The Speakers Corner Christmas Wish List 2015

Jason Smith 16 December 2015

Last Christmas, I gave you my heart but … sorry, how can you start with those two words and not break out into the 1984 Wham! hit, it’s virtually impossible. However, one will try to call up monumental amounts of restraint for this and say:

Last Christmas [pregnant pause], we started The Speakers Corner Wish List, not really giving much thought to the following year. Nonetheless, here we are again: getting all festive, thinking about gifts to give and receive, having plans already in place (one hopes) who we might be sharing the Christmas spirit with in front of the warm glow of the television set. So with no clear parameters (online) on how many occurrences or events warrant a tradition, we will boldly stick out our joyous necks and welcome you to the very new:

The Speakers Corner Christmas Wish List 2015

There has been some movement on the HR front this year (all voluntary we should add); so there’s no Bella, Sophie or Natalie anymore to include here as they’ve gone on to – not greater – but, shall we say, other things. With subtraction there is also addition with Lucy Musselwhite joining us in marketing and Seye Olajide getting to grips in Logistics, not to mention another two who shall remain our little secret until they join Speakers Corners Towers in early January.

So, what gives this year? What are the expectations? On a slight variation from last year, we gave team members a list of questions to choose from instead of answering the same ones. Although, it turns out some experienced a fit of festive & frolic and answered them all.

We start with our new addition, Seye Olajide – Event Coordinator who has the honour of kicking us off:

What is the worst present you’ve ever received or given?
I once gave my sister a half-eaten box of Jaffa Cakes for Christmas. Let’s just say she was not particularly pleased with her gift.

Where will you be spending the Christmas break this year?
I will be spending the Christmas break with my folks up in the village of Hoo, Kent. Yes, that is a real place Ladies and Gentleman!

Hoo Hoo

What is your favourite Christmas film?
It would surely have to be Home Alone 2. A perfect family film that never ever gets old. Though, I must admit that it somewhat glorifies violence when you really think about it.

What is the song that sings Christmas to you?
Happy Christmas (War is Over) by John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Classic Christmas song that I am pretty sure everyone sang at assembly in Primary School. Plus, it has a healthy dose of political commentary, and who doesn’t like that.

Thanks, Seye, for the very good start there. I hope you pulled it back since by maybe giving your sister an unopened box of Jaffas. Who’s next on our list? [looks at said list] Why it’s Director Tim Gold  who’s answers may be brief but still illuminating. Over to you Tim:

What is the worst present you’ve ever received or given?
Underwear/socks from mother-in-law (slightly odd).

Where will you be spending the Christmas break this year?
In my wife’s family rural village one hour from Barcelona, Puigverd, which is renowned for growing fruit (although probably not in December).

Brandy Butter

Favourite Christmas food?
Brandy butter with maybe a smidgen of Christmas pud.

One wonders if Tim’s mother-in-law might be starting a tradition of her own. Time will tell. Right, let’s see who we have next up. It's Speakers Corner's official smile; it’s Debbie Price , everyone, from Account Management! [wild applause]

What is top of your Christmas present wish list this year?
Clothes, jewellery, cosmetics, spa treatments, holiday vouchers, books, music, theatre tokens….too much?!

Favourite Christmas food?
Roast potatoes and roast parsnips – in fact, anything roasted in lots of oil and salt!

Drinks Menu

The Strangest place you’ve spent Christmas?
London, because I’ve never seen it so quiet!!!

Favourite Christmas tipple?
Ooooh, there isn’t just one and Christmas Day is probably the only day it is acceptable to mix many different drinks! Obviously, a bucks fizz on Christmas morning is a must, followed by more champagne and mulled wine. Then more wine with lunch - and port with the cheese board. Of course, it wouldn’t be Christmas without a festive Christmas cocktail/sherry while watching the Queens speech, followed by a Baileys/chocolate liqueur over a game of charades. Bring. It. On!

Not sure what’s more worrying, the amount consumed or the level of planning that's gone into it? Casting these concerns aside, I am sure Deb will have a good time!

