For three years running, every Christmas Eve I would go with my family to see a group of tiny hairy people go on holiday. Not sure why they decided that Mordor would be an appropriate destination though, as the reviews on Trip Advisor are sub par at best. The resort manager Sauron had a very nasty demeanour and wouldn’t stop staring at everyone’s jewellery. He also warned me that “one does not just walk into the spa” despite us supposedly having full access as part of our package deal. Such terrible service, 2 stars (serving elevensies saved them from a 1 star rating). That’s right, for this three-year period, December 24th was cinema day so we could find out if Frodo liked himself so much that he was gonna put a ring on it or ditch it and submit to the man love of Samwise Gamgee.
I know Lord of the Rings is about as Christmassy as the Easter Bunny on his summer holiday in Antigua, but it became tradition. I find it a real shame that proper Xmas movies just don’t seem to get made any more. Sure this makes me sound like an old git uttering the cliché “they don’t make them like they used to”, but the fact is they don’t!
Christmas is the only time of year that you will see the Home Alone box set stacked as high as the HMV healthy and safety stiffs will allow them. And when I say the Home Alone box set, you know I mean the first two movies. We will continue to pretend that the third and fourth movie never existed.
And it’s not just Home Alone. You also have Miracle on 34th Street, Scrooged and Muppet Christmas Carol. Hell, even the first Die Hard was really Christmassy and gets me festive in a yippee-ki-yay kinda way. The best effort of recent time was probably The Grinch, but that was written about 50 years ago so doesn’t count. If I am feeling generous, I will give Elf a mention for effort, but it really didn’t quite capture the magic of the true Xmas classic.
This year we get the, considering recent news events, questionably named Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger. A British take on the kids Xmas movie staring Ten, or David Tennant as he is legally called. I shall wait to pass judgment on this movie, as it really wasn’t intended for me. But maybe all the Xmas movie genre needed was the British touch?
I do love the experience of going to the cinema. The massive screen, speakers at the volume that if you tried it at home would result in a police warning, the big comfy chairs; It all comes together to create quite an experience and one perfect for a happy Xmas Eve or at least the holiday period. Maybe you will be totally freaking out about the next few days, for example: I HAVEN’T WRAPPED MY PRESENTS YET, or I FORGOT TO BUY MORE YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS. If this sounds like you, I have zero pity. As I said last year on the podcast, a happy Christmas is an efficient Christmas. So get yourselves sorted in advance this year and make sure the 24th is kept free to let your worries melt away at the cinema. And for the first Xmas in years, there will be a Hobbit awaiting you at your local cinema ready to take you away to Middle Earth, commonly known as New Zealand.
The magic is slightly lost when you find out it costs the best part of a ten-pound note to buy some popcorn and a drink. That is why you smuggle your own supplies in. But that rant is for another time.
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