Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year apparently but that is a massive generalisation. As much as I love Quality Street and an endless flow of mulled wine, it must be admitted that Christmas is also bloody stressful. From that initial decision of where to go/who to spend it with this year, right through to buying presents for people who say they ‘don’t want anything’ but will likely stop speaking to you if all you hand over on the 25th is a satsuma; right through to that cabin fever that sets in when on the Christmas evening you are still holed up with your family, who are working their way through the Christmas specials.
I am not trying to write bar humbug stuff because I love Christmas and all the sparkly naffness that it brings. It is a time to appreciate people and indulge in sentimentality. But even when you’re knee deep in eggnog and singing Wham on the karaoke, it is fair to say that Christmas isn’t all merriment. So, as we enter into the season of goodwill, here is a playlist to help ensure that your will to go on into new year isn’t eroded away. Here are some top releases of 2016 that will help you through a few days of heartburn and backhanded compliments.
That long trip home…
Did you leave booking your tickets too late or are you just poorere than you dare to admit to your expectant family/friends. Staying put at Christmas and avoiding all the stress of festive travel is a brilliant option but if you’ve found yourself having booked a ticket then you are going to need some music to drown out all the screaming children and family arguments taking place on your plane, train or even coach (godspeed you, you poor sadist you). Driving Home for Christmas is the musical version of how you wish it would be when you paid a fortune to travel thirty minutes on British rail, but the truth is a lot bleaker. Festive transportationrequires something much more tarnsportataive so may I suggest some Saharan Psyche music courtesy of the great Nora Mint Seymalli.
If the Christmas drunks get rowdier and stress gets turbo boosted then hit this up.
Last minute Christmas shopping…
Even after all these years doing Christmas, you’ve still failed to grasp how time perpetually moves forwards and weirdly speeds up in December. So, now you’ve left buying those pressies to the very last minute and you are going to have to venture out on Christmas eve and stare at all those empty, empty shelves with all the other losers. Don’t despair, use music to motivate you through the sad and desperate crowds filling up the aisles of M&S like a zombie apocalypse. You twill need motivation and inspiration by the bucketload; the type only ever seen in an 80’s getting shit done movie montages, so here’s some suggestions for the soundtrack.
2845’s carefully considered electronica will help you keep your head…
There is nothing quite as motivating as a good Justice album. The new one is very good indeed. Do it!
Being in your hometown and family home has left you feeling and behaving like the gloom filled emo teen you were in the early noughties. You may feel inclined to go around screaming ‘I’m not ok’ and start applying several layers of eyeliner but may I suggest that you indulge in some bands with american sports themed names instead.
It is hard to escape this and, tbh, why would you. This is a highlight. In your head you are singing an Buckley-esque rendition of Hallelujah in tribute to the late great Cohen but unless you really do have Beyonce sized lungs then maybe set the bar a bit lower. You may have the tunefulness of the family dog and hit high notes like an Ewok but this really is a time to shine and forget about all those so you do what exactly, your figure shows your comfortable and where are the baby comments. You are a star. A Christmas star and that’s not just all the sherry talking. Make it known and give everyone a blast of Pineapple Pen. Add in some moves and confuse them into thinking you got talent.
Here’s a version, if your thinking about adding your own touch.
If you have some mad skills then you could always bang out a bit of Skepta. The fam will love it.
If tempers start getting frayed over a game of Trivial Pursuit then it is time to reset the mood. Everybody is coming down from trifle overdoses and ignoring the Queen’s speech; the mood needs lifting and Acid Arab will do just the trick. This is one of the lost fun releases of the year and will get Gran shaking those hips.
The Emmerdale Christmas special is on…
This is not actually a bad thing because unless you arebeing forced to watch it, this is your time to go chill. Maybe take a bath (if your family have a bath!) and listen to the soothing tunes whilst polishing off one more cheeky snowball, turkey butty and mince pie, amongst all the bubbles. Bliss!
These albums will chill you right the fuck out.