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Signpost 35 (21 December)

Good afternoon,

Welcome to our bumper edition of Signpost for Christmas week! It has been an incredibly long year, and whilst many of us won’t be able to spend time with loved ones this festive season, let’s hope that 2021 will be a more hopeful and social year. We have a fantastic selection of seasonal treats for you that we hope you enjoy.

Each week our Signpost time machine remembers historical events that occurred on this week in history, but for this issue we wanted to share some classic Christmas number 1’s.

It has been 68 years since the charts began, and in that time there have been 63 different songs performed by 59 different artists or groups that have reached Christmas number 1. You can see the whole list here.

1952 saw the first-ever official Christmas number 1 With Al Martino’s “Here in my Heart” with Elvis Presley taking the top spot ten years later in 1962 with “Return to Sender”. “Mary’s Boy Child" won gold for both Harry Belafonte in 1957 and Boney M in 1978.

The Beatles still hold the record for the most Christmas number 1’s with “I Want To Hold Your Hand”, “I Feel Fine”, the double A-side “Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out” and “Hello, Goodbye”.

For all of the classic pop songs, there are also a huge array of novelty songs that have topped the Christmas charts. Who can forget "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman in the West)", "Merry Xmas Everybody", “Mr Blobby” or “There's No-One Quite Like Grandma” by St Winifred's School Choir.

REFLECT

  • A highlight of the Christmas period within St Monica Trust is usually the Christmas carol services that take place across our sites. Whilst we sadly cannot hold them in the same way this year, our pastoral care team have created a virtual carol service that you can view here.

CONNECT

  • Ken’s Quiz Site has a very special “Christmas Connections” quiz with all of the answers having some connection with Christmas. Some questions are easy, whilst others need a little thinking about. Ideal for Christmas day afternoon! When you have finished the quiz, you can check the answers here.
  • The Oxford University Music Society has created an online musical Advent calendar that provides music throughout December from many different performers. Each day there are a number of performances from local schools, community groups and university students.
  • Pupils at a school in Essex recorded a video performance of Christmas classic, White Christmas, for all the care home residents and staff who have had a particularly rough year. You can view the video here.

LEARN

  • A Christmas speech from the Monarch has been a British tradition since King George V delivered a 3-minute message on the wireless in 1932, and has continued nearly every year since. Queen Elizabeth II has been making these speeches since 1952. You can read more about the history of the Christmas speech on the royal family’s website including transcripts of every Christmas speech the Queen has made from the first in 1952 to last year’s speech. Don’t miss this year's Christmas message which will be broadcast at 15:06 on Christmas day. You will be able to watch it here.

DO

FUN

  • We recently heard from Mike Newman who wanted to share a Youtube video that he had discovered. This video shows a lovely log fire burning with flames and even crackling logs. It lasts 10 hours, poses no fire risk and if you press the small icon with 4 brackets on the bottom right then you can turn your computer or laptop into a fireplace. Mike even mentioned that after a few seconds he actually imagined feeling the warmth on his face! Isn't the human brain an amazing thing?! Thank you for your recommendation, Mike!
  • What is Christmas without Morecombe and Wise? Always popular on Christmas day, this is your chance to revisit classic Morecombe and Wise Christmas shows from 1969, 1975 and 1978.


That's all for this year from us. We will return with issue 36 of Signpost on the 4th January 2021. We wish you all a wonderful Christmas and a joyous New Year.

Please get in touch through our email communityimpact@stmonicatrust.org.uk and let us know how we are doing.

Don't forget that our online services of worship and contributions from the Pastoral Care Team can be found at https://vimeo.com/stmonicatrust.

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