The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation - MIX Conversation Session 23/12/2015

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And so this is Christmas . . . . . and Antonio has turned Mix Bar into a PARTY PLACE. Three Christmas trees! And they aren’t little ones.

Trestle tables have been shipped in to accommodate the hordes of diners  and the bar is generally a rip roaring success.

Our conversation session on the other hand suffers from seasonal absenteeism as everyone has office parties, Christmas dinners to organise, visiting relatives and other festive commitments. So, as no one wants to miss it, we have decided to leave the Oscar Wilde play until after Twelfth Night   . . . . . . . Nooo, not the play “Twelfth Night”. We aren’t ready for Shakespeare yet in this group. I mean after Twelfth Night . . . . the night at the end of Christmas.

Nowadays Christmas in England is pretty much finished by the second of January, but in the olden days, Shakespeare’s time for example, and ever since about the year 550, there have been twelve days of Christmas . . . starting on the 25th of December with the birth and ending with Epiphany on the 6th of January when the Magi or the Three Wise Men (as we call them in English) come bearing gifts. . . . . Yes, the Christmas present thing is all their fault . . . . .

 Well Twelfth Night is Epiphany Eve and it is celebrated to this day in many countries . . . .  like Spain.

However, nowadays in England it seems we are only  left with: -

  1. A very popular Christmas song – The Twelve Days of Christmas
  2. The tradition that it is unlucky to leave one’s decorations up after Twelfth Night.
  3. And a play by William Shakespeare, written in Elizabethan times when Twelfth Night was still a festival of great merriment.

As I was saying  . . . we will be back to Oscar Wilde after Twelfth Night when people start getting back into their routines. But I will be there every Wednesday, right through, so come along.

This week we listened to a quiz show about Christmas traditions called “Seasons Eatings” and we learnt some unusual foody facts from around the world. The Swiss, for example, drop cream on the floor on New Year’s Eve to represent overflowing abundance and ensure a year of prosperity. (They eat grapes here – each to his own). Quite difficult listening with new vocabulary for some, like “dough” and “a Christmas staple”.

Then the contestants were given summaries of Christmas movie plots and had to decide whether the movie is real or made up. Of course, some of the real ones sound made up . . . . there were some real gems, like:-  

“Finding Mrs. Clause” - feeling neglected by her husband, Santa, who, let’s face it, is a bit work obsessed. Jessica Clause, played by Mira Sorvino, goes to Las Vegas to make a little girl’s Christmas wish come true. But when Santa follows her to Vegas to make amends will the world’s children be out of luck?

And “The Dog Who Saved Christmas Vacation.” When the Bannister family spends the holidays at a Rocky Mountain resort, they’re unexpectedly joined by Uncle Randy, his poodle Bella - voiced by Paris Hilton (?) - and a pair of bumbling jewel thieves led by Dean Cain. Can their police dog Zeus - voiced by Mario Lopez - stop the thieves and learn to ski before Christmas?

Both real films I’m afraid.

So, happy Christmas all. . . . .  I’m going to watch “The Wire”.

 And see you next Wednesday.

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