My Top Ten Christmas SongsΒ 

This list was a lot harder to put together than you’d think. I was torn between my American roots & the very different Christmas songs that I’ve grown to love (and hate a little!) in over a decade of living in the UK.

When growing up in America, I only really heard the very traditional Christmas songs and I do love all those (White Christmas, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer, etc etc etc). Sometimes those songs would be sung by rock & pop stars (like The Jackson 5) or screamed annoyingly by Bruce Springsteen. Ugh. Stop screeching, Bruce! Then there’s that damn Mariah Carey song – All I Want For Christmas Is You….. to SHUT UP, Mariah! And Michael BublΓ© can kiss my ass.

I was totally unaware that the UK had all these original Christmas songs (from the Seventies & later) that are really damn good & a lot more fun to listen to than Jingle Bells. Those in the UK will probably roll their eyes at my list as these songs are massively massively overplayed each year but I suppose I haven’t had to suffer with them for as long. Therefore, I’ve decided to do a Top Ten of my favorite contemporary Christmas songs at this point in time. Yes, some of these are American but I think the majority are bigger in the UK.

Here’s what I’ve had to leave out so that this top ten didn’t have 100 songs on it:

Traditional Christmas Songs (unless sung by David Bowie) πŸ˜‰

Songs From Favorite Christmas Movies/TV Specials. If I was including these, I’d have to say that my ONE true favorite Christmas song of all time is most definitely Linus & Lucy by the Vince Guaraldi Trio. But I’ve left these out to keep the list simple as I love far too many songs such as Linus & Lucy and songs from Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer & How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

So let’s get this over with as I know some of you will already be sick of these songs by now. Here are My Top Ten (contemporary) Christmas Songs:

10. TIE: The Darkness – Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End) & Run-D.M.C. – Christmas In Hollis

I had to include Christmas In Hollis because I’m an 80’s kid. As for The Darkness, I still respect the fact that they got a penis reference into a Christmas song. To those not in the UK, a “bell end” is an insult, meaning a “penis”. Or, more specifically, the tip. I guess. Because of the shape? I’ll stop there so I don’t attract all the pervy Googlers.


9. John & Yoko – Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

War is over? Really?! Well, it’s a good song & I love all of The Beatles. This probably deserves to be above my next song, which is from another Beatle.

8. Paul McCartney – Wonderful Christmastime

This song walks that fine line between “enjoyable” & “making you want to kill if you ever hear it again”. I still enjoy it, though. For now.

7. Mike Oldfield – In Dulci Jubilo

It’s no Tubular Bells but it’s still good. The power of Christ(mas) compels you!

6. TIE: Frankie Goes To Hollywood – The Power Of Love & The Pretenders – 2000 Miles

The Power Of Love is an odd one as I didn’t even know it when I moved to the UK then was confused as to why a song with the lyrics “I’ll protect you from the hooded claw. Keep the vampires from your door.” was considered a Christmas song. It’s apparently just because of the below video for it, which is all about the birth of Christ. Huh. Very different from their video for Relax, which had men symbolically ejaculating all over the place. Oops – I’m definitely going to get the pervy Googlers now. As for 2000 Miles, it’s just a damn good song.


5. Chris De Burgh – A Spaceman Came Travelling

I promise that you will never EVER see the words “Chris De Burgh” on this blog again. But, screw it – I’ll admit that this is actually a really good song. As far as Jesus songs go. (The spaceman is Jesus, right?? Oh I love 70’s music & their obsession with space! Like the artist who’s next…)

4. David Bowie & Bing Crosby – Peace On Earth/Little Drummer Boy

DAVID BOWIE!!!!!!!!!! And, you know, Bing Crosby. Their cheesy banter at the beginning of this video is hilariously cringeworthy.

3. Jona Lewie – Stop The Cavalry

This is one I didn’t know before moving to the UK. I love it! It’s so catchy. If hearing this song doesn’t cheer you up at Christmastime, you’re a Scrooge.

2. Greg Lake – I Believe In Father Christmas

Yeah, I just really love music from the Seventies… πŸ˜‰ This song is awesome.

1. Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody

Yes! More cheesy 70’s glam rock goodness! I’m sure a lot of people in the UK HATE this song by now (unless they’re drunk off their tits at a Christmas party) but I have yet to get sick of it & doubt I ever will. I’d have loved hearing this growing up. It makes me want to get drunk at an office Christmas party & photocopy my ass. Okay, I’d never actually do that… But if I do, I hope Slade is playing!

Honorable Mentions:

Elton John – Step Into Christmas
Wizzard – I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Jethro Tull – Ring Out, Solstice Bells
The Waitresses – Christmas Wrapping

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The Peanuts Movie (2015) Review

The Peanuts Movie (aka Snoopy And Charlie Brown: The Peanuts Movie) (2015)

Directed by Steve Martino

Based on Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz

Starring Voice Actors: Noah Schnapp, Hadley Belle Miller, Mariel Sheets, Alex Garfin, Francesca Angelucci Capaldi, Noah Johnston, Venus Omega Schultheis, Rebecca Bloom, Marelik “Mar Mar” Walker, Anastasia Bredikhina, Micah Revelli, William “Alex” Wunsch, AJ Teece, Madisyn Shipman, Troy “Trombone Shorty” Andrews, Kristin Chenoweth, Bill Melendez

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Snoopy embarks upon his greatest mission as he and his team take to the skies to pursue their arch-nemesis, while his best pal Charlie Brown begins his own epic quest back home.

