ROYGBIV: A very cultured Christmas

Is your Christmas tree up? ‘Jingle Bells’ on repeat? Or, like many, are you struggling to get into the Christmassy vibe? If you identify with the latter, it’s time to immerse yourself fully in the festive spirit. Forget the TV repeats and the EastEnders special (spoiler alert – someone is inevitably going to die), and bring on the magic and sparkle this season, with a little cultural injection.

We’re all familiar with J.R.R. Tolkien’s most famous works, but how many people have heard of Letters from Father Christmas? Best known for his epic fantasies and studies in mythology and language, Tolkien was also a proud dad of four young kids. Over the course of many years, he wrote and illustrated detailed, whimsical letters from Father Christmas, populated with a clumsy polar bear, elves and goblins. In his letters, Father Christmas kept the Tolkien children updated with stories about the hijinks at the North Pole. It won’t exactly make you believe in Father Christmas again, but it is one of the prettiest and most charming Christmas picture books out there. Never mind the kids – buy this one for yourself to experience a little childhood magic.

Christmas in Edinburgh wouldn’t be the same without the annual festive production at the Lyceum theatre. Following on from last year’s successful run of A Christmas Carol, this year will see the old children’s classic, The BFG, make its way to the big stage. An undisputed national treasure and the world’s favourite children’s author, Roald Dahl has enchanted young – and older – minds for more than 25 years. A great event for the family or friends, go as a group and experience the festive cheer together.

Alternatively, look for a little visual stimulation in Christmas or winter-themed art. It doesn’t have to be a spot-on depiction of a winter wonderland; vibrant pieces such as Mark Rothko’s Green, Red, on Orange oil painting inspire festive tingles with its reds and greens. Grandma Moses’ wintertime works will remind you of hours spent by the fireplace (or radiator) piecing together one of your grandmother’s many yuletide jigsaw collections.

Whichever route you decide to go down, give the TV specials and your Now! That’s What I Call Christmas! CD a miss, and have yourself a very cultural Christmas.

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