dinner
3. Remembering birthdays
4. Entertaining at her home (apart from her close friends, and then it’s only takeout 😮😮)
5. Talking on the phone (unless it’s work or an emergency)
7. Playing with her kids – not like park outings or play dates, she means more like hide and seek or dolls 😬
8. Going to the supermarket
I KNOW! MIND BLOWN, right?
I was freaking out, because firstly she has 3 kids. And secondly, I do all of those things, sometimes daily!
It must be said here that Sally has a very supportive husband who pretty much does all the things she doesn’t as she goes about supporting the family with her day-job, i.e. writing.
Nonetheless, it was an enlightening and thought-provoking piece, and it left me with the ultimate question…
What is on my ‘no’ list?
I went to Hubbie the next day, a little upset. I actually felt like I didn’t have much of a ‘no’ list! Sally was so badass, sure of herself, laying down rules and foundations, etc etc.
And Hubbie said to me “that’s not a bad thing!”
Awww. Trust him to make me feel better.
He assured me that nothaving a big no list was not bad. It meant I was easy going and chilled about things, and that was great in itself, just as Sally is awesome for setting her boundaries!
We can all be awesome, and are awesome… just in different ways. 😁
So, I must ask, and I bet you’re already wondering, counting, pondering… what is on your definitive ‘no’ list? This is the list that you are very clear-cut about, no umms, maybes, sometimes yes, sometimes no.
This is dead set, NO.
Now that’s not to say that you aren’t allowed to ever change your no list. In fact I would be a little disappointed if you didn’t change at least some through the years. That’s life, and we are always changing and evolving, shifting as we enter different life stages and come across new realisations.
Do you wanna know what’s on my list? (But you have to promise to share some of yours!)
Here’s my very small ‘no’ list, and I’ve been sitting on it for weeks now so I know it won’t get much longer, despite my hardest to be super badass 🤣
Ironing. It is overrated, time wasting, and I hate it. I admit, if I have to do it (pre-fancy occasion), I begrudgingly pull out the iron… but I curse the whole time, and still think it’s shit when I’m done.
Super high heels. Like, why would I want to risk killing myself, and buckling my toes in the process? And walking like a baby horse that’s just stood up for the first time?
The cold, and cold activities. The snow can wait for me, like all my life.
Sucking up to people. I physically can’t do it. I recoil. If you think you need to suck up to someone, news flash, you don’t, you just need them out of your life.
Coke. Never. Ever. I found my kindred spirit without meeting them in my uni days, when scrawled along the outside of a building I saw the graffitied words “coke is great toilet cleaner.” Now when I ask baby girl what coke is good for, she says happily “cleaning toilets.” Case closed.
Any messy activities baby girl engages in, like play doh, glitter, glue, paint… must have newspaper underneath, and must be supervised! (Not so much a ‘no’, as a ‘no buts’). I’ve even been known to set her up outside on sunny days, on the grass, just so I have less mess to deal with.
That’s it. That’s my minuscule list, but I guess looking over it I’m a little badass about it. 🤣 It’s really easy to go the easy route and start listing food and drinks you don’t eat, but that’s cheating a bit, and unless it’s something truly shocking, I don’t think it counts as one to put on the ‘no’ list.
From now, until forever more, we will have the phrases –
“A new normal.”
“Flattening the curve.”
It’s unprecedented. We’ve never been through anything like this before, or at least no one has for a century. As we try to adjust to a new way of living, breathing and being, I thought it might be a good idea to re-jig a list I wrote last year, and make it all ‘corona friendly.’
A lot of my earlier points I’ve re-posted here again because they still apply… but mostly I just wanted to put together a little how-to of ways to help you get by in this uncertain time, if not just for all of you… but for myself as well.
I might do gratitude in myother blog, but trust me, I need reminders too.
Because appreciation of life amidst difficulty is a continuous work in progress.
Please feel free to add things that make you smile, or help you simply get by, in the comments below. Some of us will be taking things harder, some a bit easier, but it’s important to remember we are all going through this in one way or another, and also to remember, the bigger picture.
If all you are doing is surviving, you’re doing great.Well done.
But if you need a little something else to keep your mind busy and have you looking forward, then read on…
Drink a caffeinated beverage.
Coffee, black tea, green tea… or just jump to the ‘other’ stuff.
It’s 4pm somewhere in the world, right?
(Alcohol abuse is not condoned here… because if you can’t party with it you’re doing something wrong!)
Put on some loud music.
Queen’s 1985 Live Aid performance is strongly recommended (going by my own personal pick-me-up experiences with that song) but really, anything that will get the blood pumping, your fingers tapping, and your feet dancing along.
Music is sweet, and so necessary for the soul.
Look in the mirror and laugh at yourself.
