Never Mind The Baubles…
“On Christmas morning we stuck up a board with ‘A Merry Christmas’ on it. The enemy had stuck up a similar one… Two of our men then threw their equipment off and jumped on the parapet with their hands above their heads. Two of the Germans done the same… our two men [went] to meet them. They shook hands and then we all got out of the trench” – Frank Richards: ‘Old Soldiers Never Die’ (1933).
I remember one Christmas morning
A winter’s light and a distant choir
And the peal of a bell and that Christmas tree smell
And their eyes full of tinsel and fire.
Blazes, last year’s Yuletide only seems like yesterday – you can’t tell me that one whole year has gone since the last one! Hardly done any shopping, only put the tree up on Tuesday – sorry, Bing, it’s not beginning to look a lot like Christmas. It’s okay, you will get no bah or humbug from me – it just feels as if we’re still in September.
Christmas was always a fab time in the Brad household: Mum creating the most fantastic dinner in a white hot kitchen; balloons bursting in Dad’s face as he tried to, erm, blow them up; and Hannibal – our constantly petrified brown tabby – attacking the Christmas tree (then scarpering from the living room when it keeled over on top of him). Aah, happy times…
It was the best time of year to swell my collection of Star Wars action figures, and Annuals of my fave comics; consume lots of chocolate and mince pies, and catch some HUGE movies on the telly. But that wait for the Big Day to arrive was always long and arduous.
Now, of course, the zest for this festive season has long since gone, just like my childhood; Christmas just comes and goes in a flash, and before you know where you are, it’s the (Happy?) New Year already…
Ah, but the dinners are still fantastic.
…As are the mince pies.
So please, bliss out by the fire, and help yourself to some…
“Hey, Mr. Churchill comes over here
To say we’re doing splendidly
But it’s very cold out here in the snow
Marching to win from the enemy
Oh, I say it’s tough, I have had enough
Can you stop the Cavalry?”
– Jona Lewie.
They sold me a dream of Christmas
They sold me a Silent Night
And they told me a fairy story
Till I believed in the Israelite.
Being chosen to play one of the Three Wise Men in that school year’s Nativity production would be – you’d think – a highlight of my acting career. Let’s just say there were artistic differences between the director and my rather confused self.
Honestly, what were those idiots doing, hanging around a manger in the early hours of the morning?! They had brought NO toys (and no mince pies!) Pretty sure Dad would have told ’em to naff off…
Seem to recall making a deliberately impudent remark concerning the Nativity Play and managed to get meself banished to the “choir” instead. Since then, though, the Star of Bethlehem has attracted my scientific curiosity later in life. What is particularly intriguing is that, rather than a comet, the Star was, most likely, a double eclipse of Jupiter in 6 BC, the year now widely accepted as the birth of Christ. Roman astrologers said that it “signified the birth of a divine king.”
But hey, rather than carry on down this high-brow tangent, let’s just take it easy.
Put your feet up (against the fire).
And have another mince pie.
Anyway – as this is indeed the time for giving – here is a little treat to help you, dear reader, through the perishing cold and unwanted socks. Without further ado, here is one of the greatest – not to mention one of the most hilarious – moments from SF cinema history:
“You don’t have to follow me! You don’t have to follow anybody! You are all individuals” – Brian Of Nazareth.
“Yes! We are all individuals!”
And I believed in Father Christmas
And I looked at the sky with excited eyes
Till I woke with a yawn in the first light of dawn
And I saw him and through his disguise.
It always bewildered me how one elderly, bewhiskered lunatic in bright red snazzy jim-jams could deliver pressies to all children around the world… in one night.
Having been told all year round by our parents NOT TO TALK TO “STRANGERS,” come the most wonderful (bat-shit bonkers) time of the year, and we were actively encouraged to sit on the lap of a stranger – with a ridiculously false beard no less – and tell him what we wanted…
And the less said about his frickin’ flying reindeer the better…
Even to my delightfully innocent infant mind, none of this madness added up. Then again, if they handed over some Star Wars gubbins, yours truly wouldn’t make a scene. Honest.
Supposedly this is the point in which the obligatory Christmas Carol is uploaded. Well, nuts to that…
This is my blog, baby, and something more entertaining is called for; been waiting for the opportunity to upload this for ages. Granted, it’s not “seasonal,” but wow, it’s enough to get any party goin’; and it has a very sci-fi feel to it. Yes, Jon is using a theremin – that bizarre instrument used on soundtracks for classic B-movies of the ’50s. You know what they say: “We’d better let him in – he’s got a theremin.”
Really, you don’t get bands this cool, frenetic, anarchic and downright talented these days; why not…?
Have a very Merry Christmas! And be sure to enjoy as much good grub an’ grog as you possibly can!
I wish you a hopeful Christmas
I wish you a brave New Year
All anguish pain and sadness
Leave your heart and let your road be clear.