Altogether now: “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…”
Now let’s stop a minute. Sorry, we know you were getting into it. But no one has ever received a partridge in a pear tree for Christmas, have they?! And what on earth are you meant to do with 12 drummers? Or eight maids milking cows? And as for five gold rings – one would be lovely, but let’s be honest, wearing five blinging rings is more Kanye than classy.
So, we’ve taken the liberty of rewriting the classic and renaming it. Presenting: The 12 Inevitabilities of Christmas. With this year’s Christmas chart competition including the likes of Nick Knowles and Anton du Beke, we’re pretty confident about it.
Heads up: we’re starting with the 12th day and working backwards. If you’re planning a full half-hour sing along, we’re sure you can fill in the gaps yourself.
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
12 gluggers glugging
Many might think “it’s Christmas, so I’m going to drink as much as possible”, but they’ll be the ones with their head down the toilet or asleep on the sofa while everyone else is settling down to watch The Snowman. As grating as Peter Auty’s (yep, that’s the guy singing in the film) voice can be, we’d rather ‘Walking in the Air’ than ‘Spewing in the Bog’.
Maybe we’ll have just the one civilised snowball to be festive instead. What even is advocaat though? And what is eggnog? We’ll have to try it just to be sure. And what about a sherry? It’s not Christmas without a Baileys either. Ok, maybe we won’t feel so smug and superior after all. Someone mute Peter, our heads are spinning.
11 relatives sniping
Christmas is a time for all the family to come together – even those that hate each other. It only has to take Uncle Jim thinking Uncle Joe pulled their cracker too aggressively or Joe buying Park Lane and Mayfair on the first circuit of the Monopoly board for a traditional festive family feud to begin. And don’t get us started on Auntie Monica and Auntie Phyllis turning up in the same ‘hilarious’ ‘prosecco made me do it!’ Christmas jumper. You wish it was Christmas every day, you say?!
10 uncles sleeping
One of the best parts of Christmas Day is when all the old relatives fall asleep, leaving you to watch Doctor Who in peace. You might even start to feel quite fond of them, watching them sleeping in their Christmas cracker hats by the fire. Until the snoring starts to drown out the Daleks cries of ‘Exterminate!’ that is.
If you’re snoring louder than a pack of agitated deadly mutants, you have most definitely overstayed your welcome.
9 tummies dancing
Chocolate for breakfast, turkey, cranberry sauce, pigs in blankets, stuffing, potatoes, sprouts, cauliflower, carrots, peas, parsnips, gravy, turkey sandwiches, posh crisps, mince pies, brandy butter, Christmas pudding, trifle, cheese and biscuits – a recipe for tummy flips if ever there was one.
8 kids a-sulking
You’ve spent hundreds on them, bought them the trainers AND the phone they wanted, let them eat chocolate money for breakfast and didn’t even make them eat sprouts, but of course they want what their sibling’s got more than their own presents and they think you’re the worst parent ever. Merry Christmas, kids.
7 dinners swimming
It can be a challenge to get the gravy to dinner ratio spot on, especially if you’ve been on the gin since mid-morning. Some like it thick, some prefer thin, so you’re never going to please everyone. Just try to avoid a situation where you have to pretend that you fancied a change from tradition this year and are serving up ‘Christmas dinner soup’ for your main course instead…
6 games a playing
Monopoly, Cluedo, Scrabble and Connect 4 are great to dig out if you want a good time/night of hell (depending on your family) on Christmas Day. As for Twister, Frustration (trust us, it can get violent) and anything that involves removing items of clothing, save them for another time.
Gold rings/stuffing – God bless poetic licence. We think stuffing is one of the best parts of Christmas dinner. In fact, you could give us a plate of turkey, pigs in blankets, stuffing and gravy, and we’d be pretty happy tbh.
For the ultimate festive stuffing, we recommend following this recipe for pork and chestnut stuffing from A Dash of Ginger. It’s meaty and nutty with that classic sage and onion taste. Mmm.
4 juicy birds
Is a four-bird roast one meat too many? Turkey, chicken, duck, goose – you can’t have too much meat on Christmas Day surely?!
Sorry veggies – this one’s just for the meat-eaters.
3 undeserved tens
Time for a bit of festive shouting at the telly and the Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special, which this year features past competition ‘favourites’ including Jeremy Vine and Andy Murray’s mum.
Inevitably, someone will get a ten from the judges when you’ve marked it as a six at home. The judges seem to be a lot nicer to the contestants at Christmas time – except for Craig, of course. Take a glug of Baileys every time he says ‘dis-ars-ter’ or calls someone flat-footed.
2 mismatched gloves
Auntie Phyllis said she’d knit you a new pair of gloves, but the old dear has kindly knitted you two left ones.
You try to look grateful, while awkwardly shoving your thumb into a little finger hole and wondering if you could get away with giving them to your Secret Santa next year and pretending you hadn’t noticed.
And a turkey curry in a Tefal Cook4Me
We’ve reached the last line of the song, which leads us once again to contemplate what one would do with a partridge in a pear tree. Put it in the garden, we guess. But wouldn’t the partridge just wander away, rendering half of the gift a total waste of money?
A much more useful gift in the aftermath of Christmas would be a Tefal Cook4Me, which you can use to cook up all those turkey curries and turkey-based pie fillings that you’ll inevitably be eating well into 2018.
So, now you just need to keep singing that. On a loop. It won’t annoy anyone.