What I think about politics.

For the longest time, I did not care about politics. I only knew who our prime minister was and that was that. If anyone asked me who was the minister of this or that, I could not answer because I simply did not care. When I turned voting age, I voted for a party my family supported because, as I said, I simply did not care, none of this affects me remotely and the world keeps on spinning and life goes on, la-dee-dah.

All until something happened that did affect me. And all of a sudden I woke up and realised that who governs my country is actually kind of important.

I also realised that people who claim not to care about politics are generally those who do not need to care, people who are privileged to the point of arrogance. People who feel like they need nothing and no-one until they get a rude awakening.

And here I am today, a person who not only cares about politics but is actively interested and often thinks about what I can do, apart from casting my vote, to make a difference.

That being said, I think that in Malta and especially as a government employee in a government institution, it is most unwise to be very public about how you are going to cast your vote in that polling station. Because no matter who ends up getting elected, you are working in their institution and you have to be okay with that. If the party I support is not elected, I would not want my superiors at my place of work or anyone else for that matter to know I am disappointed. Because it none of their business. And disappointed or not, I do not want anyone to think that who is in government is going to affect my performance. Sounds silly? Well, you would be surprised at how many people actually think that way. ‘Who cares what they think!?’ you may say. And usually I would agree. But I do care what my superiors think as my career is important to me and I want to be taken seriously.

I once worked with someone who was constantly trying to find out which party I support. I could not for the life of me figure out why it was so important to him. Didn’t we work together just fine? Isn’t that all that mattered? Why did he want to know? So perhaps he could judge me?

Recently I was working with an American colleague of mine and for some reason I thought she was as anti-Trump as I was. To make conversation, I said ‘I would have loved to see Bernie Sanders as a president…or Hilary Clinton…’ to which she replied ‘oh, crooked Hilary?’ and then she went on to say how great she thought Trump was. I was shocked. I said, ‘But…but…he’s a misogynistic asshole!’ to which she replied ‘but he’s one of the people and he understands us!’ To dismiss the conversation, I said ‘ah well, I’m Canadian and we have the handsome Trudeau!’

And I hate myself for it, but I can’t quite look at that person in the same way ever again. To me, uneducated rednecks supported Trump, not intelligent and lovely people like my colleague.

You see what I did there?

I judged. I judged my lovely colleague. I had no right, but it just happened. And it is a very bad thing. And I do not want it to happen to me.

That is why you will not see me at party rallies. That is why you will not see me defending the party I support on Facebook. That is why I only have political discussions with those who are closest to me.

And please notice, I said closest to me. NOT just those who agree with me. I have a very good friend who I hold dear, who I have known for many years, since we were teenagers. We are political opposites, but I respect her deeply and care about her. We see eye to eye on many things. I most definitely do not think less of her because she will not vote as I do and I am more than certain she will not think less of me for that reason. I also know that I will never be able to change her mind and she knows she will not change mine. And that is perfectly fine.

I also believe that these rallies and endless Facebook posts initiated by the individual parties or their media representatives do not really accomplish anything. The people who go to the mass meetings/read these posts/share these posts are all already convinced. My father insists on listening to politically biased radio stations whenever I give him a lift. It embarrasses me, but I oblige. And while I listen to how one politician vilifies the other, I ask myself if anybody who supports a different party will listen to this and say ‘By Jove, I think he’s got it!’?? Nobody’s mind is going to be changed by putting up a photo of a politician on social media and writing something on the lines of ‘vote for him/her as they are akin to God’ as a caption. It is completely futile. It also makes me lose my faith in humanity (the little I have left). And then the comments. Oh Lord the comments. They range from ‘He/she is Lucifer on earth’ to ‘O! Behold this deity!’ I remain in awe at how people forget that these people are just mere mortals, not really different from you and me, but with a desire to be leaders of a country they love. Or else they are a bunch of power-hungry bastards; spin it which way you please but the former description allows me more peaceful slumber at night.

After all is said and done, I admire those who publicly support their party and stand up for what they believe in. It actually sets my heart ablaze. We obviously cannot and should not all agree politically and seeing people come together because they truly want to see the country do better, or because they believe in a certain person and want to support them and want to be a part of things is a truly beautiful thing in its essence. I would love to take a more active role in politics, I feel like I have a lot to offer and I think my ideas could possibly make a difference especially when it comes to healthcare and the profession that I love.