Next is our West Midlands representative (your East Midlands rep is typing this in the interests of balance) and Aston Villa fanatic Adam Cuthbert  who has a truly stellar taste in Christmas films. Over to you, Adam, who is part of the Account Management team btw:

Where will you be spending the Christmas break this year?
I will be heading back to Wolverhampton this year for the whole of Christmas. This involves Christmas Eve in the Dog and Gun public house, a fine establishment where the beer is well below the usual London £5 a pint. Closely followed by a family Christmas with the standard Christmas quiz and food and booze aplenty. Finally, a visit to my Godson on his first Christmas.

What is your favourite Christmas film?
There are too many to pick from; each one has a different memory. Tradition is watching Elf on the 1st December to get us in the mood, followed by mine and my brother’s favourite Christmas movie - The Muppet Christmas Carol for good sing-a-long fun. Finally, Christmas would not be Christmas without watching Lethal Weapon 1 and Die Hard 1 & 2 – Yippie Kai Yay!

Dog & Gun

What is the song that sings Christmas to you?
There is, and will only ever be one Christmas song, and this comes from the band that Take That could have been, I am, of course, referring to those boys from East 17 and ‘Stay another Day’. Musical genius.

Favourite Christmas tipple?

Thank you, Adam, for reducing your favourite tipple down to component level. Maybe we should have asked him a percentage-based question instead?

Well this is all very exciting isn’t it; are you still with us? We’re about halfway through the list. Next, we have  Louise Wafer  (nee Collins) who was a fully paid up member of Marketing but is now closer to sorting out leader Nick Gold and making sure he is supposed to be where he is and not in two places at once! Louise is what we might call an ‘overseer’ as her remit expands to the goods and services we use. So Louise, what gives on the gifts?

What is the worst present you’ve ever received or given?
When I had just bought my first flat, my mum thought it would be a really practical gift to give me a complete tool kit along with a tool bag – it was, and still does, come in handy but it wasn’t on my wish list. I avoid that ever happening again by sending out a list – it’s a brave person that ventures off-list!

Where will you be spending the Christmas break this year?
I will be at home with my family and my husband’s family. We have ten adults and our two boys so I’m panicking slightly about there being enough space in the oven for the turkey and roasties I think I need. I’m looking forward to it; I love having a big family Christmas – it’s what it’s all about, isn’t it?

What is your favourite Christmas film?
It’s got to be Elf!

Nom Nom

What is the song that sings Christmas to you?
It’s a bit depressing but Fairytale of New York by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl is my all-time favourite Xmas song. It takes me back to my final year at university when I had just met my now hubby and it was always on in the pub. Happy times!

Favourite Christmas food?
Mince pies – nom nom.

Favourite Christmas tipple?
On Christmas Day I try only to drink Fizz and later on a novelty flavoured Baileys

The Strangest place you’ve spent Christmas?
I flew to Dubai on Christmas Day a few years ago; that was pretty strange. It’s weird to see Christmas Trees and decorations in a hot, Muslim country!

Thanks Louise for ALL of your answers there and her excellent song choice in The Pogues. A recent, but no less authentic, inclusion to the Christmas Song Book, all the more for Kirsty’s great vocal, …rest her soul. Right, next we have Helena Horesh  from Logistics who remembers when pop royalty came together to record the original Do They Know It’s Christmas on the 25th November 1984 for its release on the 3rd December the same year.

What is your favourite Christmas film?
My favourite film has to be Love Actually – we sit down as a family every year with a bottle of wine to watch it yet again and still, laugh, cry and sing along! My sympathies are always with the Emma Thompson character and love Hugh Grant as PM!!

And your favourite Christmas tune?
When I first hear Do They Know It's Christmas – the original – then I know the day is on its way! An iconic moment in pop history and the forerunner of so many charity tunes – none of which can match up to that incredible cast of characters.

Baileys Cream

Favourite Christmas tipple?
Christmas is the only time of year we have Baileys in the house – it’s perfect on ice!

