Well it's nearly that time of year and Santa has come early to our house - or at least to a member of our household.
That is to say that one of our presents this year was a box of goodies that we cleared out to make space on the floor - only for Giles to decide that the box was a fantastic new place to sit.
And so it is that several days later the empty, decorated box is still in the centre of our floor - only now it is slightly more of an obstacle because of the semi-resident cat.
So whilst Giles prepares himself for Christmas how are the rest of the Pixie Clan getting ourselves in the mood for some Chrimbo Cheer whilst working ever-so-hard (honest) in our jobs in the run up to some much needed time off?
Well, as the long suffering readers of this blog will know I am rather fond of creating List-o-Fives (none of which ever add up to only five) and so here's a list of things that we often share to get us in the mood:
Christmas Televisual Feasts (available on "terrestrial" TV - ie non-subscription channels):
#1: Doctor Who (Christmas Day)
Back in the 1960s a single episode of Dr Who aired on Christmas Day. It was, for the officianadoes out there, a middle episode of The Dalek Masterplan (13 episodes long) called "The Feast Of Stephen" - it was the last time the show would air on Christmas Day for 40 years. However, ever since the re-boot of the show about 7-8 years ago it has been an annual thing. This year sees the final story of current incumbent in the title role Matt Smith running around yelling a lot and waving a sonic screwdriver at anything and everything - threatening to assemble ad-hoc furniture at every turn (presumably). The last few have been a bit disappointing so I am hoping for a return to form this year as we see the arrival of Peter Capaldi as the new Doctor...
#2: The Sound Of Music
Some time in the 1980s they passed the Von Trapp Law meaning that it was illegal for The Sound Of Music to be left out of the Christmas schedule from thereon - or so it feels as every yuletide the screens fill with what feels like six hours of tap-dancing nazis. After all: what could be more festive? The way that most people watch this film is in bits -the first hour one year, the last hour another year and the twelve hours in between in odd bits whilst avoiding the Queen's Speech. Very few people watch it in a single sitting unless they are really, really bored.
Don't ask me why this is part of the festive programming but as with Sound Of Music it is now on every year. A fascinating fact is that Ronald Regan was, at one point, in line for the role of Rick so we must be eternally greatful that they elected him President instead...err.....
#4: Father Ted Christmas Special
The hapless residents of Craggy Island get lost in Habit-hat (a specialist shop for Priests...) and narrowly avert a scandal thanks to the quick thinking of Ted: who is awarded a Golden Cleric award as a result. Father Ted was a fantastically daft and funny sit-com, cut short too soon by the death of it's star.
#5: Blackadder's Christmas Carol
Ebeneezer Blackadder, the white sheep of the dastardly family, is visited by the spirit of Christmas who inadvertently shows him how much better off he'd be if he were evil. Blackadder is still one of my favourite all time sit-coms and this subversive version of Charles Dickens is amongst the best on offer.
#6: It's A Wonderful Life
So it turns out that my mother has never seen It's A Wonderful Life and, when i described it to her, she said "well that doesn't sound much fun" (or words to that effect). She is, of course, wrong - the film is rather odd because it's mostly slightly depressing until the uplifting bit where if you don't cry then, quite frankly, you have no soul. James Stewart is, as always, a joy to watch - but be warned: if I find out that if you watched the colourized version instead of the original black and white i shall be severely disappointed with you to say the least.
#7: The Box Of Delights
A children's TV series that first ran in the early 1980s about a magic box, an incredibly posh young boy and a ripping adventure yarn that could only ever be written in England. True some of the special effects were naff even then but it still has a certain sense of magic. The best way to watch this is episodically so that the final episode falls on Christmas Eve (which is when it is based to happen)
Some other films for your consideration:
The Wizard Of Oz (Herself insists its on at Christmas - not aware of it myself but it wouldn't surprise me in the least)
Scrooged/The Muppett Christmas Carol - one or the other of these is always on and both are worth your time
Merry Christmas to all bloggers