However, the idea of being in the public eye and affiliated to a party at this point in my life could probably do more harm than good. As an outsider, I have a naive and almost romantic view of what it would entail and although my intentions would only be good, I do not think I could bear to have my words twisted, my picture everywhere or unflattering photos or heavily doctored photos

of myself on social media claiming I am Jezebel and the Virgin Mary in equal amounts.

I will, though, conclude with this: your vote is what allows you to have just a little bit of control of the world you live in. Democracy is a privilege not known by everyone in the world. We are lucky. Don’t be foolish or frivolous with your vote. Think carefully, read and research and do what you and only you think is right.

 

Be Mine

Lucy puts on a little make-up. It’s Friday night and the regular gang are meeting up as usual for a night on the town. Exams are over so her parents thankfully allowed her to go out tonight and tomorrow night as well. She was basically on house arrest until a levels were over. And she supposed with good reason. After all, she was a little prone to partying just a little too hard. 

She wore a new-ish fancy top and jeans and went to tell her parents goodnight and negotiate curfew. It used to be midnight but now it was summer and the night buses ran on the hour and she knew that she could probably push it until 1am, especially if her older brother would ride the same bus. Even later if she got a lift with one of her brother’s friends. 

Her parents agreed. That’s the great thing about house arrest- parents seem to think it’s a cure for unruly teenagers but really and truly it just fuels the desire to lose control even more.

She grabbed her little backpack and walked out the door.

She walked around the corner behind her house. There was this abandoned hairdresser’s studio with a huge, overgrown vine tree covering the entire front area of this place. Lucy hid behind the tree and changed her jeans for a pair of shorts and her trainers for something sexier. She put her discarded clothes in the backpack and put everything in the garbage bag she always left behind the tree and made her way to the bus stop to meet the others.

And there he was. The object of Lucy’s desire. Michael. Leaning against the bus stop, torn jeans, sweet and beautiful. He was talking to Claire. She was fun and pretty, not incredibly smart but good at exams. Lucy and Claire were good friends. Not best friends because Lucy didn’t do best friends, but good enough. Not good enough however to tell her how much she liked him. That she kept pretty much a secret, even though she thought it was fairly obvious. They always hung out at school and they were constantly calling each other. Everyone seemed to think something was bound to happen, but for some reason it didn’t yet. The rest of the gang arrived and they jumped on the bus and headed off.

They would always buy cheap liquor from some grocery store before hitting the clubs because venue drinks were watered down and expensive. Lucy always got drunk first and got drunk the worst. But since everyone was inebriated and celebrating, nobody really cared. Suddenly emboldened by very low quality vodka, she linked arms with Michael and walked towards the venue of choice. And he smiled because they were friends. Great friends really.

They all did a few shots while there and soon enough everyone was dancing and the music was pumping and everyone was clowning around and Michael and Lucy were pretending that they were performing one of the songs and basically entertaining everybody. Lucy unsteadily climbed on top of one of the massive speakers and brought out her digital camera. It was a tiny thing, not very sophisticated but it did the job. She liked capturing moments…it made her a little popular because everyone always wanted to see if she captured them doing something funny or cool or risqué. From that height, she had a great view and started taking random snaps.

When all of a sudden, her camera rested on Michael. His lips locked on Claire’s. Lucy zoomed in and snapped the picture. Snap.

Pain. Pain captured on her little but effective device. And disbelief. And horror. And feelings. Too many feelings that alcohol couldn’t obliterate but simply make worse.

Lucy slowly climbed off the speaker and made her way to the exit for air. She threw up in a corner to jeers from people she did not know. She bummed a cigarette off someone she also did not know.

Claire came bouncing out of the club, jacked up on RedBull.

‘Ohhh Lucy! I totally got off with Michael! I always thought he was cute, but who knew he had such great skill with his tongue, yeah? You don’t mind right? I mean, I know you’re friends and all, but if something had to happen, it would have happened, yeah? You would’ve told me, for sure cuz we’re besties! Right?’

Lucy nodded without looking at her. Claire kissed her quickly on the cheek and said ‘That’s what I thought! Love ya!’ And she bounced right back in to be with Michael.

Lucy’s Michael.

Only he wasn’t.

And Lucy thought as she walked away to catch the early bus home, how awful this teenage life is. She hoped it gets better.

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RAjcVuc46Vw

Written as part of Miriam Calleja’s creative writing work shops. The assignment was to write a short story inspired by the lyrics of a song. She is the author of Pomegranate Heart and Inside skin. http://www.miriamcalleja.com

 

Can’t touch this.

