A Very British Christmas

Christmas Telly: A British Holiday Tradition

In America we get plenty of holiday TV programming. There’s usually one musical variety effort each year be it Michael Buble, Kelly Clarkson or the hottest country artist at the moment. ABC Family broadcasts the 25 Days of Christmas, the Hallmark Channel features heartwarming Christmas fare (non-stop for weeks) and of course no one should forget the 24 hour A Christmas Story marathon. Say it with me, “You’ll shoot your eye out!”

In my youth you had three networks and one chance to see A Charlie Brown Christmas. Miss it and you were out of luck; there was certainly no DVR, let alone VHS! They were called “specials” for a reason. Am I starting to sound like a cantankerous old lady because I’m really not? I’m on Twitter and everything.

Let’s meander back to the subject at hand - Christmas telly. Despite the volume of shows out there intended to keep our spirits merry and bright (or perhaps because of that very fact) Americans might get nostalgic, but they don’t seem to get too excited about the Christmas TV schedules. In the UK, however, it’s a whole different animal – a tradition in and of itself.

Amazing Internet Things: Listen to “I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas with a Dalek"

Yes, this is a real thing. It’s a bit hard to believe – and yet, it’s pretty awesome that it even exists, because it's possibly the kitschiest piece of music ever made. (It's almost up there with the whole Leonard Nimoy "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" thing, if you ask me. Though it lacks the star power.)

In 1964, a band from Newcastle called The Go-Go’s – most definitely not the same group as the American all-girl band famous for hits like Vacation and We Got the Beat – recorded one song. This song was a Christmas ditty meant to capitalize on the popularity of Doctor Who’s now infamous enemy, the Daleks, who were apparently quite the thing at that time. (Remember, the show had only premiered the year before!)

I’m Gonna Spend My Christmas with a Dalek is completely silly, and not even a particularly good song, but the lyrics are hilarious, complete with a representation of Daleks that is off base enough to make one wonder if any of the band members ever actually watched Doctor Who. Take a listen for yourself!

Have Yourself a British Little Christmas: Fun Holiday Traditions From Across the Pond

It’s Christmas this weekend – and though we have our own very American activities that are considered essential to properly celebrating this holiday (tacky lights tours, anyone? Just me?), we might do well to consider adopting a few of traditions that are popular in Great Britain at this time of year. (I vote for adding in Christmas telly and Boxing Day off for my part, but feel free to disagree with me in the comments.)

Click through for some tidbits on what makes Christmas in the UK special – feel free to chime in if you think something vital has been left off of the list, or if you know a place in America where someone might easily be able to get a bulk order of Christmas crackers for next year. Or both!