Christmas on Becca's Books | Christmas Movies, Music and the Queen's Speech by Hayley, Rather Too Fond of Books

Christmas Movies, Music and the Queen’s Speech! ~

By Hayley, Rather Too Fond of Books

I wanted to write about my Christmas memories and once I thought about it I realised that they revolve a lot around music, movies and the Queen’s Speech! Up until 2009 Christmas was always spent at my Mum’s house with all of our extended family (around 20 of us!). It was always loud and chaotic and brilliant. 
Decorating the tree was something mum, my two brothers and I all did together, even after we all lived in our own places. We’d all go stay at mum’s one weekend in December for the annual putting the tree up day! My family agreed that I made the best mix tape of Christmas songs so we always had the same one on every year. The CDs you buy in shops never have all of your favourites on so making your own is the best plan. We had things like Driving Home for Christmas, Step into Christmas, Merry Christmas Everyone, Band Aid, All I Want for Christmas is You, John Lennon, A Spaceman Came Travelling, Wizzard, Stop the Cavallry, The Pogues… basically all the proper classics! I’d have to add David Essex for my mum (because she had a not-so-secret crush on him!) even though my brother would go to skip it every single year! 
As a family we always watched Christmas Vacation together, my brother would always do an impression of ‘he was yakking on a bone’. I have now watched that film at least once every year since I was 12 (*coughs* 20-odd years ago *coughs*) and it never gets old! I was so pleased when I met my husband and discovered in the build up to our first Christmas together that he also has a tradition of watching this film! It was obviously meant to be!
Mine and my brother’s favourite Christmas film is Santa Claus: The Movie (the one with Dudley Moore) and from the very first time we ever watched it it became tradition to watch it every year. We usually tried to watch it together on Christmas Eve at Mum’s house before eating Christmas dinner in the evening. We also loved a BBC TV special from many years ago called Bernard and the Genie. We recorded it that year and watched it for so many years afterwards that the tape eventually snapped.
I love a children’s film called One Magic Christmas that isn’t often on TV these days but if I ever spot it I still have to watch it. Mum rented it from the local video shop as a treat one year in the Christmas holidays as my brother and I had been good that day. I think I was about 9 at the time. It’s like a bit like a modern It’s a Wonderful Life for children. Of course I adore It’s a Wonderful Life too but that’s a film tradition I have on my own as no one in my family was bothered about it so I used to sit in my old childhood bedroom back at my mum’s on Christmas eve to watch it. Other not to be missed films were always Prancer, The Christmas List, Elf, and The Santa Clause!
My mum died in 2009 and later that year I met the man who is now my husband. We bought our lovely house together in 2010 and Christmas now is all about hibernating on Christmas day, just the two of us. We cook lunch together and watch Christmas TV while drinking too much Baileys. It’s fab! We got married just before Christmas last year so it’s a very special time of year for us.
We decorate our tree with Christmas music on - a mix of my choice cheesy classics and the Phil Spectre Christmas album that my husband loves (and I have to admit it’s a fab album!). Once the tree is up we usually collapse on the sofa together and watch Christmas Vacation and Home Alone. Home Alone is our tradition together, we’ve watched it every Christmas since we met. 
The one tradition that I had growing up that I still keep is watching the Queen’s Speech at 3PM on Christmas day. My nan used to insist that everything stopped for the Queen, and she’d jokingly insist we all stood for the national anthem! After my nan died my mum and I would watch together every year; now I watch it in memory of them both. I always smile and think of my nan standing for the anthem with her Christmas hat and pinny still on and a glass of sherry in her hand, giggling as she tried to insist we all pay attention to the Queen! 
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