I was 11 and it was a super hot day in June, 1995. I was lazing about the house, watching TV. I had just finished exams and it was the first week of summer holidays and I was still in that haze of being happy that school’s out but at the same time not entirely knowing what to do with myself. My sister was at summer school and my brother at his summer job and most of my friends were abroad so I was kind of at a loss.

I asked my mum for some money for some ice-cream and she was a little absent minded, in the middle of correcting exam papers and she handed me a whole pound. A WHOLE pound! And there was nobody about so I did not have to share it. I could actually buy an Algida Cornetto for 80c and not a Lyon’s Maid for 30c!

I quickly put on a pair of flip-flops before my mum could realise what she did and raced out the door to a near-by grocer.

I chose my cornetto from the chest freezers outside the shop and went to the till to pay. I had been to this grocer many times, almost every day before school in my uniform to buy sweets for all the kids on the bus stop.

But this time I was not in uniform because it was summer holidays. As I paid for my ice-cream and waited for my change, the man at the till said ‘hmmm you like ice-cream, yes?’

I just nodded and wished he would hurry up with the change because the damn thing was melting. I was the only customer so he wasn’t in a rush.

He finally gave me my change and then said ‘bye darling!’ and then reached out and kind of tickled right between my pre-pubescent and very minimal breasts and made a weird cat noise, like a ‘meowwwwrrrr’.

I grabbed the ice-cream and just ran out of there. I ran all the way home. And running in flip-flops was quite a feat. I did not have a house key yet and I had to ring the bell. My parents did not answer right away and I rang again. Then my dad opened the door and was puzzled at my urgency and my red and sweaty face.

I did not know exactly what had happened. But I knew it was not right. Why would anyone want to touch me there?

I was 11 and painfully unaware that I was growing up. It never crossed my mind that a grown man may want to touch me. The nuns at school often warned us about the trouble boys can cause and how we need to learn when to say ‘stop’. But that was about boys. I did not know that men had to be told ‘stop’ too.

It was the 90s and I looked like a stick insect. I was wearing short frayed denim shorts and a halter top. I already had the beginnings of acne and I was very awkward.

In other words, I was a kid.

Thank God, my family are very open and honest with each other and I told my dad what happened, what that shop keeper did. He turned an interesting shade of puce and immediately said he was going to storm to that grocery store, find that guy and ‘give him a knuckle sandwich’. Of course, he didn’t, but he never let me or my sister go there ever again.

After a little while, a large and modern grocery store opened very close by and the owner of this smaller store had to close down. And I never saw that guy again.

But I never forgot him. Because he taught me that I was not a kid anymore. And now men could look at me in a different way. And I had to think twice before putting on a pair of shorts. My pigtails were not cute anymore, they were provocative. And I suddenly had to be careful of how I sat.

Back then we did not really know about the terms ‘rape culture’ and ‘victim blaming’. I was not aware that I should be able to wear what I want and men should learn to control themselves. Because frankly, a lot of men would not control themselves and I only had control over what I could do to prevent this situation from ever happening again.

But it did happen again. Countless times. I had a man put his hand up my skirt twice. I had my breast grabbed once. Once a man in the street grabbed my face and said ‘oh you are so pretty’ and I had to yank myself away. Once a boy followed a girl friend and I, spewing sexual innuendo in a really loud voice behind us.

We were fourteen. I was wearing dungarees.

Now I am 33 and it still happens. I get ‘why don’t you smile’ while I am jogging. Some months ago at the iron monger, the shop assistant tried to touch my boobs twice.

It is everywhere. And I get the feeling that it can happen at any age. Once a man made a comment at my little sister when she was eight years old! Eight! She was a baby! I remember that she giggled and said ‘What a stupid man!’ Hmmm. Stupid was not the adjective I had in mind.

I bet there is not a woman out there who has never been groped or harassed. I am most certain that every woman who reads this blog post can share a story of when they were scared or felt unsafe in the presence of a man.

I am scared of being alone in a taxi with a male taxi driver. I remember when I used to ride a taxi home late with my girl friends; we would agree that the last person left would text someone to say they were safe. I am sometimes afraid to ride the lift alone with a man. Yes, I know that not all men are like that. I know many lovely, wonderful men who would not dream of such things. But unfortunately, all it takes is one man to do irreparable damage.

The nuns did right at school to tell us when to say ‘stop’.

But in the boy’s schools, were the pupils taught that when a girl says ‘stop’ they must listen? And were they taught that if a girl says nothing at all, it does not automatically mean go?

Sometimes I think when it comes to abiding by the traffic lights of life, some are electively colour-blind.

