Number 25 – Stories and Christmas
The previous two years, I have been working on pantomimes – one at Wiltshire Creative and the other touring primary schools across the country. When you’re working on pantomimes your Christmas actually starts in October! That’s when you start rehearsals (if you’re lucky to have a decent length rehearsal period) or at least when you start to prepare for rehearsals. So, the last two years, as soon as we’ve hit December, I’ve been properly in the Christmas spirit.
This year, I’ve just started to feel Christmassy today and I’m sure that is because I’ve just finished a week of online workshops with primary schools around the story of A Christmas Carol. It seems to me that there is a direct correlation between how Christmassy I feel and when I start working on these great Christmas stories.
Stories are a really important part of any Christmas. In fact, the whole thing is founded on the Christmas story itself. Often the first piece of theatre we ever perform in is the school nativity play. Christmas and story go hand in hand.
It is also evident in the boom of the Christmas advert. It is marked how much these adverts in recent years have become so much more than simple product pushing. They are now short films in their own right – telling us a new Christmas story in just a couple of minutes. It is the story that sells their product and their brand more than anything else. The story makes us feel all warm and gooey inside, so we’re more likely to go out and buy their stuff.
On the non-consumer end of things, Christmas is one of the few times of the year where we allow ourselves time for stories. For many of us, the Christmas holidays are synonymous with cosy afternoons and evenings watching films. While for others, Christmas is the time where they feel allowed to curl up with a book and read for hours on end.
So, celebrate the stories this Christmas. It may not be as easy to get to a pantomime this year – though there are some out there, both in person and online – but there are other stories all around us. Pick up a book, watch that film, or maybe make your own stories because stories and Christmas are a perfect match.