Tuesday, June 25, 2019 Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 licence.


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This Christmas, buy your children glue. (Arguably W H Smiths)


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It has something for everyone, except perhaps Irving Berlin, who attempted to get Elvis's recording of "White Christmas" banned from radio play, deeming it "vulgar and disrespectful". And it was, which is part of the reason why the drastically rearranged tune is so memorable, as the then-young singer masticated the contemporary classic, adding his idiosyncratic dynamics and trills ( the so-called educated yodels of one's vocal chords); equally irreverent and just as riveting is the King's gritty take on Leiber and Stoller's "Santa Claus Is Back in Town", one of the most sexually suggestive holiday tunes ever, and his rollicking "Here Comes Santa Claus". And who can forget the song that changed the hue of Yuletide, "Blue Christmas", or his wistful, definitive version of "I'll Be Home for Christmas", which cemented his reputation as pop's top dreamboat. Along with Phil Spector's "Christmas Gift for You", this is arguably the finest Rock & Roll Christmas album of all-time, a seasonal yet essential recording belonging under any Christmas tree".

Elvis Presley

I have so much pride and love for the songs of The Smiths. However, I must ask you, if you come across any Smiths CDs, don't buy them, because all the money goes to that wretched drummer.


England was merry England, when
Old Christmas brought his sports again.
‘Twas Christmas broach’d the mightiest ale;
‘Twas Christmas told the merriest tale;
A Christmas gambol oft could cheer
The poor man’s heart through half the year.

Walter Scott

GQ: “Who’ll be the first of the Smiths to die?”
M: “Me. I’ll be shot – probably by one of the ex-Smiths.”


There are two Christmas traditions I've inherited from my mother. One is the feeling that Christmas isn't complete if you haven't got a ham as well as a turkey. It means that the leftovers are much better. And in a curious way, despite the fact that we're talking about Christmas and ham, it's a very Jewish thing to want to provide a huge spread. I always cook for eight, but make enough to feed 30...

Nigella Lawson
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