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Sadness 

We all experience sadness in some form or other. Like watching a sad movie or perhaps not getting a promotion at work when you know you deserve it.I call this kind of sadness ‘fleeting sadness’, a kind of sorrow that you get over quickly. Its easily distractible, you forget about it as soon as your attention is pulled elsewhere. You may be pissed off for a few days, but at some point you say, well that’s the way the cookie crumbles and you simply move on.

That is not the sadness I am referring to.

There is another kind of sadness. A sadness that, no matter what, never leaves you. A traumatic event that touches your very core and makes you know that when you look in the mirror, you will never really be the same again.

They are events that lead you to a realisation about your future. And it is truly terrifying because we are not meant to know absolute truths about what the future holds. For example, if a person close to you dies, you know that you will never see that person on this green earth ever again. From the point that person passes away and for the rest of your days, you know that your life is going to be lead without that person. That is a piece of your future. Or the love of your life tells you they don’t love you anymore and walks away. Or if you find out that despite all advances in medicine, it will be impossible to have children: all of a sudden you know that you will never cradle your own child and that is your future. Another example can be if you have a serious illness like cancer. In the case of cancer, you may heal but you have still gone through that terrifying experience and from there on out, you will always be a person who had cancer. You can never say ‘this is something that did not happen’ because it did happen. Or if you or a loved one has a debilitating illness like Huntington’s chorea or multiple sclerosis or ALS: a future that you never hoped or dreamed for becomes apparent.

Once any of these things happen and other things too, you can no longer say ‘Who knows what the future holds?’ because you kind of do know. At least about some rather key aspects.

And you learn to move on and function and take joy where it comes. And in life, there is a lot of beauty and a lot of joy.

But through the beauty and the joy, there is the niggling thought at the back of your mind: there is a lot of joy in the world- but it isn’t MY joy. MY joy would be to have the person I miss back in my life/ to be told it is all a mistake and that is not my diagnosis/ to see that double line on a pregnancy test.

And more often than not, there is nothing you can do about it. You cannot bring someone back from the dead and you cannot make somebody love you.

And I believe that everyone has some kind of sadness that will never go away. We carry it deep inside everywhere we go. We do our best to not think about it all the time, but it is undeniably there. The challenge is then to figure out how we are to survive knowing that something is never going to happen for us. Especially if this realisation comes at a young age.

And you keep on keeping on. And you figure out ways of giving your life meaning because deep inside of you is the knowledge that the future you had hoped for is not to be.

In a way, in hopelessness there is a kind of peace. When you know something is never going to happen, in a weird way you have no choice but to accept it and you stop striving for it. I’ll never forget when I actually experienced this. It was my final nursing exam which was about 5 hours long and it was not going well and towards the end, in the last forty-five minutes, I looked at my examiners and I just knew I did not have a snowball’s hope in hell of passing. I saw it in their eyes. And a kind of sense of euphoria washed over me and a feeling of peaceful resignation. There was nothing I could have done. There was a definite re-sit in my future. And that was that.

It was not until later that I realised the real implications and the impact this resit had on my future: it meant I would join the workforce much later than my peers, giving me less seniority when it came to deciding who would be head of shift. It also meant that when it came to pick which ward I wanted to work in, I would get the scraps left over by those who had passed and were able to choose first. And that was my future and it did affect the rest of my career.

But that being said, at least there was a sense of certainty. I did not have to worry about what was going to happen, because I knew exactly what was going to happen. And even though all hope was quashed, at least I knew. And I could react accordingly.

This experience is a sadness that I carry. One of them. To be honest, I do not think much about it anymore. But it is undeniable there. And it changed my future.

So really, it truly is such a paradox. Not knowing your future allows you to hope and dream and believe. Knowing your future does not allow hope to have any wiggle room which causes sadness. But at the same time, knowing something may or may not happen in one’s future can provide peace.

So what is better? To dream and hope of better days or to know that they are not to come and live with acceptance?

I do not know.

 

What I really think of Donald Trump.

I was really disappointed when I found out the Hillary Clinton did not win the election. And flabbergasted about who she lost to. I could not believe that Donald Trump got elected to be the leader of a country as big and as powerful as the USA. 

I have some pretty firm beliefs on leadership. I think that some people were born to be leaders. I think some were born to be followers. And I think some people think they should be followers but soon realise they would make damn good leaders and if given the opportunity would be fantastic (think Bernie Sanders). So where exactly does Trump fit in?

That’s the problem.

