The world needs more new Christmas music: it sounds like something only a raving maniac would say, but there’s a grain of truth in it. The pantheon of celebrated Christmas pop songs is a surprisingly small. There have been attempts to expand the canon over the years by including songs that were relative flops on release – Elton John’s Step Into Christmas, left in the dust by Slade and Wizzard back in 1973, or the Waitresses’ Christmas Wrapping, in at 45 with a bullet in 1982 – but you could still fit the lot on one CD. And it’s the absolute apotheosis of music you’re going to hear whether you want to or not. In Britain at least, the only way to avoid repeated exposure to Wonderful Christmastime and Fairytale of New York over December is to adopt a lifestyle of hermetic seclusion with no access to broadcast media and no contact with your fellow man, or to spend the entire month wearing earplugs, drastic approaches both. For all the opprobrium … [Read more...] about John Legend: A Legendary Christmas review – tasteful covers need a tot of sherry
Who wish a merry christmas
Love Actually A film with myriad problems – not least its glaringly anachronistic monoracial version of London – but most were all too apparent evenwhen it came out in Christmas 2003, when Tony Blair wasn’t a political pariah and Donald Trump was just an attention-seeking casino magnate. What really stands out – especially in this year of Brexit and president-elect Trump – is that Love Actually is not horribly sexist as some claim, it’s a powerful excoriation of white, male hegemony and the terrible things men do as a result, actually. There’s Andrew Lincoln’s creepy portrayal of a man who just can’t help but confess his love to his best friend’s new wife, played by Keira Knightley, looking younger than Lincoln by every one of the 12 years that separate their ages; Hugh Grant’s pervy prime minister seducing the No 10 household staff (Martine McCutcheon, mystifyingly referred to as fat at every opportunity); the cleaner … [Read more...] about The patriarchy, actually. What our favourite Christmas films mean in 2016
A raccoon indulged in too much mulled wine at a Christmas market in central Germany on Saturday, amusing onlookers as the furry animal staggered about before passing out. Read more: The history of German Christmas markets The raccoon was "obviously intoxicated," a police spokesperson from the city of Erfurt said. "However, a breathalyzer test on the animal was not carried out," police said. Apparently, the unsuspecting raccoon had sipped mulled wine leftover from glasses, the mass daily Bild reported. Europe's most beautiful Christmas markets Vienna, Austria In addition to the popular Christkindlmarkt in front of the Vienna City Hall, visitors flock to the Altwiener Christkindlmarkt on the historic market square in front of the Schottenkirche. At 46 metres, there is the longest nativity scene in Austria and particularly high-quality handicrafts. The market was founded in 1987 with the idea of countering the commercialisation of the Christmas markets. Europe's … [Read more...] about Drunken raccoon staggers through German Christmas market, passes out
The latest sequel to a popular Netflix Christmas movie has been compared to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's love story. A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby follows the story of former New York journalist Queen Amber (Rose McIver) and her European husband, the king of fictional Aldovia, Richard (Ben Lamb), preparing to welcome their firstborn in the film's third annual installment. And after it hit screens last week, Twitter users were quick to draw parallels with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's story, noting the similarities with the run up to the birth, and the aftermath. Taking to Twitter, one viewer wrote: 'So is it safe to say this is a low Budget movie about Harry and Meghan? They just made them King and Queen'. The latest sequel to a popular Netflix Christmas movie has been compared to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's love story (seen introducing Archie to the world in May) And after it hit screens last week, Twitter users were quick to draw parallels with … [Read more...] about Fans compare Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s love story to new Netflix flick A Christmas Prince: The Royal Baby – noting their American baby shower and wish for privacy
“Hoverboards” are the latest tech craze sweeping the globe. Central London shop Spy Master is one of the few retailers in the UK that stocks the device in-store. Among drones, Go-Pro action cameras and encryption equipment, the two-wheeled, brightly coloured gadgets apparently fly off the shelves. “Thousands” have been sold at the shop this year says the company’s director, Julia Wing. They offer a row of different models – including a blue IO Hawk, a large graffiti-adorned board, and a bright-green transporter with Bluetooth speakers – ranging between £500 to around £1,500. “I think they’re so futuristic – it’s the first time we’ve seen anything like this,” Wing says. “Because celebrities have them now, it’s the thing to have.” Hoverboards are mostly sold online, yet the fact that more people are uploading photos on to Instagram of themselves riding the devices, combined with the … [Read more...] about ‘Hoverboards’: Christmas crossover or preserve of the rich?