‘Tis the season to watch movies

merry christmas eve!

i hope this post finds you well, surrounded by friends, family, alcohol and chocolate.

i have a confession to make… one of my goals this year was to publish 52 blogs, the equivalent of one a week. so far i’m on 49, this post is number 50. i have a week to do 2 more after this one. for that reason this is a bit of a cop-out – i am playing catch up so it isn’t the most inspiring of posts but it does involve two of my favourite things – christmas and movies.

the debate has been raging this year over whether or not die hard is a christmas movie, i get that it isn’t a typical christmas movie but then neither are some of my favourites that i always seem to watch at this time of the year. in fact, one of my top ten christmas movies is not actually  a xmas movie at all. which brings us nicely to the countdown.

meet me in st louis

not a christmas movie. the xmas scene is definitely the stand out scene and is the origin of the best christmas song of all time – have yourself a merry little christmas.

miracle on 34th street

richard attenborough is definitely the BEST father christmas out there. it isn’t a movie i watch a ridiculous amount at christmas but i always watch it at least once. the ‘in God we trust’ court room scene is one of the best.

the grinch

i mean, of course this was in my top ten. i know the story was written before i was born but it’s almost like dr seuss wrote it based on me (because it’s all about me). the 2000 film is christmas gold.

elf

“the best way to spread christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear”

“you sit on a throne of lies”

saaaaaaaantaaaaa, i know him!”

“son of a nutcracker!”

“hi i’m buddy the elf, what’s your favourite colour?”‘

“you have such a pretty face. you should be on a christmas card”

definitely the most quotable christmas movie, you cannot watch that movie and not laugh. you cannot watch that movie and feel sad when the credits roll.

the family stone. 

this is SO underrated, most of you probably haven’t even heard of it even though it has a stellar cast…diane keaton, rachel mcadams, SJP, claire danes, luke wilson, dermot mulroney (dreamboat), craig t nelson…

this is about the kids all coming home for the holidays, the eldest brother brings his slightly uptight girlfriend to meet this family for the first time, and plans to propose. the scenes that unfold over the next couple of days are hilarious and awkward in equal measure.

this is the movie that reminds me that families are not perfect, even at christmas. they are the ones that are the most honest with you, normally at the times when you don’t want to hear it but need to.

home alone

whilst ‘elf’ may be the most quotable, this one has THE christmas quote “merry christmas, ya filthy animal” i mean, technically that is from home alone 2 but the first one sets it up. you all know the movie, you all know the story, you all know it’s one of the best.

the holiday

oh, the old guy is my favourite: arthur is a dream. i know the story isn’t particularly original but i just love it. when meredith realises what a tool jaspar is and sticks it to him, when amanda finally cries, when arthur walks up to the stage… all ‘yassss’ moments.

“i really like it”

the santa clause

i couldn’t tell you why i love this so much, i just do. if you haven’t watched it, shame on you.

p.s. it has to be the tim allen version.

p.p.s i really want to try judy’s (who’s seeing someone in wrapping) cocoa.

the muppets christmas carol

the muppets. michael caine. feel good singalong songs. what is not to love???

i know most of the dialogue to this movie. i know all the words to the songs and at 28, the angel of the future still scares the bejesus out of me.

so far, so good? hopefully you think i’ve made pretty good selections, if you don’t, well, tough, it’s my list not yours. the number one spot though, the number one spot goes to the only movie that would be acceptable to be number one. are you dreaming of it? 

white christmas

of course it’s white christmas!!!

danny kaye and bing crosby are the hilarious. rosemary clooney sings like a dream. vera ellen’s dancing is mesmerising. the soundtrack (hello, white christmas, one the best christmas songs ever written although there are some other bangers in there too), the final scenes when the old gang turn up for the general, it makes me cry everytime. it is just perfection on a screen.

also, this scene… this scene alone is enough to give it the number one spot

now i am aware that i have missed of the classic that is ‘it’s a wonderful life’ and whilst i acknowledge it’s ‘classic’ movie status i have not seen it enough to give it space in my top ten. what i do remember from it is two things 1. “everytime a bell rings an angel gets his wings” and 2. it makes me cry. no, actually, not cry, sob. maybe this year i will be brave enough to give it another go… i wouldn’t bet on it though. ha.

anyway, i leave you with good tidings for you and your kin on this fine christmas eve. i hope that you are on the nice list and santa brings you some lovely goodies. i hope that, no matter how you spend tomorrow, you have a day filled with love, laughter and happy times.

make some great memories.

xoxo micks

merry christmas.

Christmas Songs: A Top Ten

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas… ISN’T IT SO EXCITING???

No prizes for guessing my favourite holiday. There is a reason I have become known as ‘the Christmas fairy’ at work. I fully support the work of Santa and Buddy the Elf and agree wholeheartedly that “the best way to spread Christmas cheer is by singing loud for all to hear” .