  
He doesn’t.
Now I suppose one can argue that he leads his businesses well, within reason, but well. The thing is, a business is not a country full of people. If one is not happy working for a bad leader in his business, it is not too difficult to find a new and better job, working for perhaps a better person. But it is phenomenally difficult to pick up your family and leave your country and your home due to a bad president. It has been done, but the challenge of doing that can not be compared to leaving one’s place of work. And I believe Trump is trying to run America like his businesses: with an ‘if you don’t like it, too bad, just leave, I’m the boss’ kind of attitude. What he does not realise is that most healthy people create an attachment to their home and country and family and ‘just leaving’ is not a viable option.

Trump does not seem to be the kind of person who will help anyone out without gaining something tangible from it, which is already a huge no-no when it comes to being a good leader. In order to be a successful leader, your feelings and interests have to come last and you have to be mature enough to have the objectivity to find what is best for those who follow you despite one’s personal opinion. Trump may not agree with abortion, but removing funds from planned parenthood is a mistake. His choice for secretary of education may have never used the public school system but the majority of Americans do and she needs to be more mindful on issues of proficiency and growth. 

Also, the fact that Trump hates the media so much is disturbing. Every household has a screen of some kind or form. It is through the media that one can reach people en masse, which is what the leader of a country needs to do. If he really is a ‘people’s president’ and wants to give ‘America back to the people’, how can one rage war and show so much animosity towards the main line of communication with them?

The impression I get is that this man is a coward who lies and uses social media without much thought and then sends his lap dogs out to clean up his messes and since some stains are indelible, they simply make an even bigger mess (alternative facts, anyone?).

His behavior in public is highly inappropriate. Shouting at journalists, constantly interrupting, using racial slurs such as ‘bad hombres’ to describe Mexican men, coining terms like tremendousness and hugely and of course, nobody will ever forget his preference on where to ‘grab’ a woman from. And maybe, he got elected because the average joe can relate to Trump.

But to me, a president and a leader can not be an average joe. A leader is special. A leader is someone who is relatable but can uphold the highest standards of dignity as much as humanly possible. The operative word being ‘human’. When we make mistakes, we back track,apologise and move on. That is how one earns respect, by having the courage to admit when mistaken and learn. Not by claiming ‘alternative facts’ or by trying to justify bad behavior by pointing out mistakes made by the previous administration or by his opponent. 

Bottom line is, a leader is someone the people want to follow and would follow gladly. Someone who’s behavior is an example to all. Do you want to follow a person you can not trust to tell the truth, sees an entire portion of society as blow-up dolls and is willing to allow someone unqualified to be leaders in various fields because their family gave money to his party? Who humiliates people with disabilities and describes his daughter as someone he could date and discusses her physical attributes in public? Remember, if someone in power does it, it makes it ok and normalizes it.

In short, Trump is an average joe. A crude, rich average joe on the lower end of the average spectrum. Which is why he should not be a leader.

He just isn’t special.

    

  
 

Thoughts that cross your mind while shopping for and cooking Christmas lunch

1. Do I have enough food? So you say ‘what the heck!’ and buy more food. As you are unloading the food from your car to your house you think ‘yeah, I bought way too much food….’

2. I will be super ambitious and confident in my culinary skills! I will make a Brie soufflé with cranberry jus, chasseur chicken with potato dauphinois and chilli chocolate mousse for dessert.

3. Fuck this shit. Tried and tested it is. I wonder if there is some feasible shortcut I can take…

4. Ok, maybe I won’t take the shortcut.

5. Who am I kidding? Of course I’ll take the shortcut.

6. It cost how much?? Are you sure the bill total is right? Are imported cranberries really that much?

7. Hot damn. I would have spent less if we had gone to some fancy restaurant.

8. I will play Christmas carols and wear a lovely Santa motif Christmas apron to get into the mood.

9. I will start with dessert because that’s the most fun thing to make, plus it needs time to set in the fridge.

10. Oh God. I forgot that baking is basically a science experiment where exactitude is key. Why did I think this would be fun?

11. Dear Lord, now everything smells of cinnamon and icing sugar.

12. It got all down my apron so it looks like someone shat on Santa’s face.

13. That fancy restaurant idea is looking pretty good right now.

14. The Christmas carols playing on a loop are annoying me. I honestly believe I am trying to ‘Feeeed the Worrrrrld’.

15. A HUGE turkey is set up in the dish surrounded by potatoes and veg and little sprigs of herbs and it looks positively stunning. Just imagine when it is cooked.

