“What on earth is this?” asks grandma. “Can’t you put some carols on, dear.” “BORING!”, roars your little brother. “How about some Boney M? I like a bit of Boney M,” says Mum. “I might nip upstairs and grab my Slade LP, actually. Put it on the music centre,” threatens Dad. All you wanted to do was listen to a bit of Santa Claus is Coming to Town by Paul Di’Anno out of Iron Maiden.
But no. It had to turn into a debate. It had to turn into the Only Fools and Horses vs Doctor Who fracas of 2007 all over again.
If only you’d had a Philips Izzy multiroom wireless speaker system.
When you simply can’t keep everyone happy with one playlist, you can play different tunes in different rooms. And when you want everyone to hear Christopher Lee’s Jingle Hell, it’s just as easy to group the speakers together for communal heavy metal Christmas joy.
Or, because Izzy works with any app on any Bluetooth-enabled device you own, you can scour Spotify, Apple Music or any other service of your choice. So, how about a bit of…
The Philips Izzy Christmas playlist
I Want An Alien For Christmas – Fountains of Wayne
Where to play it… Any room full of hyperactive kids
Santa’s impending arrival will ensure most kids are bundles of energy by Christmas Eve, so wear them out with some tunes they can dance to. Avoid the clichéd numbers and try this comedy rock one from Fountains of Wayne. It’ll even stand up to endless repeat listens.
Driving Home For Christmas - Chris Rea
Where to play it… In the garage when you’re preparing for a trip
Visiting relatives over the holidays? This is a perfect song to get yourself in the mood for a long journey while you load up the car: it’ll cheer you up ahead of battling through the traffic jams. (It peaked at #53 in the 1988 UK singles chart, hit-parade fans!)
Jingle Bells (feat. The Puppini Sisters) - Michael Buble
Where to play it… In the dining room during Christmas dinner
Admittedly, the Canadian crooner is cheesier than the slab of Stilton stinking up your fridge but, face it, everyone loves a bit of Mickey Bubbles. His easy-listening Chrimbo covers make perfect background music when you’re tucking into the turkey. It’ll keep the whole family happy, even if they won’t all admit it.
Fairtytale of New York - The Pogues and Kirsty McColl
Where to play it… In the living room when the drinks are flowing
It’s been cited by many as the best Christmas song ever, and its bitter undertone makes a welcome change to most overly saccharine seasonal songs. And everyone enjoys slurring along…
O Come All Ye Faithful - Twisted Sister
Where to play it… In your hall to drown our carol singers
You can’t beat a good carol at Christmas, but if you’re bored of hearing them bellowed by tone-deaf door-to-door carol singers, up the volume on your Izzy and try this metal version. After all, what song isn’t improved by a long guitar solo? And Dee Snider? Or, really, just Dee Snider?
Christmas in Hollis - Run DMC
Where to play it… While you're warming up for a calorie-burning run or aerobics DVD
If you’re planning to overdo it on food or drink over Christmas, you’ll probably want to do a bit of exercise to make up for it. This fast-paced festive rap number is perfect workout fodder to help you build up a sweat.
Skating – Vince Guaraldi Trio
Where to play it… When you’re putting on your woollies for a walk
Even though it’s jazz, and even though there are no words, and even though it’s not even a Christmas song, this track from the Charlie Brown Christmas album manages to be one of the festivest songs we’ve ever heard. If you don’t feel like decking a hall or harking a herald angel after this, you’re dead inside.
Killing in the Name – Rage Against the Machine
Where to play it… In your bedroom when you need to unwind
This might not be particularly festive (okay, it's not at all festive), but it did top the Christmas chart in 2009 in a backlash against the success of five consecutive X Factor Christmas singles. And it’s perfect if you reach your wits end with your relatives – even if you’re a grown-up: simply lock yourself in your bedroom, ungroup your Izzy speaker, crank the volume and scream out loud.
Die Hirten an der Krippe (The Shepherds at the Manger) – Franz Liszt
Where to play it… In the bathroom while you’re having a soothing soak
After all the excess of the Christmas season, spending a bit of calm, quiet time is a wonderful feeling. Stream this beautiful track on your Izzy system and… relax.
I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday - Wizzard
Where to play it… At full volume throughout the house on Christmas morning
This is Christmas music at its worst. And its best. It’s hugely cheesy, entirely cringe-worthy and massively overplayed every December – but few tunes better encapsulate the sheer joy of the season. Put it on just before you open the presents, and instantly feel more festive. Eggnog, anyone?