Screen Shot 2015-11-28 at 20.56.27

 

 

Which is kind of handy as music is my thing and that is what this blog is about.
As we all know we celebrate Christmas because of Jesus, Mary and Joseph and what happened to them a couple millennia ago. Christmas = Christ Mass. The date of December 25th is probably not Jesus’ actual birthday – a fact noted by various scholars- but those pesky Romans and Church Elders decided on December 25th somewhere between 340AD and 440AD (thank you Mr. Precious and all those hours of R.E when you taught me things I swore I’d never need to use again. Little did I know…)

Christmas is not really Christmas in the traditional sense anymore. I couldn’t say I know of anyone that actually goes dressed up to church on Christmas day. Rather, the day begins dressed in a onesie (probably from Primark), with stockings and selection boxes for breakfast. Many of the old traditions, old reasons behind celebrating Christmas have been lost in a tide of greed and commercialism. Presents seem to have gone from ‘it’s the thought that counts’ to ‘Did they give me a gift receipt?’; it’s quite sad really. Don’t get me wrong, I play the consumer as much as the next guy, I have a list as long as my arm of people to buy gifts for and start thinking about ideas for gifts in the summer. I’m just as guilty as you.

One thing that hasn’t changed over the years is the love of a good Christmas song. Whether it’s a traditional hymn, or a pop classic, Christmas songs just have that… Je ne sais quoi. Everyone has a favourite Christmas song, or a favourite carol, there are polls every year and countdowns on the telly to find out ‘The Nation’s favourite’. So, because it is now so close to Christmas that even the Scrooges out there can’t deny it’s approach, these are MY top 10 Christmas songs.

Let the countdown begin…drum roll please…

N.B click the song titles to have your ears filled with magical sounds.

 

  1. Queen – A Winter’s Tale

 

This is technically not a Christmas song, it’s really a winter song. I have put this on my list though because it is bloody beautiful. It’s one of the rare songs that, if you close your eyes and listen to the lyrics, you can picture, quite clearly, what Freddie is singing. It makes me forget how much I hate the cold, and appreciate the beauty of the winter months. As Freddie says at the end “ooooh it’s bliss”

 

  1. Christina Perri – Something about December“Lights around the tree, Mama’s whistling..” This song is the most recently released song on my list. I love me some Ceeps and adore this song. She wrote it with her brother and I think you can hear it within the song. It’s that It reminds me of home. It reminds me of family and always makes me think on some of my favourite Christmas memories. It’s like a big hug.

 

  1. The Muppets – Scrooge

 

This song is on here for the craic. The Muppet’s Christmas Carol is one of my mum and I’s favourite Christmas movies. We watch it as much as possibly every year. Singing along to each song, but this one makes us laugh more than the others. It’s the ‘naaahhh’ in the bridge, I think. If you’ve never seen the film you should be ashamed of yourself, ASHAMED.

 

  1. Cliff Richard – Mistletoe and Wine

 

It’s not Christmas without Cliff. This is his best one. That kid that sings at the end in a soprano “Siiiilent night. Hoooly niiight” cracks me up every year. The person who does the best impression I’ve seen so far is Aud at work. I will attempt to get it on camera at some point.

 

  1. Michael Bublé feat. Thalia – Feliz Navidad (Mis Deseos)

 

This is on here for no reason other than it makes me want to dance and move back to Spain/ to Latin America at the same time. A really FUN Christmas song.

 

  1. Britney Spears – My Only Wish (this year)

 

I am not even ashamed. Ever since Baby One More Time was released I have been a Britney fan. I always wanted to be here, even through her shaved head phase I felt for her and just wanted to give her a hug. This song plays at work and is the only song I always want to sing along to without being interrupted. Britney + Christmas = Michaela Fan Girl Heaven.

 

  1. The Carpenters – Merry Christmas, Darling

 

Only Karen Carpenter could deliver this song so well, with a vulnerability that the lyrics require. A reminder that, whilst we are swept up in the buzz of advent and shopping, some people would rather just be reunited with those they love. Especially our servicemen and women; whether you agree with why they are where they are is irrelevant. They are still separated at a time that is all about spending time with loved ones.

 

DUN DUN DUUUUNNN…. The top 3! Are you on the edge of your seat? You bloody should be, it took me ages to decide these.

 

  1. John Lennon and Yoko Ono – Happy Xmas (War is over)I promise this isn’t on the list just because it’s John. The message of this song is beautiful. We all know John and Yoko wanted peace on Earth. All these years later, especially after the recent tragedies in Paris and the East, the song resonates even more. The video is quite hard to watch but it reminds us that Christmas is also a time to be thankful, that, we in the West, largely live in peace-filled countries. It reminds us to take 5 and give something to those less fortunate.

 

 

  1. Traditional – O Holy Night

 

The only hymn to make my top ten (which I’ve just realised) but it’s a goodie; one of my Grandad’s favourites, my Mum’s favourite and one of my favourites. The link is the Carrie Underwood version, but I also enjoy the version from Home Alone that features the choir. A hopeful song, and we know Christmas is the season of perpetual hope (Mrs. McCallister in Home Alone said so).

 

This is it… the big one!!

NUMBER ONE. (I’m not very good at creating suspense so I’ll just tell you)

 

  1. Judy Garland – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.

 

Judy. The legend. A song from one of my all time favourite movies: Meet Me in St. Louis for those that don’t know. I can’t really put into words why I love it so much, I just do. It’s a beaut.

 

Sooooooooo, they are my top 10. What are yours?

 

I’d imagine a lot of you will namecheck Mariah, The Pogues, Wizzard…

 

Let me know!

 

Xoxo