Thursday, 22 December 2011

Christmas Is In The Air And In The Toilet

Only three days until Christmas and I'm still trying my best to feel festive. I've watched at least another four or five Christmas films, bought Christmas themed earrings, been wearing a lot of red, using Christmas themed toilet paper (stocking fillers from the last two years finally put to good use!) and even been doing my daily pilates to Christmas music.

As the days before the holy one's birthday dwindle away, with each phone call home my mum is sounding increasingly stressed. My family has a pretty unusual Christmas with an awful lot of traditions we adhere to. Every year we rotate between my parents' house and my two Aunts' houses with up to fifteen of us staying for three nights for Christmas Eve through to Boxing Day. This year it is being hosted at ma and pa's house and dad decided to up the pressure by getting a new kitchen fitted that would be completed “well before Christmas”. “Well before” has of course actually translated as about a week before – surely plenty of time to give it all a good clean, put everything back in place and pre-prepare all of the food for the three days?

In addition to worrying about food and sorting out bedrooms etc, games need to be made. In my family, the only TV really permitted over the three days is to watch the Queen's speech on Christmas day and late night TV once the majority have gone to bed. Instead of ogling the box we go back to Victorian times without the singing around the piano. Games like “the drawing game” (known as Pictionary to many), “Give Us A Clue” and name the famous people in the newspaper cuttings are commonplace every year, as well as the annual Boxing Day “Car Treasure Hunt”.

As I've been uncharacteristically twiddling my thumbs a bit over the last few days, I decided to start devising some games to play to try and at least take one stress away from Big G. After having a long think about different games we could play, I wanted to get a series of Christmas song clips sung by unusual folk in the hope people would be able to guess the original artist. This actually proved more tricky than I could ever have imagined but prompted an amazing discovery.

When faced with a vast choice of music to listen to, I sometimes find it difficult to think of anything I fancy putting on but still love Spotify - it allows me to listen to unowned childhood guilty pleasures like Spaced and provides some fantastic recommendations of artists related to my search. Searching for “Christmas Pop Songs” I somehow stumbled across an amazing album I would have never previously believed existed: Christmas Cats (I promise I wasn't intentionally searching for cats on this occasion!).

I'd love to be able to play some to you but sadly as it is on Spotify I can't - those of you on Spotify must give it a listen. Unbelievably, it is actually a whole album of 30 Christmas songs all sung by cats. And I'm since even more shocked to discover there's a whole range of animal sung albums. The Maj is quite disturbed by the cat piano iphone app which merely plays piano keys as meows so imagine what entire songs with cats singing did to him! While he tried to eat a chunk out of the side of my laptop, I rejoiced I'd found a ridiculously effortless Christmas game.

One day over the festive period, my family are going to be listening to a variety of songs by feline artists and trying to guess what popular Christmas favourites they are. If the image of a room full of “adults” carefully trying to discern song titles while listening to cats meowing isn't enough to put a smile on your face, then perhaps a selection of Christmas cracker style jokes from one of my two Christmas toilet rolls might help:

Q1: What are the wettest animals in the world?

A1: Reindeer

Q2: What do you call people who are afraid of Santa Claus?

A2: Claustrophobic

Q3: What's the difference between roast beef and pee soup?

A3: Anyone can roast beef

Q4: What do you get if you cross a snowman with a vampire?

A4: Frostbite

Q5: Why would you invite a mushroom to a Christmas party?

A5: He's a fun guy

Q6: Why was Santa's little helper feeling depressed?

A6: He had low elf-esteem

Have a purr-fect Christmas (Sorry, I couldn't resist!).

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