Creating the perfect Christmas song

Christmas music can seem to be made up of the same 10-15 songs every year. But Christmas comes round every year so why have some songs stayed so popular while others have been forgotten? And why do new Christmas hits come along so rarely?

Bob Stanley from the Guardian has put together a short guide on how to ensure a Christmas song becomes a hit and linger in the public consciousness.

1. Sound like you enjoy Christmas
You need to like Christmas to sing about Christmas - enthusiasm has to be behind it!

2. Steer clear of religion
There is a place for religion, but it doesn't usually go down well in popular festive songs. The mention of Santa and his faithful reindeer means Christmas songs already require a leap of faith so stick with that.

3. Use sleigh bells
Sleigh bells have been used to great effect by Wizzard, Mariah Carey and countless others - but remember not to over-do it!

4. Embrace the clanging chimes of doom
There is room for despair in Christmas songs (think The Pogues' famous 'Fairytale of New York') but don't get miserable.

5. No finger-wagging
Don't tell your listeners off - a gentle reminder that not everyone is quite so lucky at Christmas time is fine.

6. Add sauce
We love a bit of innuendo so don't be afraid to include a few double entendres!

7. Don't be indie
Christmas is not the best time to try and be cool. A few indie rock acts have had successful festive tracks but usually it doesn't work too well.

8. Invite the family
It's the time of year for family so include them in your lyrics.

9. Don't forget Santa
You might disagree with the commercialisation of Christmas but don't be a humbug - if Santa's not in your song, then he should be on the cover.

10. Remember, absence makes the heart grow fonder
If you can't be home for Christmas you can certainly sing a heartbreaking song about it.


Image is credited to Joe Buckingham from Flickr.

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