Originally published: 5 November 2019
Author: Greg Wise and Emma Thompson
Published by: Quercus
Length: 288 pages
Reading dates: 7-15 December 2019
When you think back to Christmases past, what made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change?
The perfect Christmas book, featuring the memories of Meryl Streep, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Caitlin Moran, alongside the homeless and refugees to coincide with the upcoming movie LAST CHRISTMAS, starring Emma Thompson, Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.
I prefer to read non-fiction alongside fiction as a rule, but this collection was just lovely and I was able to read it as if it were a novel. Best read in the Christmas period, it is a lovely mix of memories, all written in people’s own words describing past Christmas’s and hopes for future ones.
I have a difficult relationship with Christmas, having lost of mum to cancer 5 years ago during the festive period. Add to that my boys are growing up and are harder to surprise with presents and I just find the whole lead up quite stressful. This collection made me realise I am certainly not alone – quite a few of the authors agreed that we lose the magic of Christmas as we get older and maybe don’t have the same people surrounding us.
Some of the memories were funny, most were heart-warming and some were sad. I liked that memories of the homeless and those who work for Crisis (a homeless charity were included) because it is these tales that made me realise how lucky I am. Also, how refugees and asylum seekers cope with Christmas when perhaps they might not have celebrated previously. I also enjoyed reading about Christmas’s from different cultures.
I watched the film, Last Christmas last night, having read the book a few days previously. The film heavily features the issues of homelessness, immigration and refugees so this book is actually a lovely tie-in (it does say that in the blurb but it hadn’t occurred to me that it really is!)
Thank you to Quercus Books for my gifted copy.
About the authors:
Wise has been married to actress Emma Thompson since 2003. The couple have a daughter. In 2003, they informally adopted a Rwandan orphan and former child soldier whom they met at a Refugee Council event when he was 16.