It's easy to be cynical about festive records. And there was I thinking that Christmas at Downton Abbey, available as a double CD or download, was nothing more than a shameless attempt to cash in on the show's popularity with its more susceptible fans, when it is, in fact...oh, exactly that.
As Band Aid 30 has recently proved, those releases for good causes are frequently bad enough. But the regular non-charity alternatives are often little better, exploiting a time of the year when our musical guards are at their weakest and we're left vulnerable to attack from schmaltz and false sentiment.
If only there was the equivalent of a flu jab that could save us from the annual misery of Mistletoe and Wine, Saviour's Day and Walking in the Air. Alas, at the moment, there isn't one. However, when Bob and the gang get together yet again (sometime in 2024), hopefully scientists will have successfully developed a vaccine.
If you're an artist with a career that looks as if it could be heading for the dumper, the lesson is to quickly release a Crimbo album. To a certain extent it worked for Leona Lewis. 12 months ago, on the advice - dictate more like - of Simon Cowell, she gave us the inspirationally titled: Christmas, With Love.
Fingers crossed a certain Mrs Fernandez-Versini isn't getting any similar notions. Although judging by the sales of her latest opus, Only Human, presently languishing outside the top 40, a mere three weeks after being released, that might not be such a dumb idea.
Perhaps it could simply be called XOmas Cheryl. Provided it includes a duet with someone vaguely credible, all should be fine on the fame front for a short while longer. Therefore, step forward Will-i-am for a version of Baby It's Cold Outside. Because it certainly will be for Chezza unless she has another big hit. And pretty damn soon.
Love them, loathe them or just about tolerate them, there's seemingly no escape from Christmas tracks. For God's sake don't turn on your radio. "It's a marshmallow in the winter, When the snow comes to cover the ground, It's the time for play, it's a whipped cream day, I dream of it all year round". Oops, too late. Still, you can't say you hadn't been warned. Heart have been playing Yuletide favourites since mid-August when M&S started stocking mince pies.
No matter where you find yourself, be it shopping centres, supermarkets, bars, hotel lobbies, airports, gyms, restaurants, hairdressers, waiting rooms or at home while you're hanging on the phone to a call centre, you're at the mercy of their melodic hooks. They're the audio equivalent of stalkers. The only trouble is that you can't take out a restraining order against Boney M's Mary's Boy Child?
They follow you literally everywhere. Even into toilets. Now George Michael might hardly be a novelty in a public lavatory, but do you really want to have him warbling: "This year to save me from tears I'll give it to someone special" while you're in the midst of having a number one or two?
Of course, you can resist all you want. Ultimately though resistance is futile. Like it or not, Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree, Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!, Little Drummer Boy/ Peace on Earth, Wombling Merry Christmas and many others besides will eventually get lodged into your brain and you won't be able to get them out again until New Year at the very earliest.
Without reason or any form of advance notice, one dreaded day in December, usually around the 10th, you find yourself innocently strolling or cycling along when unexpectedly out of your mouth comes: "Santa baby, slip a sable under the tree, for me. Been an awful good girl, Santa baby, so hurry down the chimney tonight".
This is kind of permissible if you're a woman, but for a middle aged man it might be seen as a trifle odd. So if in the next week or two you catch me doing my best Eartha Kitt impression, I'd like to apologise and point out that it was entirely beyond my control.
Before you realise it, you're also inflicting everyone with your own unique renditions of Call the Calvary, Fairytale of New York, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Jingle Bell Rock, Walking in a Winter Wonderland, Frosty the Snowman and the daddy of them all, Irving Berlin's perennial classic, White Christmas.
When he first came up with it, he apparently told his secretary: "I just wrote the best song I've ever written - heck, I just wrote the best song anybody's ever written".
That was no idle boast as it turned out. This sugary reminiscence of Christmases past has since gone on to sell more than 100 million copies and is the best selling single of all time. You don't need me to remind you of the lyrics.
Despite being covered by everyone from Elvis Presley and Taylor Swift to Bob Marley and Lady Gaga, the most celebrated recording remains the original by the one and only Bing Crosby. A man so famous he had an Internet search engine named after him - well, maybe.
Known for his golden voice and love of golfing sweaters, he had big ears which for a star of his magnitude, he refused to do anything about,
Big ears? Rather brings to mind Noddy, doesn't it?
No blog about seasonal songs would naturally be complete without mentioning Noddy Holder and Slade.
After all, it'ssssssss Christmassssssss.Suggest a correction