Saturday 12 December 2015

DIY Christmas Eve Movie Box

   Christmas can be quite romantic. It's cold outside, all the fairylights on trees and in windows look like fallen stars reflecting on the tinsel, and all the pretty bows on the presents and the thought that went into them - in short, beneath the stress and rushing around, Christmas is quite a cosy, mindful time.
   Japan has noticed this - Christmas Eve in Japan is equivalent to Valentine's Day in the west, with most wedding proposals taking place that evening. They appreciate the lights, the wrapping, the decorations, and as Christianity has never had much of a place in Japan, there's little religious connection to the holiday. They've been influenced by western images of decorations and have seen something more in it. And I love that.
   I only found out about that last year while writing a guest post for a Japanese blog and I found myself loving Japan even more for it, because it's something I've felt for a while, and I've been extremely lucky to have Seeg's amazing company for the past five Christmasses - and again this year, of course. But we don't have any Christmas traditions except buying a single tree decoration every year that was chosen between the both of us. It's a silly tradition but it started on our first Christmas and it's kept up every year. It can't be helped! And as the decorations are one of the major things I love about Christmas, it's not something that will be given the opportunity to stop because I'm drawn to Christmas displays like a magnetron. I revert to a 10 year old every Christmas.

   But, as that is our only tradition, I can't honestly say what it is we do every Christmas Eve. I think we watch a movie, or binge-watch whatever show we're presently into, but this year I intend for that to be the case. And as I cannot resist getting creative around Christmas - be it decorations, baking, drawing, etc - I decided I'd make a sort of Christmas Eve movie box.

   I love how presentation can change things. If I were to buy a DVD and a box of chocolates to share while watching it, it wouldn't be quite the same. But presenting that DVD and that chocolate in a box with some hypnotizing shinines changes everything. It becomes a firmer plan. Rather than watching the movie with the lights on, they go off; we gather up some extra pillows; we have a bottle of Shloer (we're classy like that) on hand for refills rather than just a glass of juice or whatever - put simply, things are made a little more serious.
   Am I crazy?

   To make something like this you need to make sure you have bases covered, really. Rather than just a DVD and a box of chocolates, you'll want to include something to drink, maybe a little more choice of food - sweet and savoury, or just sweet and sweeter - and, as it's Christmas Eve, perhaps a small, simple gift. Nothing to match the real gifts the next day, but something a little special.
   So, what did I use?

   Well, a movie was necessary, but rather than stick us to one title we might not be in the mood for, I picked out 3: Miracle On 34th Street is a great little Christmas film, one of the best in fact, so I had to have a classic on hand. The Hogfather is my favourite 'Christmas' film, though technically about Hogswatch - an adaptation of Sir Terry Pratchett's 'The Hogfather', it sees Death and his granddaughter, Susan, trying to save the Hogfather from disappearing when kids are forced to stop believing in him. And, finally, Mission Impossible 5. We've not seen it, and it's a good alternative to a festive film if neither of us are in the mood to watch something we've seen a hundred times already. Yes, even on Christmas Eve.
   We braved a trip into Hotel Chocolat the last time we went to the Mall, and Seeg pointed out this 'dipping adventure'. He said it looked good but was too expensive - so I decided it was ideal! After all, if you can't splurge and both buy and eat expensive chocolate at Christmas, when can you? I ordered it online while buying some of the chocolate for his advent calendar, so he has no idea I have it. I also got some lovely raspberry and white chocolate marshmallows from Mello Mallo (sadly now closed for Christmas), and some rose lemonade from Fentimans.
   I've also packed in a little gift for him,something small and simple, not really worthy of being kept until Christmas day. Whether he gives me one in return or not is up to him. I won't be expecting it.
   As for the box itself, I could have used a cardboard box, but that's not very impressive, so instead I like to use a sturdy box that can be re-used. I could admittedly decorate it myself, and usually I would, but I...well, I wanted an excuse to buy this box from Paperchase, and this was perfect.

   I padded it out with shredded black tissue paper and that was that! I'll probably top it off with a black ribbon at some point nearer to Christmas - I've had to disassemble the whole thing because there's nowhere to put it, and fortunately the box flat-packs beautifully.

   Do you do anything special for Christmas Eve?


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