My Favourite Christmas Books and Film Traditions

Penguin Classics, New Ed. Edition. Oct 2003

Penguin Classics, New Ed. Edition. Oct 2003

Happy Christmas Eve all. This has to be my favourite day of the year. Christmas day is great but the anticipation of Christmas almost being here is so magical and wonderful. Everyone has their traditions at Christmas whether it be seeing family, going for a Christmas day walk or snuggling down with a Christmas themed book or a movie. I wanted to share some of my Christmas story and movie traditions. There are certain ones that I try to watch and read every year. Some of these traditions I have had since I was a kid and some are fairly recent. I can never wait until 1st December to be able to begin them.

My first Christmas story/film tradition is A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. I have been watching various adaptations of this all my life (I actually really love the version with Kate Winslet. Does anyone else?) This is the film I will usually put on when wrapping presents. The latest version I love is the Jim Carrey version although the scene where the candle changes faces quite frankly is creepy.
It wasn’t until last year though that I read the book these wonderful adaptations are based on. I don’t know why it took me so long. It’s full of great moments and in places, very funny dialogue. I love how faithful some of these film adaptations have been to the book. Reading this story though gave me a whole new appreciation for it. I will be trying to read it every year now instead of just watching it.

Snowman Enterprises, CH4 Television corp. TVC London. 1982

Snowman Enterprises, CH4 Television corp. TVC London. 1982

Hardcover Edition, Harper Collins, 2008

Hardcover Edition, Harper Collins, 2008

My next tradition is also a film adapted from a book and that is The Snowman. I mean, it’s a classic. I have been watching this animation since I was small and Christmas is not Christmas without it. This twenty minute film is so magical. I wanted to be able to build a snowman and go off to the north pole but I can’t remember the last time we had snow. I still hold out hope even though I am now in my thirties that we will get a white Christmas. It’s always good to hope right?
The Snowman is so wonderfully animated and even though it doesn’t have the happiest of endings, I can’t help smiling when I hear those first few beats of Walking in The Air and they begin to fly toward the North Pole. I notice something new every time I watch it. The Snowman is so timeless and will be part of my Christmas for years to come.

Speaking of which, The Gift by Cecelia Ahern is one of those Christmas stories that will have you reaching for the tissues as it will make you cry. It did me. Lou doesn’t have enough hours in the day. The advancement of his career comes at the sacrifice of spending time with his family. His life is turned upside down when he meets Gabe. Something happens where Lou can be in two places at once but can he discover what is important before it is too late?
This book has stuck with me for so long. Even years after first reading it I still think about it and this is a book I always try and read this time of year. It has such a lovely and important message especially for Christmas. If you’ve not added this to your Christmas reading list, I urge you to. It’s wonderful.

The Holiday and Love Actually have become firm staples of my Christmas tradition. I used to make sure I watched Love Actually with my Mum (this tradition of watching it will continue but it will be a little strange without her.)

LA: Universal, Studio Canal, Working Title 2003. TH: Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, Relativity Media and Waverly Films, 2006.

LA: Universal, Studio Canal, Working Title 2003. TH: Columbia Pictures, Universal Pictures, Relativity Media and Waverly Films, 2006.

I first saw Love Actually when I still lived in London. It really helped get me into the festive spirit and made me feel lucky to be living in London at the time and being able to go and see all the lights. I even went to see the Christmas tree in the shopping centre at the beginning of the film.
This film has so much romance and Christmas. Two of my favourite things. I didn’t have a chance really.
The Holiday also has a similar effect on me. This has also been a film I have watched every year since it came out in 2006. The characters start out as quite sad characters but all transform through the film and I love that.

Now some people love Elf (I do love it don’t get me wrong,) some people have to watch The Santa Clause. Some Die Hard (yes, I believe that is a Christmas movie,) but the one film I will ALWAYS watch every year without fail is Santa Claus The Movie staring Dudley Moore.

Calash Corp, GGG, Santa Claus LTD and Tristar. 1985

Calash Corp, GGG, Santa Claus LTD and Tristar. 1985

Avon, Oct 2008

Avon, Oct 2008

This film is my Christmas childhood. Like hearing Last Christmas marks the beginning of Christmas for me, this film means Christmas. I was incredibly excited when I found it on DVD. I know, it doesn’t take much. My Mum would always make sure we knew when it was on. My brother and I used to sit and watch it. Loads of lovely memories.
This film will always have a special place with me at Christmas.

‘It’s Christmas. All over the world tonight.’

Two books that always make me feel festive are Twelve Days of Christmas by Trisha Ashley and Christmas with Billy and Me by Giovanna Fletcher. Both book covers make me feel festive.
Twelve Days of Christmas was, I think the first book I’d ever read by Trisha Ashley and it started a love of her books that is still going strong. Holly is asked to look after a remote house on the Lancashire moors. Her Christmas seems perfect until she meets the house’s owner and her peace is shattered.

Penguin, Nov 2014

Penguin, Nov 2014

This book has loads of Christmas and festive feels and lots of mentions of Christmas food. I love it.

Christmas with Billy and Me is the short novel that is set after the events of Billy and Me but before Always with Love.
Giovanna really does set the scene for a beautiful english village decorated all over by beautiful Christmas lights. There is a wonderful atmosphere painted in this book. I love coming back to it at Christmas. It was also nice to get a little update on these lovely characters too.

What are some of your traditions?

 

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Laura
I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

One Response to My Favourite Christmas Books and Film Traditions

  • Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing, Laura. Have a lovely, cosy Christmas! I’m on a train to Leuchars in Fife, gazing out of the window at the sea, dreaming and making my To Do list for 2017, which involves finishing 2 writing projects. By the way, I bought several of my friends & family the storyteller pencils you told us about. Such a lovely, original gift. Happy holiday! x

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