Even if you force a laugh, you will end up doubling over with real laughter over how stupid you look when you’re fake laughing.
Or else, smile really hard. Try not to burst out laughing. No really, TRY.
Was that pimple always there?
I never noticed those lines.
I really need a brow pluck.
All valid thoughts that may arise, but trust me it’s a very awareness-producing exercise. Hell at the very least, you will suddenly know yourself more intimately than you did before.
Go through old photos.
This is bound to make you feel better instantly. What a mind-trip this can be, going back to years and years ago. Go to your memory bank of choice… physical photo album or digital device.
And if you find you don’t have a collection of properly stored photos, well that may just be a nice little project you can do… being productive, clearing and sorting memories from your life, while filling up the current space with pictures of yourself and loved ones.
Take 3 slow breaths.
Do it now. Can you feel that? Your heartbeat slowing?
And if you think having littlies makes it impossible to do yoga, think again. There’s a tribe called Cosmic Kids Yoga, and they have hundreds of themed yoga videos for kids, ranging from popular movies like Frozen and Spiderman, all the way to movement based off the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
More info at thislink here, or find them on YouTube.
Write it out.
Having spent my whole life writing it out, I can tell you the therapeutic benefits of getting things out on paper are enormous. You don’t have to be Shakespeare… sure many are sprucing their motivations of starting the next great novel, but all you need to do is BLAH it out.
Just set yourself a timer, and write for 5 minutes straight. No breaks. No stopping. Whatever comes into your head, get it out in front of you.
You will be amazed at some of the crap random shitty unusual scary enlightening thoughts that suddenly purge themselves from you.
If you want, burn it at the end. Or keep it as a little time capsule of your own experience of surviving this corona experience.
Yes you heard me. SURVIVING.
Go for a walk.
Or a bike ride. This is about the only one we can do now. This one is so free, and so easy. We may be limited in our social movements, but the fact that we can connect with nature so freely, so easily, just by putting on some sneakers and throwing on a jacket… just do it.
This will save us all.
Look out the window.
Dream. Just imagine… stuff. Ideas. Wishes. Hopes.
Make a post-corona list.
While you’re dreaming, make yourself one of these. Me and baby girl have started one of these lists verbally, and often we refer to it when we’re struggling in the day to day.
Write, or just plan all the things you want to do when this isolation is over.
Watch how excited you get!
Some on my list for example…
Have coffee in a café.
Walk on the beach.
Give my parents and sister a big hug.
Have a massive shopping day.
Invite everyone to our post-corona party. !!!!!!!!!!
I know we’re not there yet, but thinking about it gives me so much hope.
Sit in your yard.
Sit under a tree. Or on your balcony. Lounge about on the porch.
If you’re limited for space, just open the window when you’re dreaming on the point above.
Take a nap.
If time allows you (and let’s face it, certain family members too) there is no time like the present to get some extra shut eye.
Because when the world starts up again, you ain’t gonna wanna sleep much.
I shouldn’t really need to say this, but sadly so many of us forget the bare basics to keep our bodies functioning at optimal level, and this happens more often than not when we are stressed, or going through sudden change.
Get a funky water bottle (order online through your favourite shopping site) and at least you’ll be motivated to bring bottle to lips throughout the day with something looking so cool.
Read a book.
Oh yes. Hell yes. Do it. Read them ALL. No explanation needed here.
We don’t need any excuses to escape to a magical place away from our current realities.
Take a bath.
Hell to the yeah! Baths are sooo not just for kids. Once you hit adult-age, they become a necessity, to help replenish, restore and reenergise.
All you need to do is turn on the faucet, maybe light a candle, and if you’re feeling for it, pour yourself a glass of wine too…
And lock the damn door. You need YOU time.
Ideas to keep us sane.
Do some online shopping.
There is no time like the present to buy things online, in turn supporting some local and small businesses while you’re doing so. And the rush you get from clicking “add to cart…” ooh. Gets me all heady. 😉
This is so easy. Whether it’s an old tv show, a long-time favourite movie, or some comedian on youtube. There’s nothing like a feel-good watch to lift the mood.
I love watching comedians online… one of my faves, the hilariously ethnic and blatantly honest, Sooshi Mango.
HA HA HA!
Talk to someone.
With technology so prevalent in our society, this one is so easy for us all. Call, zoom, even drive by someone’s house and yell across the yard to them (on your way to ‘essential’ shopping of course)… and just hearing someone else’s voice, will be an instant mood lifter.
(Keeping 1.5 metres distance of course 😉 )
Pat a pet.
That’s my furry Mister F. 😉
This is easy if you have one, but if you don’t?
You can virtually add an animal into your house. Just type one into Google, (eg. lion) and when the animal shows up click on the ‘View in 3D’ button.
Then click ‘View in your space.’
