#CC18: 9 Days to Christmas

Yes this is really happening.

I should probably feel ashamed right now, and I think part of me is. But it’s still happening.

With the birth of my niece earlier this year, I have been exposed to a number of children’s songs I had long forgotten – and some I had never heard before.

Ironically, the ridiculously annoying yet insanely popular Baby Shark fits neither of those categories. It’s just something I have become aware of through its popularity (though I would point out not through X Factor).

And what does every popular craze do at this time of year when they think they’re on to a good thing? That’s right, they create a festive-themed adaptation to further exploit bring some extra Christmas cheer to the masses.

So with barely a hint of shame or regret, today’s Countdown to Christmas features Santa Shark.

I promise I’ll make it up to you tomorrow!

#CC18: 10 Days to Christmas

Last Saturday, I attended the Catalan Christmas Party in London, organised by several UK-based Catalan organisations.

One of the activities on offer was a short concert by the wonderful London Catalan Choir, and it was the first time I’d seen them perform.

Sure, I knew of them before Saturday, but until you hear them live you don’t know just how amazing they are. Let me tell you something: they earned themselves at least one new fan last week!

From the moment they started, I knew I wanted to include them on the Countdown to Christmas, so I took out my phone and started recording.

You’ve probably already seen a short clip or two, but this is the only song I managed to film all the way through: Regala Petons. The original featured on last year’s Countdown, and rather aptly is by the only Catalan artist I’ve seen performing live (so far).

Sure, the camera angle isn’t the greatest, and the audio recording really doesn’t do them justice (what do you expect from a phone?), but I’m sure you’ll still agree that they are a really talented group of singers!

And if my video is not good enough for you, you could always watch their own video of the performance. No, really, please do!

#CC18: 11 Days to Christmas

Today is Christmas Jumper Day.

Up and down the country, children will be heading into school and adults into work in their most festive woollen attire in aid of Save The Children.

And they usually have one thing in common. No, not the people, but the jumpers: they are usually hideous.

In recognition of this, on today’s Countdown to Christmas we have Rebecca Zamolo lamenting just how ugly the things are, in an oddly upbeat manner.

And me? I have a perfectly-timed day off work today. However, I will be sporting my usual Gills-themed jumper at the office Christmas meal this evening.

Well, someone has to, I suppose!

#CC18: 12 Days to Christmas

It is somewhat traditional for me to include a version of one of my favourite pieces of music in the Countdown: the Carol of the Bells.

One of the (many) beauties of this tune is that there are simply so many different versions one can choose from, that even if I ran this series every year for the rest of my life, I would not have to use the same video twice.

This year’s offering, though, is a little different.

Yes, it’s (sort of) upbeat, but it’s also (probably) the creepiest video I’ve ever included in this series, drawing inspiration from the frankly terrifying Five Nights at Freddy’s computer game. If you don’t think you’re up to playing the creep-fest to find out just how terrifying it is, you can always watch other people playing it to get a taste instead.

Luckily, this video is only three minutes or so long – players of the game have to endure five “nights” of the nightmare-inducing visuals. That said, given the amount of FNaF content available on the interwebs, this might not be the last time we see the killer animatronics on the Countdown.

Sweet dreams…

Ok, ok, if you want to cleanse your mind with something slightly more sedate, feel free to take a fresh look at the video I posted on Saturday of the London Catalan Choir performing the same song in a much more traditional way.