This is an oldie but a goodie. While my sister and I never really watched the Peanut cartoons when we were little (I preferred the comics), my mother used to love them and it was a love she used to try to pass on by encouraging us to watch this every year.
With imaginative, relatable characters and iconic music it’s not surprising that A Charlie Brown Christmas is something that still manages to compel children, long after they’ve transitioned into adulthood. It’s surprising re-watching it as an adult how profound the message is behind this short film, as when I was little all I noticed was the Charlie Brown was sad about Christmas. But as an adult I realised that it’s actually the widespread of commercialism that’s got Charlie down, and is the cause as to why he throws himself into directing the Christmas play, although alas to no avail. As Charlie’s friends come together and we see Charlie realise that there is still more to Christmas than shopping and presents, it’s not just Charlie’s spirits who are raised. Whilst Linus’ recitation of Luke 2:8-14 highlights the simple intentions of what Christmas should really be about, peace and goodwill to all men. Whether you’re religious or not it’ll have a different impact for you, but as someone who is the latter I love this reference as it brings me back to my childhood performing the Nativity, and the genuine joy and promise that Christmas would bring every year.
At its core that is what a Charlie Brown Christmas is all about, characters coming together in a touching and sentimental way to remind us what should be most important at Christmastime, and that is something that I think we sometimes need to be reminded of.
Well now we can officially kick off the Christmas preparations off with a bang (pun very much intended). Now I know this another slightly controversial choice as although Die Hard is set on Christmas Eve-a fact we are repeatedly reminded of, it’s not technically a Christmas film, but it’s my list and what says Christmas more than a dead terrorist with HO HO HO on his jumper?
But in all seriousness considering Die Hard was made 28 years ago I can honestly say it remarkably withstands the test of time as just a really great action movie. Alan Rickman arguably create the modern archetypal British villain in his role as the malevolent Hans Gruber, while Bruce Willis is nothing short of iconic and for good reason. I became obsessed watching it 28 years later, so I can only imagine the impact this film had when it originally came out and before the majority of its best bits became what we now recognise as well know cliches of the genre.
“Yippee Ki Yay, motherfucker” lives on as one of the most famous film quotes ever, and it is truly a testament to how smart and ingenious the script is. It features a lot of the most common Christmas film tropes such as a villain receiving his comeuppance, a love story with the bonus of a family’s reconciliation, not to mention what will probably go down in history as the worlds worst Christmas office party. Combined with a soundtrack of Christmas classics such as ‘Let it snow, Let it snow, Let it snow’ and ‘Winter Wonderland’, it’s the perfect choice for Day 2 as it has the dual bonus of just being a really great film that is also inherently Christmassy, and that’s why I think it deserves its place on this list.
It seems to me that one of the main downsides to the sun disappearing means that we all tend to get, as my Mum used to call them the ‘sads’ a lot more. While Winter is full of some of my most favourite things such as Halloween, pumpkins, warm cosy socks, open fires and hot chocolate, it’s also full of colder days and nights, grey skies and rain, which can sometimes make the good things just a little bit harder to remember. So when the times get tough, I get my sound of music on and try to remember my favourite things. So here they are and I hope they might help and inspire you to find your own winter warmers to make the season just a little less sad .
My favourite food- Currently a toss up between Tesco’s garlic mash potato or M&S’s creamy chicken pie, or if I’m lucky enough to be at home my Mum makes the ultimate creamy chicken risotto, hmm. But comfort food is a well known phrase for a fact as I have never had a mood that couldn’t be at least slightly improved with some good food.
Anything cosy- fact, being warm automatically improves my mood, so I grab my fluffy slippers, bathrobe and blanket and bundle myself up nice and tight. When you’re cosy everything seems a world away, perfect for dealing with sadness or stress.
A little touch of escapism- whether it be through music, film, TV or a book, if you’re feeling crappy then there’s nothing like escaping and just letting yourself get lost in something outside of your current reality, at least for a little while.
Relaxation- whatever your own personal form is, mine is a bubble bath followed by a cup of tea surrounded by candles, everyone needs to de-stress. This is a key part of my beat the blues formula, as calming yourself down is the first step to making yourself feel better, and looking at your issues with a clear and relaxed mind makes everything a lot easier to deal with.
“There is some kind of a sweet innocence in being human- in not having to be just happy or just sad- in the nature of being able to be both broken and whole, at the same time.”
― C. JoyBell C.