Category Archives: Special Occasions

History of the Christmas Charts

The official charts began in 1952, but the contest for having the Christmas number one began in 1973 when Slade and Wizzard both released festive songs, which Slade won with Merry Xmas Everybody and Wizzard’s, I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday reaching number four in the charts.

Between 2002 and 2014, the top spot at Christmas was dominated by reality singing competitions: Popstars: The Rivals and The X Factor. This trend was interrupted in 2009 by a Facebook campaign to prevent Joe McElderry, X Factor winner, from reaching number one, where people were urged to download Killing In The Name by Rage Against The Machine.

More recently, non-traditional acts releasing novelty songs have been successful, most notably YouTubers LadBaby, who raised money for the Trussell Trust.

The Beatles are the only group to have had four number ones, Paul McCartney has been at the top of the charts eight times with various acts. Cliff Richard has spent four Christmases at number one; two as a solo act, one with The Shadows and one as part of Band Aid II. The Spice Girls have had three consecutive number one, with Melanie C having a fourth with The Justice Collective. YouTubers Ladbaby have had three consecutive number ones.

Bohemium Rhapsody has reached the top twice at Christmas and Mary’s Boy Child the only song to have reached number one by two different artists. Do They Know It’s Christmas has been Christmas number one for three generations of Band Aid.

1952Al MartinoHere In My Heart
1953Frankie LaineAnswer Me
1954Winifred AtwellLet’s Have Another Party
1955Dickie ValentineChristmas Alphabet
1956Johnnie RayJust Walkin’ In The Rain
1957Harry BelafonteMary’s Boy Child
1958Conway TwittyIt’s Only Make Believe
1959Emile Ford & The CheckmatesWhat Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For
1960Cliff Richard & The ShadowsI Love You
1961Danny WilliamsMoon River
1962Elvis PresleyReturn To Sender
1963The BeatlesI Want To Hold Your Hand
1964The BeatlesI Feel Fine
1965The Beatles Day Tripper / We Can Work It Out
1966Tom JonesThe Green Grass Of Home
1967The BeatlesHello Goodbye
1968ScaffoldLily The Pink
1969Rolf HarrisTwo Little Boys
1970Dave EdmundsI Hear You Knockin’
1971Benny HillErnie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)
1972Little Jimmy OsmondLong Haired Lover From Liverpool
1973SladeMerry Xmas Everybody
1974MudLonely This Christmas
1975QueenBohemian Rhapsody
1976Johnny MathisWhen A Child Is Born
1977WingsMull Of Kintyre / Girls’ School
1978Boney MMary’s Boy Child – Oh My Lord
1979Pink FloydAnother Brick In The Wall
1980St Winifred’s School ChoirThere’s No One Quite Like Grandma
1981The Human LeagueDon’t You Want Me
1982Renee & RenatoSave Your Love
1983The Flying PicketsOnly You
1984Band AidDo They Know It’s Christmas?
1985Shakin’ StevensMerry Christmas Everyone
1986Jackie WilsonReet Petite
1987The Pet Shop BoysAlways On My Mind
1988Cliff Richard Mistletoe & Wine
1989Band Aid IIDo They Know It’s Christmas?
1990Cliff RichardSaviours’ Day
1991QueenBohemian Rhapsody / These Are The Days Of Our Lives
1992Whitney HoustonI Will Always Love You
1993Mr BlobbyMr Blobby
1994East 17Stay Another Day
1995Michael JacksonEarth Song
1996Spice Girls2 Become 1
1997Spice Girls Too Much
1998Spice GirlsGoodbye
1999Westlife I Have A Dream / Seasons In The Sun
2000Bob The BuilderCan We Fix It?
2001Robbie Williams & Nicole KidmanSomethin’ Stupid
2002Girls AloudSound Of The Underground
2003Michael Andrews featuring Gary JulesMad World
2004Band Aid 20Do They Know It’s Christmas?
2005Shayne Ward That’s My Goal
2006Leona LewisA Moment Like This
2007Leon JacksonWhen You Believe
2008Alexandra BurkeHallelujah
2009Rage Against The Machine Killing In The Name
2010Matt CardleWhen We Collide
2011Military Wives with Gareth MaloneWherever You Are
2012The Justice Collective He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother
2013Sam BaileySkyscraper
2014Ben HaenowSomething I Need
2015The Lewisham & Greenwich NHS ChoirA Bridge Over You
2016Clean BanditRockabye
2017Ed SheeranPerfect
2018LadbabyWe Built This City
2019LadbabyI Love Sausage Rolls
2020LadbabyDon’t Stop Me Eatin’

My Top Five Christmas Pop Songs

It’s nearly time for those Christmas songs to be hitting the airwaves, or for the supermarkets to pipe them into the shop when you’re desperately searching for that packet of bread sauce. Christmas songs are their own breed, some stick around for years and years, some are hits just for that year and then fade away not be heard of again.

