Christmas: The Time To Play My Playlist
Hands up if you love a good list. We do! Our hands are waving frantically! One of the things we most enjoy about Christmas is all the festive entertainment. Playing old Christmas records and listening to unique Christmas songs; watching funny Christmas movies and searching for our best Christmas novel – it’s all part of our favourite yuletide rituals.
Making lists is such a fun way to celebrate the festive season. You can use your lists to create a lasting memory of that year’s celebrations, or as a template to be repeated.
Here are our top tips for creating the ultimate Christmas lists – or how we like to do it anyway! Firstly we open up one of our luxury notebooks – we prefer an a5 notebook for this - then we will choose some washi tape and pick out a variety of colourful gelly roll pens, black microns pen and good quality pencils and get listing our all time favorite entertainment picks for this time of year.
Here is the planner of all planner ideas for the festive period.
Love them or hate them, festive tunes are inescapable at this time of year! We fall into the first camp…..because music definitely makes you feel happier and has been proven to boost emotions for the better, as well as improve memory and learning.
From fun Christmas carols and Christmas movie songs, to ten songs to dance Christmas night away and the best Christmas office music, before you can say “who sang that song”, we say, “Alexa, play my playlist!”
A good playlist tracker is a must for journaling fans, bullet journal afficiondos, or anyone looking for a reminder of the best karaoke songs, the finest rocknroll Christmas songs or some quiet Christmas music to savour.
If you’re into your journaling aesthetic, then we think both the playlist designs below, look good and would be fairly simple to replicate in either a dotted notebook or lined journals. Tombow brush pens would also be useful tools for this task.
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If you want to know what’s on our Christmas music playlist – it’s a mixture of Christmas songs and Christmas carols. In no particular order, this is what we will be listening to:
Last Christmas – WHAM
It might be a ballad about doomed romance, but this catchy tune has surely been on every Christmas playlist since it first came out in 1984!
All I want for Christmas is You – Mariah Carey
Although this didn’t cause much of stir on its original release in 1995, it is now firmly established as quite possibly the best festive tune of all time. How could we leave it off our list. In the immortal words of the fabulous Mariah Carey, I don’t want a lot for Christmas…..all I want is you!
White Christmas – Bing Crosby
This has all the nostalgia feels and oh that smooth, deep Bing Crosby croon. It’s a must for putting you in the festive mood.
Merry Christmas Everyone – Shakin Stevens
Ok, so we know this is cheesy, but we don’t care! We are unashamed fans of this UK Christmas no.1 from 1985.
Underneath the Tree – Kelly Clarkson
A modern, foot tapping, catchy pop tune that’s perfect for Christmas. We wonder if, in a few years, Kelly might topple Mariah for the artist with the most played Christmas song.
Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John Lennon
A protest song, written about American involvement in the Vietnam War. Its message seems particularly apt this year.
Santa Baby – Eartha Kitt
What a voice….and what a Christmas list! After all, what we want for Christmas is a yacht….and really, that’s not a lot!
Fairytale of New York – The Pogues
Possibly the least cheesy Christmas song written….we can see why The Independent newspaper refers to it as “a drunken hymn for people with broken dreams and abandoned hopes.” But that’s why we love it. Well, this and the perfect vocal pairing of Kirsty MacColl and Shane MacGowan.
Stop the Cavalry – Jona Lewie
Another Christmas favourite that was originally intended as a protest song, but thanks to the line “wish I was at home for Christmas” it became a surprise seasonal hit.
Hallelujah – Alexandra Burke
More upbeat than Leonard Cohen’s original classic, but still haunting. This is the song to play if you aren’t keen on jolly festive favourites.
Santa Tell Me – Ariana Grande
Catchy! We defy you not to get an ear worm listening to this!
Put a Little Love in Your Heart – Annie Lennox & Al Green
What a vocal combo. The Reverend Al and Annie Lennox team up to provide a duet masterclass in this Jackie DeShannon cover.
And let’s not forget the glory of well sung Christmas Carols. We could listen to them all day, so here’s a sample of what’s currently reverberating through our speakers:
Nobody sings it with quite such exquisite gusto as Kings College Choir – this is one to belt out on Christmas morning.
Sussex Carol - arr Vaughn Williams
The words to this carol are believed to have been written by an Irish Bishop, in the 17th Century. It got its name after Ralph Vaughan Williams set the words to music in the late 19th Century, after hearing it sung in Sussex.
Who doesn’t love singing the refrain as loudly as possible? Did you know this Carol features in the 1992 film ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’.
Latin words set to a melody thought to date back to the middle ages! Sung brilliantly here by The King’s Singers.
