It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like… No, My Mistake – It’s Looked Like This For A While…

James Proclaims (4)

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And so today is the last day of November.

Which is a good thing, because November is rubbish.

But tomorrow is December.

And December is better.

Because it means that Christmas is coming, and Christmas is good.

That said, Christmas has been very much on the agenda for a while now. I think my ‘office’ Christmas party was being discussed as far back as June, and certainly large sections of major retail outlets have been dedicated to festive fare for more than a few months now.

Throughout November innumerable towns and cities have turned on their Christmas lights. The John Lewis Christmas ad has been launched to the usual misplaced fervour of excitement, although this year it seems to be the subject of controversy on the basis that they nicked the idea off a children’s book. I thought that stealing the work of others was par for the course in advertising, but people are upset because the John Lewis advert is meant to be its own artistic endeavour for some reason. I suppose it has been a Christmas ‘tradition’ since 2007 so you can understand why people are upset.

Perhaps, more controversially, some people are claiming that this year’s Debenhams Christmas advert is better than the John Lewis one anyway.

So basically, Christmas is ruined already.

Although, now I think about it, the only John Lewis Christmas ad I can even remember is the one that had the penguin in it and apparently that was way back in 2014, so clearly, I haven’t been paying much attention to them anyway.

The penguin ad was pretty cool though.

Or was it?

I can’t actually remember.

But penguins are always cool, so it must’ve been ok.

Anyway, the point is that Christmas is almost upon us.

And, once December arrives, the Christmas cacophony just gets louder and louder, be it retailers who want to deprive me of my last few pennies, or everyone wanting to know what my plans for the festive period are (I don’t have any – I never have any, beyond eating lots of food and watching lots of telly and maybe, if push comes to shove and I really have no alternative, spending time with other people).

The 1st December also brings with it the magic of the Advent calendar. I always get a chocolate Advent calendar. I’ve had one every year for as long as I can remember.

Actually, that’s not true – I can remember when I was a small child having to make do with a picture-based Advent calendar, like a chump, but at some point I was upgraded to chocolate and I haven’t looked back since.

I’d genuinely be upset if I didn’t get one this year.

I’m 38.

Anyway, these days there are lots of other kinds of advent calendars available as retailers try to make us part with even more of our hard-earned cash. You can get beer, prosecco and even Lego Advent calendars to name but a few.

I’m not sure how I feel about any of those.

I’m happy with a daily bite of, often poor-quality, chocolate.

I’d certainly be disappointed if presented with the Kellogg’s Variety Pack Advent calendar, which I saw in a supermarket yesterday. Cereal variety packs are for summer staycations, not for counting down to Christmas and frankly, even if every door was Co Co Pops it wouldn’t be great but you know that some doors are definitely going to be Corn Flakes. Corn Flakes have no business in an Advent Calendar!

Still the Advent calendar craze is the inspiration for the next adventure on James Proclaims as, starting tomorrow, I will dazzle the blogosphere with a daily review of a film.

A film that is a bit Christmassy.

I’m calling it The James Proclaims Advent Calendar of Christmas(ish) Films.

To qualify the film (or TV special in some cases) has to have some link to Christmas. It also has to be something I plan to watch in the next few weeks (or have already watched so many times that re-watching it is unnecessary) which would rule out a number of films that other people seem to really enjoy around this time of year.

Like 2003’s ‘Elf’. Because although I have seen it, I don’t remember enough about it to write a review of it, but I do remember enough to know that I didn’t really like it that much. I know other people like it, but those people are wrong. Having said that, I did enjoy the 2014 cartoon-musical version of it voiced by Sheldon off of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ and Mark Hamill off of ‘Star Wars’, but I won’t be including that either.

Worry not though, for that still leaves plenty of Christmas(ish) films to choose from.

Indeed I’m still not sure how I’m going to get it down to just 24 films.

But I will.

So get ready for a feast of festive films.

Yule Love it!*

 

 

 

*Bonus points if you can recall which Christmas Film that particular line is from.

James Reviews the 2016 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

James Proclaims (6)

I’m not sure if I’m going to make the review of my chocolate advent calendar an annual event. However, I did do it last Christmas Eve and I seem to be doing it again this year so there’s every chance it’ll happen again next year.

There has been a development on the chocolate advent calendar front – after many years (some might argue too many years) of indulging me, my mother has passed on the baton to my darling wife. Mrs Proclaims has stepped up to the plate however and did not disappoint.

Once again I got Marks and Spencer Advent calendar which means that once again the chocolate is of a decent quality. To be honest that’s generally enough to keep me happy, but Mrs Proclaims knows my love of Star Wars (and indeed novelty Star Wars chocolate products in particular) so to follow up last year’s Darth-Vader-themed calendar, this year I got a BB8 calendar.

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Admittedly BB8 is not a character that instantly transports me back to my youth because there was no BB8 in the original trilogy. BB8 is from last year’s ‘The Force Awakens’ but I pretty much loved everything about that film, so it’s more than ok by me. Continue reading James Reviews the 2016 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

James Reviews the 2015 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar

James Proclaims (6)

Every year, without fail, my mum buys me a chocolate advent calendar. I would genuinely be upset if she didn’t. Yes I’m 36 years old but frankly if it’s wrong to have a chocolate advent calendar in your mid-thirties then I’m not sure I want to be right. Continue reading James Reviews the 2015 Marks and Spencer Chocolate Advent Calendar