Find the ‘ground/floor’ in your phone and arrange accordingly…
And voila! Animal appears in your room! (As close as you might get to patting a real lion too!)
Sure you won’t be patting anything, but you sure as hell will be entertained seeing a zoo of animals pop up through your phone, in your kitchen!
Engage your mind with puzzles and games.
I bet no one thought jigsaw puzzles were going to rock in our technologically advanced 2020, and yet hear we are, chasing down 1000 pieces online and spending big bucks on the last Disney ones we can source…
Whether it’s a puzzle, a sudoku riddle, a crossword, or anything else that gets your mind ticking, it’s going to keep you engaged and thinking, and that is something we should never stop doing, isolation or not.
Or colour in. If you have those mindfulness pictures, great, if you don’t, print any old diagram off the net.
Doing something you haven’t done for so long, is great for the mind and soul.
And if all that doesn’t tickle your fancy… how’s about going back to your childhood?
Boardgames. Jenga, jenga, jenga…!
You don’t even need to go to Bunnings for supplies.
Start in your yard. Observe. Pick. Weed. Look around and respond accordingly.
Listen to nature, she’ll point you in the right direction.
Get the creative juices pumping. Start a new project. The options are ENDLESS.
Write a novel.
There are online courses just waiting for you, and I should know. A great starting point is the Australian Writers Centre.
As I mentioned earlier you can organise your photos during this time of iso, and there is no more creative way to do that than by scrapbooking. You can order items online from Kaisercraft or Riot, both places I have used in my own scrapbooking, and where I have accounts with both. (P.S. it’s free!)
This is a great one. I’ve recently started following Jamie Oliver and Marion Grasby on facebook… Chinese egg drop soup anyone? 3 minute tomato pasta sauce? All these and more I will be making soon!
Leah Itsines is another local gal I follow, and her meals are easy, delicious and so easy to source ingredients for (as well as being great for meal prepping – winning!)
Type in their names on facebook, insta or YouTube to start getting food inspiration ASAP.
Start an exercise routine.
You don’t have to tell me you can’t hit the gym. ‘Cause you know what I’m gonna say.
Go online peeps.
Sam Wood and Rachael Finch are just two of the people I follow on insta, and there you can find video links as well as where to sign up to become members and receive further workout benefits.
It’s never been an easier time to be in isolation. We can do this, while still doing almost everything else that we want to from the comfort of our homes.
Uneven door? Need to fix a handle?
Having a house that you tended to yourself, will be the most satisfying thing once all of this is over.
And then you’ll be able to call your friends over for post–corona drinks, and to observe your fancy house handy work too. 😉
Purge purge purge.
If you think clearing things from your life is not a creative pursuit, think again.
The intense therapeutic benefits that come from removing old, useless, redundant items from your life, and bringing in room for new, or just giving you air to breathe, well –
It can bring a new lease on life.
Start small, always start small. A drawer, a stash of papers. Don’t think of the big picture here. When it comes to cleaning, clearing or tidying, it’s best to always zoom in on a small task that you can achieve, because looking at the entire wardrobe that needs clearing and sorting, well you’re gonna be putting that task off for months, if not years to come.
But start with the right corner of that top shelf? That is do-able. That you might be able to knock off in 15-30 minutes.
And then when you get that down, watch how motivated you are to clear the left hand side of the top shelf.
And so on and so forth.
Then, just reap the mental benefits of all that SPACE.
Learn a new/old instrument.
Alright, buying an instrument at this time might be a little tough, but if there’s one laying around your house (most people have one they’ve deserted at some point) a really inexpensive way to tinker with the thing is to look up YouTube videos. Yes, YouTube! (I may need to rename this post The YouTube guide to getting through iso…)
A world of possibilities!
Make a jumper or a scarf, a beanie even, for that first day in Winter (that’s most likely for us in Australia isn’t it?) where we’ll be allowed out of our homes to go do WHATEVER, WHEREVER we choose.
Pick a bright colour. Look up some knitting templates online. Here I found some for you.
Finally, remember to keep things in perspective.At our core we are made up of atoms. Energy, air, and yet in human form all we see is hard matter. Think of all those who have come before us. Think of the future generations who will follow. Imagine the Universe. Imagine God. Just imagine Mother Nature if that is what you please.
And then see yourself as this tiny little invisible dot on the world map that is living an existence in amongst all of the shared past, present and future histories of anyone who has ever passed a breath.
Sure, you matter.We all do. But how much do your problems hold weight? All the little trivialities of our life, what has become of our day-to-day… it is hard. But how much will it matter tomorrow, next week, next year, or in 20 years?
If it still holds you down, speak to a professional. (This you can do online too).
But if your problems suddenly seem pointless and irrelevant…
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…
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.”
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.
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).
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? 💝
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.
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…
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? 🤔
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.”