My Christmas gift to you, dear reader, is this week’s yuletide column: Faced with a choice of two, I plumped for the latter.

Firstly, I considered stringing out 450 words on ‘is Die Hard a Christmas film?’ before realising that I would therefore have to watch it, and couldn’t be fussed with that, so instead I plumped for the purely subjective: ‘What is the greatest Christmas song of all time?’

There are numerous runners and riders, some with merit, as they chase their golden pension, as can be seen with Noddy Holder and his Slade co-writer Jim Lea pocketing around half a million quid each annually in royalties with Merry Xmas Everybody. Stay Another Day brings in Tony Mortimer and his East 17 crew 100 grand a year and my mother’s favourite Christmas song brings in £100k for Cliff with his dreadful, dire, cliched and tired: Mistletoe and Wine.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Brett Ellis explains what makes a great Christmas song to himBrett Ellis explains what makes a great Christmas song to him

A worthy contender is 2000 Miles by the Pretenders as is The Power of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood which, although not a Christmas song per se, is a modern-day classic. The only song to have ever reached the top of the pops twice, never receives as much as a mention in the favourites list, so I will gladly reverse the trend by throwing Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody into the mix.

But the greatest? A Christmas song to my mind should be thought provoking, sentimental and ultimately ‘Christmassy.’ It should also elicit a sing along as we forget the woes of the previous 12 months and use the excuse of the birth of the baby Jesus as a reason to get drunk, slob out in our PJs for a week or two and moan about Morecombe and Wise reruns yet again hogging the BBC2 Christmas day primetime schedule.

But my two to five, in no particular order, are Stay Another Day by East 17, Last Christmas by Wham! the wonderful Stop The Cavalry by Jonah Louie and the Darkness’ Christmas Time (Don’t Let The Bells End).

But my number one, unsurprisingly, and aptly, considering his recent parting, is the melancholy, joyful, yet angst ridden - The Pogue’s and Kirsty McColl’s Fairytale of New York.

The opening notes have the gift of immediately stopping everyone in their tracks as the volume creeps up and the shackles come down, as we listen intently to see if they have edited the word ‘faggot’ out to appease the millennials.

So, there it is. All that is left for me is to bid you a relaxing, peaceful, and loving Christmas, as I slope off and enjoy mince pie numero dos and a festive shot or 12 of Baileys, as I continue my annual flirtation with the festive drunk tank.

  • Brett Ellis is a teacher.