Music really can transport us back in time, or help cement a memory for the future. Decorations all round the house, twinkle lights, roaring fires and sitting for hours chatting with the people you love - I adore this time of year, and even better when I’m the resident DJ.
The National Trust in Northern Ireland has asked me to share my 5 favourite Christmas songs,which has me reminiscing like mad this afternoon. See below for my contribution - I hope you enjoy!
1. As time has gone by with some dearly loved people missing at our Christmas table, my family began a little tradition of our own. On Christmas Eve we pop on the BBC footage of Carols from Kings College, Cambridge, have a light supper, open a great bottle of wine and talk about those we wish were with us.
The Holly and the Ivy is a favourite hymn simply for the way all the voices come together. (We generally ruin it by attempting to sing along though and maybe that’s when the second bottle gets uncorked, who can tell.)
2. Putting up the tree, unpacking decorations and tangled lights all demand some good old fashioned crooning on in the background.
Judy Garland singing ‘Have yourself a merry little Christmas’ is a must for me as I marvel at my hard work with a glass of port in hand.
3. My dancing skills are renowned, especially with a second glass of port. A bit of a shuffle around the house is the best and probably only exercise I’ll get during the food fueled few days off work.
She and Him have a great Christmas album - My favourite song is their cover of 'Rockin' around the Christmas Tree'.
4. Ella Fitzgerald’s voice is perfection, and like the psychic I am I already know my sister will have Ella’s music blasting in the kitchen as we both stare at the heap of food we have to cook. (Sidenote - My dad went to see her sing along with Louis Armstrong - he couldn’t believe her voice then, still in awe of it now)
This version of 'Baby it's Cold Outside' is fun, and full of the mistletoe joy that’s contagious this time of year.
5. There are many reasons why I love this, the final song on my playlist…and most of them have something to do with the fact that I really really really really really fancy Michael Buble. (My taste is a gift).
'It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas' is an oldie, but a goodie. And doesn’t he sound so handsome? Yes.
So that’s my playlist done - what’s yours? Make up your own and tweet @NationalTrustNI with the hashtag #NTChristmasPlaylist with your suggestions and they might even play them in the National Trust shops throughout Christmas!