What was it about Christmas 2014? A hundred years ago, at some parts of the Western Front, a few of the lads from the British and German trenches played football and for a few brief hours, it looked as if sanity would prevail and the First World War really would be over by Christmas.
But that’s not how it turned out and we all know the rest. So, fast forward to Christmas 2014. There was a kind of reflection of the Football Truce but there was something altogether more ghastly and less uplifting. it seemed as if every shop and advertiser in the country had slipped back to the 1950s.
Now, don’t get me wrong. That was a great decade. I learned to read and write during it (so you can have the benefit of my words of wisdom now); there were blue bags of salt in crisp packets (the first time round, of course) and planes went bang as they passed through the sound barrier (oh, yes, they did!). But it was also the decade of the laid-back crooners in awful jumpers, who sat in front of a studio Christmas tree and … well, let’s be quite open about this … crooned.
All right, we had Dennis Lotis, Dickie Valentine and David Whitfield, but the Americans had Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Dean Martin and Perry Como. They all sounded identical (except Frank, who couldn’t hit a note dead on if his life depended on it) and they were all very, very, slooooow. And suddenly, only weeks ago, all the retail outlets formed a conspiracy to bring them all back while we were Christmas shopping – and to do it at speeds of far less than the 331/3 they were designed to be played at. Sheer torture – and you thought the Inquisition was over!