It’s Christmas time! Wait! ✋ Before the haters in the US start the It’s not Christmas until we celebrate Thanksgiving! thing, remember that we don’t have Thanksgiving in Spain. Here, after All Saints Day on November 1st ticks by, Christmas time in Spain is cleared for landing.
I don’t mind this, at all. Festive cakes, cookies and candy start filling the stores. The tables and bins piled high with these in the local shops puts the US to shame. And the bakeries are filled with gorgeous mouthwatering delights. Not that I can eat any of these things but I can take a deep breath and smile as I enter and order a coffee.
Today, I will be putting up our Christmas tree. In the US, we used to put up our tree on Thanksgiving. Not being a big football watching family, it helped fill the time as the turkey was in the oven. And, hey, I would be grateful for that tree, too. The last decade we had a fake tree, after The Great Christmas Tree Boondoggle of 2008. That year Jeff, Emilie and her friend, MacKenzie, went out, selected and chopped down a tree in our forest. Jeff dragged it into our house – I am still unsure how he got it through our double front doors and through the foyer – into the very large living room with very high vaulted ceilings. The tree didn’t fit – an understatement. The top scraped the ceiling and we had to have it repainted in January. Little MacKenzie pulled on my sleeve ‘Um. Kelli. I think it might be too big.’ I laughed out loud. ‘You think?’ It was so wide we had to move all the furniture to a weird angle in the corner for the next six weeks. But Emilie was so proud of the tree we kept it. Jeff lashed it to the bannister upstairs with climbing ropes. To make it cat-proof. Not that it would have moved, it was so wedged against the ceiling. We had to cut off large branches at the bottom to get presents under it. It took a few days for it to heat up and wake up the bees in the beehive nestled in the branches. Yup! It was an interesting Christmas season that year. Hence the fake (I prefer environmentally, less lethal) Christmas trees henceforth.
But nothing gets one in the Christmas spirit quite like a Christmas movie. There are some classics, for sure. Jeff and I decided it was time to search through our streaming services and fire one up. But first, we needed to slip into our warm flannel jammies and make some hot chocolate with a little Bailey’s, some Gran Marnier and a splash or three of Jamison’s. Then, we snuggled up in front of the fire and discovered one of the best Christmas movies – EVER.
Exclusively on Apple+, Spirited is the new Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds Christmas movie. A shined up modern-day Dickensian tale from the perspective of the ghosts. Hilarious from the first moment. In the style of a great broadway show – which it will undoubtedly be. Singing, amazing dance numbers. A Pull-at-your-heartstrings story, of course. And two comedy geniuses doing what they do best.
‘But, Kelli. I don’t have Appletv.’ You are saying right about now. ‘The only person I know who does is that mean old lady next door.’
Well, all I have to say to that is Start Baking! Venture over to her house with those Christmas cookies and a thermos of adult hot chocolate- see recipe above – and inquire as to her health. Then ask for her expertise on her Appletv. ‘Might I see it?’ Hold up the hot chocolate and request a couple of mugs. Or, better yet, have brought your own. Then plop yourself on her sofa and fire up Spirited. You’ll be very glad you did. She’ll be glad you did. It will be just like that scene with the old man in Home Alone. He wasn’t so bad when you got to know him. You might discover she’s not so bad, either. And, let’s face it, what could be more Christmas movie-ish than that?!
So – even with it being before Thanksgiving in the US – I will cross that dreaded line to be the first person this year to wish you and yours a Very Merry Christmas 🎄🎁 and Happy Holiday Season. May all your wishes come true. With a prayer for peace and healing on earth, and goodwill towards all. 🙏 In the wise words of Tiny Tim – God Bless Us, Every One.