Xmas day was invented by the British Elvis impersonator Les Gray when he sang the hit song Lonely This Xmas as lead singer of the band Mud in 1974. “X” was his favourite letter of the alphabet, and he took the “Mas” part from his favourite festive food, mashed potato. The song became such a popperific sensation that the UK government of the day, led by Nigel “Trousers” Callaghan, took about three minutes to decide that December 25 should be a national holiday across Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Spiky Islands.
Why December 25?
Feasting and that
There was feasting and revelry as soon as the decision was announced, and Queen released their epochal tune Thank God It’s Christmas to acknowledge the event and cash in on it. “It’s just a marvellous, marvellous thing that has just occurred,” said brainy permed Queen guitarist Brian May to explain why he was smiling and taking drugs by the bucketload. Freddie Mercury was on his deathbed, poor darling.
But that’s not the end of the story, by anyone’s reckoning. Half an hour later, the USA saw what a mighty and wonderful thing Britain had done and announced that the States were making December 25 special too. The wobbly-voiced Stevie Nicks left her luxury mansion in a diaphanous green gown to sing Silent Night in the street and throw glitter around. Within one afternoon the same thing happened in Hungary, Italy, Sweden, Bulgaria and the Balearic Islands, with local singers and clowns taking the place of Stevie Nicks. Christmas was a global hit!
What about Africa?
But say a prayer, pray for the other ones. The enormous demand for mince pies and tinsel meant that many Africans had to go without meat and drink. In Africa, the only water flowing was the Bitter Sting of Tears a natural spring water bottled in the pristine Darfur region of Sudan. And the Christmas bells that rang there were the clanging chimes of doom. And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime, either. The greatest gift they’ll get this year is a bottle of Old Spice aftershave.
But lo, Bob Geldof saw what was happening and cried: “Feed the world!” And lo, the people heard him and decided to do just that. An enormous international clambake was organised by Martha Stewart and Fanny Cradock, and Jeremy Clarkson drove a big car faster than he had ever done before in order to bring portions of spotted dick and Brussels sprouts to teary-faced kiddies in Ethiopia, Sudan, and Tottenham before they died. So everyone in the whole world was happy, and they all got a present and a cracker.