My Opinion:

I love Peanuts. I adore Snoopy. I’ve been a huge fan from a young age, always reading the comics in the newspapers while growing up and watching all the Peanuts TV specials (which I now have on DVD all sitting proudly next to my husband’s Star Wars DVD collection while every other DVD we have is boxed & put away). Peanuts isn’t as big of a thing in the UK so whenever I see anything whatsoever with Peanuts on it, I buy it. My daughter is always guaranteed to have several articles of Snoopy clothing as I can’t exactly NOT buy her Snoopy clothing whenever I see any. Okay – and I may have several articles of Snoopy clothing as well (mostly pajamas). πŸ˜‰

My point is this: I’m a huge fan of Peanuts so I was of course extremely worried when I first heard they’d be making a Peanuts movie. I’m not a huge fan of other films made by Blue Sky Studios (things like Ice Age, Rio, Robots, Epic – I can take or leave all of these). I was also really dreading some kind of horrible disaster like those Garfield movies. Then when we first saw the look of the characters for the new Peanuts movie, I had a tiny bit of hope as they stayed quite true to the classic look. I’m so happy that I got to see a preview of this over the weekend as it doesn’t fully come out in the UK until the 21st and….. I’m SO HAPPY WITH THE MOVIE!!!! πŸ™‚

This movie stays true to the spirit of Peanuts and it was nice to watch a movie with my daughter that was pure innocence. They didn’t try to update this in any way or throw in any naughty little jokes for the adults. I hate when they take something classic and try to modernize it for a new generation and that was my biggest fear going into this movie. That occasionally works for some things but, for the most part, modernizing something like this usually ends in disaster as all you’re going to do is piss off the fans of the original and probably still not gain any new, younger fans.

As I say, though, I’m a huge fan so I expected this to be faithful & respectful to my beloved Peanuts. My hubby & I disagreed slightly on this movie as he felt it brought “nothing new to the table”. They still had things like Snoopy using a typewriter & Charlie Brown getting tangled up in an old phone cord so they’ve not brought this film into modern times. I loved that while the hubby seemed to feel that they should’ve brought it up to date in some ways (while still remaining loyal to everything that Peanuts stands for). I don’t know – what does everyone else think? I admit that I’m totally blinded by my love of this group of cartoon characters who’ve been such a big part of my (many) years on this Earth. To me, this movie did things perfectly & I wouldn’t change a thing.

I’m going to wrap this up because 1) I don’t have anything interesting to say because I clearly love Peanuts so damn much that I’d just blather on & on about it and annoy everyone (this is why I’ve reviewed hardly any all-time favorite movies of mine on this blog) and 2) I’m off to see Krampus in a few minutes, which I’m wanting to be the new Gremlins so my expectations are clearly too high as nothing can be as good as Gremlins.

Summary:

As this movie is coming out in the UK so much later than in the US, I’ve completely avoided reading all reviews. I’m assuming that all long-time Peanuts fans breathed a big sigh of relief afterwards as I don’t think we could’ve gotten a movie that was much more loyal than this one.

I’m very glad that it has come out now while my daughter is six because I think she’d maybe be too old for it in another year. I have zero complaints about the movie but, yes – my husband is right in some ways about this movie needing to modernize in order to gain new fans. Today’s kids are quite different from how those my age were when we grew up in the Seventies & the Eighties and they sadly seem to lose their innocence at such a young age now. I love how they chose to not modernize, though, as I don’t think it’s necessary. A big thank you to the filmmakers for keeping the pure innocence of Peanuts alive in this film. The characters are so iconic (especially Snoopy) that there will always be new fans anyway. Who isn’t going to fall in love with Snoopy?? That’s why you still see him all the time. He’s one of the greatest creations in history! (Did I mention that I love Snoopy????!!!! πŸ™‚ Okay, I’ll shut up).

I think it was more important to keep the old fans happy with this one and they certainly managed that with this fan. As for my daughter, I do feel that a part of her is humoring her crazy old Peanuts-loving mother but I did see a big smile on her face whenever I looked over at her during the movie plus she giggled quite a lot at Snoopy’s antics. Trust me, she’s a Snoopy fan at the very least. And Sally! She always giggles at Sally as well.

The Peanuts Movie is “safe” but it’s very sweet without ever being saccharine plus it never feels forced or fake. I think Charles Schulz would be very happy with it. I know I am! 

My Rating: 8/10

**Oh! I was in a hurry so I didn’t add that, luckily, the fantastic Vince Guaraldi music is in The Peanuts Movie. Good grief – can you imagine Peanuts without it?? πŸ™‚

Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe:

This mediocre Ice Age short was shown before the movie. It was… Mediocre! Just like the Ice Age films. Meh. Actually, as far as all the Scrat shorts go, this has to be the weakest. I suppose kids who love Scrat will like it. Should I rate it? Hmm. 4.5/10.