Tuesday, 18 December 2007
You win, Bloggertropolis, here goes!
When People Say 'Christmas' You Immediately Think
Oh no! I can't handle this again. It's too soon. People will expect me to do stuff. I'm a girl!
Favourite Christmas Memory
Watching '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea' starring James Mason and Kirk Douglas when I was about seven. My presents were unusually decent that year as I recall and I spent most of the Christmas holiday wearing my new unconscionably fluffy dressing gown over my clothes in our freezing cold house, cradling one cat hot water bottle after another (we seldom had fewer than three fluffies on the go)
Favourite Christmas Song
Sorry but Mariah Carey's version of 'All I want for Christmas is You.' That woman's got a 'rare paira lungs on her' as we Irish would say and she gives it all the welly she's got, which is at least two. Anything I have trouble singing along to impresses me, and the bigger and more OTT the number with bells and whistles, the better.
Favourite Christmas Movie
Another cheesy choice. Would have to be a tiebreaker between 'The Sound of Music' for all the breathtaking scenery and my childhood crush on Christopher Plummer and 'Whistle Down the Wind'. It never fails to make me cry when the children on the remote farm discover the fugitive hiding in their barn is not Jesus, but 'just a bloke'. The disappointment on their little Northern faces is more than I can bear. Surprisingly John Mills' wife Mary wrote it and their daughter Hayley starred in it and no one was from Yorkshire, except a few extras. I also ADORE The Return of The Pink Panther, but don't get me started as I'm a hardcore Clouseau fan.
Favourite Christmas Character
Absolutely all of them from A Christmas Carol! Surely the most perfectly crafted Christmas story ever. Unusual for a commissioned piece, but Dickens got it so pitch perfect. Every sentence is lush as a rich slice of fruit cake and all the ingredients for the perfect Christmas story are there - the misery, the ghost, the fear and suspense, the moral, the revelation, the transformation. And the Christian moral is obvious without being laboured or overty signposted. Dickens was wise enough as an arch storyteller to get the message across via the subtler vehicle of power of plot & employing the 'spirit of Christmas', where many Victorian writers of the time would have used a righteous sledgehammer to crack this particular nut!
Favourite Christmas Object
I adore decorative Christmas lights! To the extent that I have decorative lights in my house all year round as I find them so mood-boosting. I can't believe all the angels and stars and dragonflies and flowers you can buy nowadays. And I love the ice cubes and lights that change colour too. In fact the only lights I don't particularly care for are the standard boring ones.
Plans for Christmas
Once I get the last of my Christmas post out the way, I like to just sit back and relax. I don't go too crazy about stocking up on food (the shops are only shut for three days after all). I do like to have plenty of films and choccies in the house though. This year I will spend half the holidays in the Midlands where my partner lives and half in Oxford, barring a couple of days on the south coast to catch up with relations there. I never fly at Christmas and can't understand people who do. Far too much of a flightmare and you'd need another holiday when you came back! Also doing a spot of cat-sitting for a friend who will be away and having a crack at writing a comedy script.
Is Christmas your favourite Holiday?
I don't know. It's a funny time of year as my birthday comes three weeks before it. It's a sad time to reflect on everything I haven't achieved that year, but a hopeful time when New Year comes round and you start thinking about how to make the next year more successful. In some ways I find Christmas Day a bit of a damp squib after all the ridiculous build-up and over, almost before it has begun! The best thing about Christmas is the long holiday off work (for those lucky enough not to work in the retail industry or emergency services) and opportunity to catch up with old friends and relatives. I love the way that it's the best excuse to get in touch with people you have been embarrassingly remiss about keeping in touch with, or they with you. So many dinners and catch-up drinks lately - it's great! I'm also starting to really welcome just about the only consumer-free day we have all year as we enjoy so few of them. When I was growing up and everything was shut on a Sunday except the Newsagents (which also closed at midday), no one even thought about shopping for that one day a week. Life was lived outside the mall. Now there is hardly ever a break from consumerism and thinking about what products we need to buy next and it gets very wearing, even if it is occasionally useful.
I now pass the Christmas quiz posting baton on to;
Small Beds and Large Bears
Henry North London