Sisters Gail and Claire reveal their unusual family tradition
I don’t know about where you are, but it’s really dank and horrible here in London today. So it seems the ideal time to introduce you to Gail, 57, and her sister Claire, 53, especially with just a week and a day to go until Christmas. They have another sister and a brother, and a very particular way of celebrating family events with their parents, partners and fabulous gang of children of various ages. I wish you could hear the soundtrack of this interview whilst you read it, but you’ll just have to imagine it accompanied by increasingly hysterical laughter
Claire: “We write songs for family gatherings. We take well known tracks, like ones by Abba of from The Sound of Music, or Christmas carols, and we rewrite the words. We find it hilarious. Sometimes rather more hilarious than everyone else!
Gail: They do all join in though, but maybe that’s just to get it over with!
Claire: We compose them when we’re out on Hampstead Heath walking the dogs. We don’t write anything down…
Gail: ...because by the end of the walk we have to be able to be singing them from memory. We’re currently working on a live performance piece involving all the family, around the 12 Days of Christmas. This time we’re not changing the words, but we are making it a very….interactive experience, complete with sound effects. And everyone will be able to join in. But we can’t tell you much more in case any of the family are reading this. They mustn’t know.
Claire: When you say it out loud like that, it doesn’t sound so funny. But it makes us laugh. A lot.”
I don’t know if that makes you wish you were joining in with Gail and Claire’s Christmas (like it does me, but then I’m afraid we have a similar song-writing tradition in our family), or grateful you’re not!
I’d love to know about your Christmas traditions. Go on, spill the festive beans!