When a group of military wives who needed a distraction from missing their husbands got together with choir master Gareth Malone, they never imagined their song would end up as a hit -- but now it is the best-selling Christmas song in the UK.
Their single "Wherever You Are" sold 556,000 copies in the past week -- more than the rest of the top 12 combined, Sky News reported.
One of the wives, Sarah Clarke, said, "We're so proud of our men now they've got something to be proud of us for."
Malone said he was shocked by the success of the release, but said that it was timely. "This single comes at a time when we're thinking about Afghanistan and ... realizing the sacrifices they've made -- and not just fatalities but the small sacrifices these women make on a daily basis," he said.
The race to be the Christmas No. 1 -- the best-selling record in the holiday season -- is an important annual tradition in the UK music industry.
For five of the past six years "The X Factor" winners Matt Cardle, Leona Lewis, Alexandra Burke, Leon Jackson and Shayne Ward hogged the No. 1 spot.
In 2009, Rage Against The Machine beat Joe McElderry to No. 1, and this year Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was hoping to be the anti-"X Factor" bid, but the campaign gained little momentum.
Previous Christmas best-sellers have ranged from Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas" in 1984, 1989 and 2004, to the ridiculous "Mr Blobby" in 1993 and the sentimental Cliff Richard in 1988 with his "Misteltow And Wine."
The success came as The Sun reported that the woman who led the choir, a mother of two, had been the victim of cruel internet trolls because of her extensive visible tattoos.
Soloist Samantha Stevenson, 28, said the attacks were hurtful, but she vowed to celebrate her chart success by adding a remembrance poppy tattoo to her collection.
"Most people are lovely and supportive," she said. "But I've been really shocked by the reaction to my tattoos by people on the internet. They say I'm vile, I'm a disgusting woman with disgusting tattoos and I shouldn't be allowed on TV."