The Mustard office has been getting into the festive spirit early this year with Christmas songs filling the air for the last week or so. Well, the office minus Bethan Scrooge-Grinch Turner anyway.

This has sparked plenty of debate as to which is the best Christmas song of all time, so what better way to settle the argument once and for all than to put it to the vote?

All members of staff were asked to provide their top three in order and the clear winner was…


‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade!


Wait, sorry, the joint winners are…

‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade and ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Every Day’ by Wizzard!


No…no…no, my mistake. The joint winners are…

‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ by Slade, ‘Fairytale of New York’ by The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl and ‘Christmas Wrapping’ by The Waitresses.


Confused? Well as any good researcher will tell you, it’s all about the interpretation. In the first instance I based the winner on which song got the most ‘points’ with each person’s first choice getting 3 points, second choice getting 2 points and third place getting 1 point.

In the second instance I based the winner on the total number of mentions in the top three, and in the third instance the winner was chosen based on the number of times the song was picked as somebody’s favourite.

It’s an important lesson to remember when designing any question. It is critical that you consider how the outputs are going to be analysed and reported to increase the question’s effectiveness, and reduce ambiguity. This will enable you to word the question in a way which is more applicable to what you are trying to achieve, and provide the respondent with greater clarity of instruction to interpret it (and answer) appropriately.

Either way, in our Christmas example although the main contenders may change according to metric, it’s clear that Slade’s ‘Merry Xmas Everybody’ is the Christmas number one across all. Well, in our office anyway. Enjoy!

For the record, based on the ‘3 points for 1st,  1 point for 3rd’ metric I intended, the Mustard top ten was…

1)     Merry Xmas Everybody – Slade

2)     I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday – Wizzard

3)     Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty MacColl

4)     Christmas Wrapping – The Waitresses

5)     Happy Xmas (War is Over) – John & Yoko / The Plastic Ono Band

6)     Last Christmas – Wham!

7)     I Believe In Father Christmas – Greg Lake

8)     Little Drummer Boy – David Bowie & Bing Crosby

9)     All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

10)   Stay Another Day – East 17


Do you agree? If not, take it up with @MustardGareth and let us know what we’ve overlooked !