There are some Christmas songs which I groan when I hear them, or when I ask, “Alexa, play some Christmas songs,” and these end up on her playlist. Personally, the song that I don’t like hearing at Christmas is Do They Know It’s Christmas, controversial I know, but I think it’s because when it was released that’s all I heard and now I’m a bit fed up with it.

Anyway, so now you know my least favourite Christmas track, here’s a list of my top five.

Number Five: Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie

This record peaked in the British charts at number three in December, 1980, it was kept from number one by two re-issued John Lennon songs, who had been murdered on 8 December. Jona Lewie states that this was never meant to be a Christmas song, it was in fact a protest song, but the line, “Wish I was at home for Christmas,” and the brass band accompaniment made it sound like a song to be played around Christmas time.

Why do I like this song?

I love the tempo of this song and can’t resist joining in with the Dub-a-dub-a-dum-dums whenever I hear this song.

Number Four: Step Into Christmas – Elton John

Written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin, it was released as a stand-alone single with the aptly titled B side: Ho Ho Ho (Who’d Be A Turkey At Christmas?). It was the ninth most played Christmas song of the noughties in the UK and its highest chart position was number 8 in 2019 and 2020. The video had a cameo appearance of Taupin, and showed Elton John holding a Watford F.C. supporter’s card, he later went on to own the club.

Why do I like this song?

It’s a lively song and one which I can’t help singing along to.

Number Three: I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard
Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday was released in 1973 and was beaten to the number one spot by, yes, you’ve guessed it, Merry Christmas Everybody. Both records have entered the charts almost every year since their release and have each been covered by numerous artists including Robbie Williams, Oasis, Spice Girls, Kylie Minogue and Girls Aloud. There was no promotional video for Merry Xmas Everyone, with Slade preferring to promote the song on Christmas television programmes.

Why do I like these songs?

Who could not like these songs? I grew up listening to these songs during the festive period and what Christmas party isn’t complete without a drunken dance to these classics?

Number Two: All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

The best selling Christmas song by a female artist, reportedly earning $60 million in royalties. It was number one in most countries, although it didn’t reach the top of the charts in the UK until 2020. The song also featured on the British film Love Actually. The clip below is from the film sung by Olivia Olson.

Why Do I Like This Song?

This is the song that when you sing it, you realise that you can’t sing, but you still give it a good go. It doesn’t lose its freshness and vibrancy.

Number One: Last Christmas – Wham!

Last Christmas was released in December, 1984 and was prevented from reaching number one by Band Aid’s, Do They Know It’s Christmas! Which ironically brings me back to the song I like least to hear at Christmas! This song spent five weeks at number two, but eventually reached number one in 2021, making it the longest journey to number one since Tony Christie’s (Is This The Way To) Amarillo.

Why do I like this song?

George’s vocals, the great video, it’s Christmas all wrapped up. When I hear this song, I am totally filled with Christmas spirit!

Honourable mentions:

Yes, I know I said it was one of my least favourite Christmas songs, but it was the fastest selling single in UK history and it did raise a lot of money for famine relief, so here it is, Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid.

Christmas Preparations

When the firework has let off its last bang and whizz,
It's time to stock up on some wine and Bucks Fizz,
It's getting close to that special time of year,
To raise a glass of cider or perhaps a beer,
And celebrate with lots of good cheer. 

It's time to go shopping and buy all of the toys,
For all of the girls and all of the boys,
A cardigan for grandma, and granddad some socks,
For grandchildren cars and horses that rock,
All wrapped up in a special Christmas box.

Then there's shopping for our Christmas dinner,
Fingers crossed, this one's a winner,
Some hate parsnips, some don't like sprouts,
I can't see what the fuss is about,
It'll all get eaten, I have no doubt.

We have to decide, give the tree some thought,
Do we buy real, or something shop bought?
To get the decorations I have to reach in,
They're in the loft and kept in a bin,
Oh my Lord, I could do with a gin!

We go to the theatre to see a pantomime,
I'm sure we will all have a really good time,
We boo at the baddie and cheer the good guys,
The Prince is the hero and slaps his thighs,
After the final song, it's time for goodbyes.