This carol features German and Latin text, and dates back to the Middle Ages. It’s inspired many composers down the ages, including the jaunty modern Mike Oldfield version.
With the UK currently blanketed in snow – a rarity – we couldn’t not enjoy listening to this, with its references to wintry life. Did you know that this carol is based on the life of Wenceslas, Duke of Bohemia, who was killed by his brother, Boleslaw the Bad. He is a patron saint of Czechia and his body lies in St Vitus’s Cathedral, Prague.
This carol can be traced all the way back to 16th-century England and its lyrics refer to the ‘Massacre of the Innocents’ by King Herod, who in an attempt to ensure the death of the baby Jesus, ordered the death of all male children under the age of two in Bethlehem.
And which, you might ask, is our number one Christmas song? It’s too hard to pick one!
OUR CHRISTMAS MOVIEGUIDE
I don’t want a lot for Christmas, all I want is to watch old Christmas movies, snuggled under a blanket and eating popcorn. It’s always fun making a list of Films to watch on terrestrial TV channels, like the BBC or streaming channels like Amazon Prime and Netflix.
With a few colouring pencils and black pens why not keep a record of what to watch, as well as your favourite flicks in your very own, definitive watch list. We love these cute designs below:
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Photo credit: Bulletjournaladdict.com
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Here is our movieguide featuring some of our all time favorite films to watch this Christmas:
Master movie maker, Frank Capra, brought Philip Van Doren Stern’s book to life. It is no surprise that when it comes to Christmas movies, this is considered the ultimate of all ages. It’s a festive must watch.
The modern re-telling of Dicken’s classic tale. Bill Murray as acerbic, selfish Frank, is the perfect – and entertaining – Scrooge figure.
We defy anyone not to laugh at Buddy the Elf’s antics as he re-unites with his father in NYC.
The antithesis to Elf and a reminder to children to be GOOD….or Saint Nicholas’s evil twin (Krampus) will come and get you!
Funny and touching – yes, that Emma Thompson scene always brings a tear to the eye – we were never going to omit this British classic from our festive film list!
We don’t want to give the ending away, but suffice to say…..make sure you have a few tissues nearby.
For those looking for a romantic Christmas movie, this old black and white classic, with the incomparable Cary Grant and David Niven, ticks every box.
For adults only! Billy Bob Thornton is outrageous as, frankly, the worst Santa around. Laugh out loud funny.
Fun for all the family. Kermit the frog and Miss Piggy head up the Cratchit clan, suffering under the cruel hand of Michael Caine’s Ebenezer Scrooge.
It’s official, the United States Government acknowledges Chris Kringle IS Santa Claus! This is a film that will bring out the kid in you.
Christmas books are as much a part of the season as films and music, so we got out some Sakura gelly roll pens and began to write down a few of our favourites.
The aesthetic journal ideas, shown below, offer some suggestions for creating a great book list. Adapt them to match your own style and produce a keepsake of what you’ve read and your best Christmas novel, for years to come.
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Here are the reads guaranteed to get you in the mood for seasonal festivities:
How The Grinch Stole Christmas!
This is a children’s story that resonates with adults too. Dr Seuss cleverly sneaks in a life lesson – that a good Christmas is spiritual, not material.
Quite possibly THE definitive Christmas feel-good story. Written in 1843 by Charles Dickens, it tells the tale of a bitter old miser, who is visited by three ghosts on Christmas Eve.
Silent Night: A Story of the WW1 Christmas Truce
The truth is often more life-affirming than fiction, as Stanley Weintraub’s analysis of the 1914 truce that broke out spontaneously in the trenches during World War 1, shows.
Raymond Brigg’s famous 1978 picture book is a joyous story of a boy and a snowman…..but SPOILER ALERT…..don’t forget the hankies!
The Doyenne of crime-writing, Agatha Christie does it again with this seasonal whodunnit. A family get together leads to a murder which Poirot must solve. Christmas is a time of family get togethers …..so this is a great book to read at this time of year!
The original Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, featuring Kai and Gerda, who unite to defeat evil. A classic children’s tale.
The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe
C.S.Lewis’s fantasy story is a perennial family favourite. With the help of a magical wardrobe, four children stumble into the land of Narnia, where the wicked White Witch holds sway over the talking animals who endure an ever-winter, without Christmas.
OTHER LIST IDEAS
It goes without saying that you can fill your a5 notebook with any Christmas list you like. Here are a few more notebook ideas to get you started:
- Best Christmas recipes
- Festive theatre trips
- Favourite Christmas decorations
- Pantos and exhibitions