Brilliant Helena and thank you for taking us back to 1984 and not the 2014 version. OK, so we’re nearing the end, and we have our leader, the light that illuminates the dark and the giver of wages, our CEO  Nick Gold :

What is top of your Christmas present wish list this year?
Last year, I was delighted to receive the gift of 15 minutes’ silence as my children unwrapped and broke all their presents. It was the greatest gift I have ever received.

Where will you be spending the Christmas break this year?
Mostly in front of the television.

What is your favourite Christmas film?
Star Wars.

"Got a bad feeling about this."

Favourite Christmas food?
Cheese – it is a tradition to have at least nine types of cheese at the dinner table. This is not necessarily a Christmas tradition but more of a mealtime tradition for any time of the year.

Favourite Christmas tipple?
I like Sherry as I aspire to be more like Dot Cotton.

The Strangest place you’ve spent Christmas?
Maybe not the strangest but in Ho Chi Minh City, the parties are pretty crazy over Christmas.

Yes, Nick does love his cheese. Tune in and check out his Twitter account in 2016 for a selection of cheese plates, which he likes to take pictures of at corporate events!

Now we have fellow marketer, Lucy Musselwhite, who joined the Speakers Corner this year, and is already making big strides in her role. I bet she mentions her cats Sam and Isis!

What is the worst present you’ve ever received or given?
A certain family member always buys me a bizarre, and totally unwearable, hat. Last year was a pink, fluffy one with cat ears which just baffled me. I had to wear it all day to ‘be a good sport’. Every year, I’m telling you.

Someone also once bought me a magazine for Christmas, when I’d bought them a watch. He even wrapped it up.

What is your favourite Christmas film?
Jingle All The Way! Love a bit of festive Arnie. And it’s not Christmas until Elf has been on TV at least three times, amirite?!

A magazine!

Favourite Christmas food?
Can I choose a main and a dessert, please?

Of course.
I’d say bubble and squeak made with all the Xmas leftovers – stuffing, meat, veggies, and gravy all mashed up into one, and baked with cheese on top. And anything that involves pie and brandy cream. Very good.

The strangest place you’ve spent Christmas?
I once spent Christmas on a beach, in the rain, in Australia, which was an unexpected combo. We had lobster for our main.

I can’t believe it! No mentions of the cats. Well, they get a mention and if you want to see them click on the  CAT HYPERLINK! Who do we have left? Well, it’s me – Jason Smith –  who is about to slip into the mysterious world of the third person (a realm usually occupied by celebrities and mid-level management). Jason is our Social Media & Blogging genius whose efforts and creativity are so massive we can’t see the edges! Here Jason shares his Christmas wishes, wants and where's with us:

What’s on your Christmas wish list this year?
Well, thank you for asking Jason and I must say you’ve done a great job collecting all the information for this blog and hope everyone at Speakers Corner appreciates what you do!

Why thank you, Jason. Your wish list want?
At the top of my Christmas wish list is something quite secret but it is the hope of health for another. That, and a SONY SRS-X55 Wireless Bluetooth Speaker.


Where’s the strangest place you’ve spent Christmas?
Oddly, although you may think it was quite apt; it was in Ottawa in Canada one year in THE most Christmassy picture perfect manner ever. It was in a small town called Perth with log fires, a lot of snow, warm hospitality and cross-country skiing before lunch. It was magical to feel at the very centre of a Christmas scene.

Favourite Christmas tune?
There’s two that announce that Christmas is Coming when I hear them on the radio, and they are Chris Rea’s brilliant Driving Home for Christmas (with that wonderful bridge before the lovely guitar solo), and McCartney’s Simply Having a Wonderful Christmas Time.

Where will you be spending Christmas?
At home in London with my fiancée Lucy and my mum and stepfather who are coming down from Nottingham.


Well, thank you to those who read all of this. You get an extra two Christmas points. We do hope you've enjoyed getting to know the team a little bit more so when you speak to them in 2016 – in some capacity – you’ll have a much more well-rounded picture than you would’ve done prior.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Speakers Corner and we hope you get what you wish for!

See where the tradition started and check out last year's wish list here.

Additional Christmas pics courtesy of Wikipedia & Flickr

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