16. The dish does not fit in oven. Time to re-think everything.

17. Is it too late to make a reservation at that fancy restaurant?

18. After a bit of turkey feng shui and a smaller dish, it fits in the oven.

19. By some miracle of God, everything cooks nicely and turns out ok. On Christmas day everyone loves your food and you are indeed the culinary queen of your household and your friends and family are in awe of you and Julia Child would be ringing you for tips if she weren’t dead.

20. Until one sets eyes on the mount Everest of crockery in the sink and catches a glimpse of oneself in the mirror and there is turkey juice in my hair and Santa has cranberry sauce in his eye like a rather gruesome case of a cataract surgery gone wrong.

21. Next year we are going to the fancy restaurant.

  
(no, not my Christmas lunch, that’s a stock photo.)

My top 5 favourite Yuletide movies

I love all things Christmas (except Santa. Read my previous post. He’s terrifying.) I like Christmas food, Christmas jumpers, Christmas hats…I love the lights and the decorations and the cheeriness and the parties and giving gifts and the different nativity scenes and plays and panto…all of it!And of course, I absolutely love Christmas movies. Almost every year there will be one or two Christmas movies at the cinema or some made-for-tv, most of them are forgettable but a few stick in your mind forever.

So here you have my top 5 favourite Christmas movies:

5- How the Grinch stole Christmas (1966)

I love the original, animated Dr. Seuss story. I love the song ‘You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch…’ He is honestly quite a despicable creature however, he manages to turn himself around and unlock his icy cold heart that was two sizes too small. And that restores my faith in humanity. Or in fuzzy, ugly green creatures. It’s all good.

  
4- National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

So it’s my dad who absolutely adores this movie and because of him we all adore it too. And I must admit, there are so many funny bits that are so memorable (SPOILER ALERT)…when the family forget the axe and uproot the humungous Christmas tree, when the cat gets electrocuted, when the Mr. Griswald blinds the neighbours with the house lights he uses for decoration and of course Mela Kaliki Maka…

  
3- Love Actually (2003)

I watched this for the first time on a whim with my mother. We were out Christmas shopping and she wanted to watch an afternoon movie so we decided upon Love Actually. I was about 19 at the time and it used to be a lot colder at Christmas time (thanks global warming) and I was always wearing some kind of hat. That day I was wearing a fluffy white beret, exactly the same as Martine McCutheon in the scene where they go to the airport. And I remember my mum looking at her and then looking at me and saying we look alike. I do not agree, but it’s a sweet memory. I do not recall any particularly funny bits, except when Rowan Atkinson is trying to wrap Alan Rickman’s (RIP) clandestine present. But all in all, it’s really touching and taps in on reality and manages to remain light hearted at the same time.

  
2- A Christmas Story (1983)

I watched this for the first time right before we left Canada in 1991. I love it. I believe that kids can relate to this story as well as adults. I loved it then and I love it now. And I can’t help but observe how when I was a child I kind of blocked out all the ‘adult’ bits…like when Ralphie’s mum covers up the fact that her son basically beat the crap out of another kid (he thoroughly deserved it). When I watched the movie as an adult I thought ‘this mum is really quite smart and sensible’ but when I was a kid, I honestly did not care, it did not even register. But as a kid, I thoroughly understood the hatred of meatloaf, crappy Christmas presents, the banning of the word ‘fuck’, and wearing too many layers even though its cold. I think the most memorable bits would have to be the leg lamp (which you can actually buy on Amazon.com), the dad’s pronunciation of the word ‘fragile’, the bunny suit, the possibility of getting one’s tongue stuck on a frozen pole and of course the catch phrase ‘you’ll shoot your eye out’. I did not even know what was a BB gun until I watched that movie.

  
1- A Muppet Family Christmas (1987)

This is my all time favourite. I love it. The Christmas carols, the entire Jim Henson puppet cast of all the shows…they even remembered the fraggles! It is all just so sweet and it really makes me nostalgic. I remember watching this in our living room around Christmas time in Canada, when the snow was almost up to the windows and we had Christmas holidays and every day was family day and I did not have a care or a worry in the world.

It is full of great one-liners and puns and I think it really grasps what I believe Christmas to be: chaotic, noisy, surrounded by those you love and making memories. And there is absolutely nothing funnier than when the Swedish chef first sets eyes on Big Bird and thinks that he is an over-sized and delicious turkey and he sums all this up by pointing at him and saying ‘Gobbly-gobbly-humungo!’

  
Fantastic.

Heh heh. I’m certainly getting older. Enjoy everyone.