It’s Christmas time. And there’s no need to be afraid.

Well of course not, I mean, it’s not like Halloween, is it? Christmas isn’t full of skeletons and witches and pumpkins and ghouls. Strange lyric to start the opening of one of the biggest-selling charity singles of all time. Still, its questionable lyrics to one side, Do They Know it’s Christmas did its job and is still very much firmly cemented in the must-slashed-forced-to-hear Christmas songs legacy. The only other bizarre lyric I tend to pick at is the line, “and there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmas time.” Well, of course not. Think about the geography and the climate… there you go.

However as Christmas songs go, there are a great deal much worse than this. Wizzard, Slade, Paul McCartney, John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Shakin’ Stevens, East 17 and Johnny Mathis all make me want to cringe uncontrollably upon hearing their Christmas musical efforts year after year after year in department stores and shopping centres. Give me Jona Lewie, Chris de Burgh, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Pogues & Kirsty McColl, Queen and Boney M any Christmas time.

But don’t get me wrong re: Band/ Live Aid. I have the four-disc boxset of Live Aid proudly in my DVD collection, and it was only last weekend in a state of merry Christmas intoxication (at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it), that lo, it did come to pass that I watched some of it again. It’s still the greatest concert of all time and Band Aid’s influence on charity singles, and by extension Christmas singles, is still very much evident today. Long may it reign supreme. Even if it has got Marilyn on it.

And on that note, now that you all know what songs I love to hear at Christmas and which ones make me want to move to Ecuador whenever I hear them, we here at Hive HQ wish all of our customers and independent bookshops a wonderful Christmas, and a healthy new year. We thank you for your support since our launch earlier this year, and urge you to stick with us through next year as we continue to keep our aim true; that any purchase you make here on Hive will help keep our independent bookshops where we want them – on our high streets.

Merry Christmas and a happy new year!

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