Hello again, friends.
It is the season for greetings and what better thing to do than to spend this particular Friday making Christmas-themed rankings of things. I’m sorry fans of non-Christmas holidays, but as I am uncultured swine I’m simply not able to provide opinions that have any basis in reality.
…not that having no basis in reality seems to stop large swathes of the planet right enough. Onwards!
Christmas Card Tiers
There are many different ways to deal with the Christmas card issue. Some people don’t write any, some absolutely insist everyone they know even a little bit must get one, but most people are somewhere in the middle. What kind of card you get tells you some things.
Note: Stock Card refers to any card you find in a multi-pack, and has generic wintry stuff on it.
5: Stock Card With No Name Or Anything
This is a level of card barely above getting no card, and in some ways feels worse. At least if there’s no card, you might be thinking that they only give them to close family and friends or don’t *do* cards.
This is a card that is just says something like ‘Merry Christmas, from [name]’ inside, but isn’t actually addressed to anyone. It tells the person “Hey, it doesn’t matter to me who you are, I just feel obligated to hand you one”, or maybe even “I don’t actually know your name and I can’t be bothered to spend the effort finding out”.
4: Fancy-Looking Card, But Bare Minimum Inside
Normally people just get fancy cards for partners or parents. A big and/or glittery fancy Christmas card from an expensive shop tends to take pride of place on a desk or mantelpiece. With how nice it looks, you might think it would place higher.
However, with high expectations comes a harsh reality. You’re presumably close to them to get this fancy card, but they wrote something like “To Husband, From Wife” inside instead of some kind of touching personal wishes or a joke or feelings or any kind of effort.
It says, ‘I know I need to demonstrate to others that you are worth more than a stock card, but that’s all’.
3: Stock Card, Personalised
Okay, this is much better. If you get a card like this from someone you don’t know all that well, you’re more than happy. They put in the requisite amount of effort to refer to you by name, and maybe added in a little doodle or reference to an in-joke or something like that. An unexpected personal touch (when they didn’t need to do anything) is lovely.
2: A Card Suited For The Recipient, Personalised
Some people don’t want a big fancy card, or a serious elaborate card with angels, or any fuzzy bears. Some people want a joke card or one with penguins or cats or whatever it is they have actual feelings about.
Certainly doesn’t need to be expensive out of a gift shop, can easily be a stock card, just as long as you picked it out for the recipient in particular, and was personal on the inside too, for whatever they’d most appreciate. It’s nice to know that someone knows you.
1: A Home-made Card
Look, not everyone can do arts and crafts. But when someone makes anything specially for you that feels nice. That goes double for a Christmas card, since even though it may not be as nice as one of the Hallmark cards, the thought behind it is far more valuable.
Well, not more financially valuable; these card companies are probably making billions. You get me though.
Best Christmas Songs
These are naturally biased towards ones heard in UK and things that I associate with Winter and suchlike. Sorry Jose Feliciano, you just don’t do it for me.
5: I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard
Cheesy as heck and includes some annoying-child elements, however it’s so fun I can’t help but enjoy it when it does come on.
4: A Spaceman Came Travelling – Chris de Burgh
I like this interpretation of the nativity, basically a strictly better story than any other version.
Anyway, it is also extremely ridiculous what with the chorus and shouting about how the world is waiting, but also hopeful in a sense. Disturbingly catchy.
3: Mike Oldfield – In Dulci Jubilo
There are quite a few great Christmas instrumentals, but I think this is the best. It’s unfortunate that so many people have no idea what this song is actually called, so I’ve never heard people talk about it. Except to mistakenly called it by something else. What did you think it was called?
2: Stop the Calvary – Jona Lewie
I expect most people think about John Lennon’s hit when they think about anti-War Christmas songs, but I always loved this one.
Has the classic Christmassy feel with the brass instruments and bells, some heartfelt lyrics about getting back with your loved ones, and feels unique to me. Doesn’t have any annoying children either, and I like the guy’s accent. It seems to suit the song.
1: I Believe In Father Christmas – Greg Lake
I don’t think anything else comes close to this one. The short tale of disillusionment is so powerful and resonant even without that hauntingly powerful chorus and incredible instrumental work.
Worst Parts Of Christmas
5: Christmas Pudding
Isn’t it awful when suddenly, food places all over the place end up replacing their tasty cakes and other desserts with Christmas Pudding?
Okay, okay, they look the part, but why do we need to eat them?
I realise that taste is subjective, but every time a bunch of people are told ‘there’s going to be cake!’ and then presented with this travesty of a dessert disappointment reigns. There are definitely worse things to be eating, but these should stick to being ornamental.
4: Edible Ornaments
Wait, isn’t this the opposite of what I said? No, I’m not talking about pudding here, looking festive on cards and so on. I’m talking about the ones you hang on the Christmas Tree. I get the idea, you have some scattered bonus treats to find, but that’s not what happens in reality.
Either A: you just eat them as you put them up, defeating the purpose of even getting them while consuming mediocre and expensive chocolates. Or!
B: more likely you just completely forget about them and find them next year when you probably should not eat food that’s been sitting in some damp box for 12 months.
3: Christmas Songs
But you love Christmas Songs! I love them too! But spare a thought for people that work in retail. They start playing the songs (in some places) mid-November all the way until mid-January.
The same tracks, looped over and over, for 2 months a row. I feel like the Greek Gods devised this punishment for mortals somehow.
2: Mince Pies
The pies are lies! Mince pies should contain meat, like they do the rest of the year, not whatever miserable ingredients are actually inside them. I know they have a long and storied history and all that. I know not everywhere in the world ‘does’ meat pies as a food.
I don’t care. All I can think of is the taste of betrayal the times when a young, innocent Stephen Jr. excitedly tried them only to be tricked and left wanting.
Betrayal has a long, bitter aftertaste. And maybe some apricot.
1: “The War On Christmas”
No! Don’t give me this nonsense! Literally nothing is stopping anyone from enjoying Christmas however they want. It’s not happening, screw the people trying to get attention or lie to try and win political points. GTFO
As much as I try to avoid hearing about this stuff, every single year some of it creeps into my ears. Christmas is unsurprisingly doing just fine, probably bigger than ever.
Not nearly as ubiquitous as anything else on the list, but definitely a blow to human civilisation as a whole. Which is the opposite of what you want from a holiday season really.
Alright, that’s that. See you all next time, where I may be trying something a little different. Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year!