It's Christmas day and time for our dinner,
I can confirm, this one IS a winner,
Sitting around the table is my family,
Laughing and joking, it's such a joy to see,
It's all been worth it, there's nowhere I'd rather be. 

Unusual Christmas Presents

It is the season to be jolly,
Time to spend cash and lots of lolly,
Here's a few gifts big and small,
For the person who has it all. 

Toilet Seat Scale

The toilet seat scale that tells you how much weight is lost after you take a dump!!   Not available in the shops yet but I’m sure it will be before Christmas.


Gentleman’s Ball Scratcher

This is from MenKind and costs £13. Described as for the man who has everything, in the shape of a delicate female hand for those hard to reach places. Useful information is that it is dishwasher safe and has a stain resistant surface….


USB Toast Hand-Warmers

Available to buy from Keeto– cost approximately £14.    Keep your hands toasty and warm at your desk with a pair of hand warmers. Especially handy for when you are typing outside??


7 foot long Gummy Snake

The Party Python weighs nearly 27 pounds, over 36,000 calories and is very, very long. It’s available in two flavour combinations: red cherry – blue raspberry and raspberry – green apple and it is gluten free!   You can order this from VAT 19 online shop and costs around £140.


Chocolate Brussel Sprouts

Everyone will eat these Brussel sprouts – they cost £2.99 from Amazon – reminds me of that joke …. What’s the difference between a Brussels sprout and a bogey? Children will eat a bogey. Thank you!!

I hope this may have helped a bit,
To find that someone their special gift,
Now you can relax and unwind,
And have a lovely Christmas time. 

FATHER’S DAY : TV and Film Dads

With Father’s Day fast approaching, I thought I would take a gander through some of the most popular dads from the gogglebox…

Clark Griswold : National Lampoon

I am probably a tiny bit biased here, as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is my favourite Christmas film, but Clark is all about the family. He strives to create the perfect Christmas or the perfect vacation and usually falls below the expectation that he sets himself.

He is the patriarch of the family, can be a bit of a flirt and does get himself into difficult situations, but he loves his wife and family and will do anything for them!

Ned Stark : Game Of Thrones

Ned taught his children the traits and honour and duty, he wanted his children to grow up with high values and morals. He sacrificed his own honour to protect Jon Snow, by claiming he was his illegitimate son to ensure his protection, when in fact, Jon was his nephew.

Ned’s death provoked a brutal reaction from his family because he was well loved by them all.

Philip Banks : The Fresh Prince of Bel Air

Uncle Phil, as he was known to Will Smith’s character, had two daughters and a son already, before he agreed to let Will stay with them. He was always there for each of the children and was always ready to give them some good advice.

He sometimes appeared strict and blunt, but he was also level headed, kind-hearted, knowledgeable and caring, what else could you want in a father?

Marlin : Finding Nemo

Marlin is an overprotective, paranoid and neurotic dad, but that’s not surprising as his wife, Coral and all but one of his children die in a barracuda attack. His one remaining child is Nemo. But when Nemo is kidnapped by humans, Marlin goes on a journey to rescue him, proving that he loves his son more than anything and anyone in the world and he displays strength and courage in his quest to rescue his son.

He realizes during his journey that he should let Nemo grow up and get out in the world, otherwise he will never live his life to the fullest.

Mrs Doubtfire

This father demonstrates the lengths he will go to for his children and this includes dressing up as a Scottish nanny! The film addresses issues such as divorce, separation and the effects this has on the family.

Bryan Mills : Taken

Bryan is a retired CIA operative, he quit his job as he wanted to spend more time with his daughter, Kim. His fatherly duties are stretched to the limit when his daughter is kidnapped by a human trafficking ring and he is quickly en route to rescue his daughter and her friend.

This film has the famous quote, which highlights his determination to get his daughter back to him:

"I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want ... I have a very particular set of skills, skills I have acquired over a very long career, skills that make me a night mare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you. But if you don't, I will look for you. I will find you. And I will kill you." 

Now, that’s fatherly advice…

Fathers everywhere…

I was lucky enough to have two fathers, but unlucky enough to have lost them both… they both served their country, they both looked after my mum and they both enriched my life in different ways.

So here’s a shout out to all you fathers out there; those who will be celebrating their first Father’s Day, those that have seen it all before, those that can’t be with their children on this day and those that will receive some bottles of beer or socks….

New Year Resolutions – Why did it start?

As a very different 2021 draws to a close, it has had its ups and downs, but we can only hope for a better 2022.  So, as we prepare to welcome 2022 and think about New Year’s Resolutions, I asked myself, “Where did the tradition of New Year’s Resolutions begin?”

The traditions of making New Year’s resolutions goes back over 4000 years to the ancient Babylonian festival of Akitu.  During this festival, they would plant crops, make promises to their gods and pay back their debts. The Babylonians believed that if they kept their promises to the gods, they would stay on the god’s good side and if not, they would not be in favour.


In 153 BC, the Roman Senate declared that January 1st would herald the start of the new year, January being named after their God, Janus, who had two faces, so he could look forwards and backwards at the same time, which symbolised looking back at the year and to the year ahead.

Julius Caesar made it official that the Romans would have to make promises to Janus about their behaviour for the next year.

During the Middle Ages, knights would renew their vows to chivalry and place thier hand on a live or roasted peacock, this was called, “The Peacock Vow.” A resolultion to uphold the values of knighthood.

The first recorded use of the phrase, “New Year’s Resolution,” appeared in a Boston newspaper in 1813.


Nowadays, New Year’s Resolutions are often health-driven following the excess drinking and eating of the Christmas period. The most popular being:

To lose weight
To exercise more
To eat more healthily
To quit smoking
To learn a new language/musical instrument
To volunteer with a charity

While over a third of the population make these resolutions every year, only 8% follow them through.

I expect that everyone’s expectation of 2021 is high and I have two major events I am looking forward to this year, one is the birth of my first granddaughter in February and the second is the publication of my first children’s book!  What are you looking forward to in 2021?

I’ll leave you with my favourite group, Abba’s aptly titled song, “Happy New Year,” and I would like to wish everyone who has read my blurbs and followed me on the various social media sites, a very Happy New Year!!

Top Five Comedy Christmas Films

It’s about this time of year that I start to watch the Christmas films that are being shown on channels such as Christmas 24, True Christmas and Hallmark.  There is something comforting about the format of these films: girl has to come back to home town, boy is there whom she doesn’t get on with, some kind of parade, cookie competition or nativity play has to be organised by Christmas Eve, couple get thrown together and fight against each other, after a few obstacles couple find out that they really love each other and get engaged on Christmas Eve!

This has made me think about my top five comedy Christmas films and I came up with the list below, I don’t expect everyone to agree with me, but these are my go to Christmas comedy movies for when the decorations are up, Christmas tree lights twinkling, with a cup of hot chocolate and a tin of Quality Street.

Firstly, number five is Elf, 2003 film starring Will Ferrell and James Caan.

elfDid you know?  Jim Carrey was originally asked to portray Buddy, but he turned down the role.

Film summary:  Buddy, is a regular-sized man who was raised as an elf by Santa Claus. When Buddy is told that he’s not a real elf, he decides to head back to his place of birth, New York City in search of his biological family.

Favourite part: When Buddy sees that Father Christmas at Gimbels is not real, stating, “You sit on a throne of lies.”

At number four is The Muppet Christmas Carol, 1992 film starring Michael Caine and of course, the cast of the Muppets.

muppetsDid you know?  This film was dedicated to the memory of Muppet’s creator, Jim Henson who died during pre-production.

Film summary: A retelling of the classic Dickens tale of Ebenezer Scrooge, miser extraordinaire. He is hld accountable for his dastardly ways during the night-time visits by the Ghosts of Christmas Past Present and Future.

Favourite part: When the two rats are lighting up the lampposts and one is accidentally set on fire, “Light the Lamp, not the Rat!”

Number three is Christmas With The Kranks, 2004 film starring Tim Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis.

kranksDid you know? This was based on the book, Skipping Christmas, written by John Grisham who is usually known for writing thrillers like The Pelican Brief, The Firm and The Client.

Film summary: With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.

Favourite part: Luther has some botox and then meets Nora for lunch, but he can’t eat anything as his face won’t move and he tries different techniques, nearly choking himself in the process.

Number two is Jingle All The Way, 1996 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sinbad.

jingleDid you know? The Parade took three weeks to film with 1,500 extras being used and three custom built floats.

Film summary: A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas. However, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.

Favourite part: When Howard is in the warehouse and ends up fighting with the Santas, plenty of slapstick fighting which is very funny.

My number one film is National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, 1989 film starring Chevy Chase and Beverley D’Angelo.

national-lampoonDid you know? This film originated from a short story by writer John Hughes called Christmas ’59 and was published in the December 1980 issue of National Lampoon magazine.

Film summary: It’s Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark’s continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.

Favourite part: All of it!

So there you go, I hope you enjoyed my list of five favourite Christmas comedy films – have I missed yours, if so, let me know which it is by commenting below.