Missing Paris, the Christmas spirit and Love Actually

2013-12-24 15.44.26

I love the holidays. There is something about a season that forces us to be the best of us that makes me have faith in who we are the potential of mankind. I love everything about this time of year, the big dinners, the leftovers and the time spent with friends and family. I even love the cheesy Christmas movies.

Paris, so Chrismassy the spirit grips you the moment you enter

I love the Christmas spirit. But I seem to be missing it this year. Usually by Christmas I am brimming with the spirit and ready for Christmas day and all its glory. Interestingly earlier this month the spirit bamboozled me and as quickly as it came it left. I was in Paris for a few days and the city was so full of the Christmas spirit it knocked me off my heels. The decorations, the people and the markets, the city was so full of Christmas that it was hard not to get caught up.


Walking down the Champs-Élysées all you see are reminders of the season. The window displays done by some of the world’s famous stores, the lights that set the city ablaze at night and Christmas corners with trees and other fitting decorations. Then there is a Christmas markets with delicious crepes and more winter delights and there is shopping to be done for presents for your loved ones and yourself.

Ever since have I been back home I have yet to find that spirit, it seems it only existed in Paris for me and the minute I left its wet and cold surrounds so did the spirit. I have tried several things of course to get the spirit, a Christmas party with friends, which was amazing. However, the party felt more like a good time with friends that I had missed dearly than actual Christmas festivities.

I did get a Christmas miracle of some sort, against all odds and many obstacles I managed to catch a flight that by all rights should have left and made it home for the holidays.

Ruing Love Actually is such a douche thing to do

Then to top it all off I read this article that has apparently demystified one of my favourite holiday movie, Love Actually. Yes guy at the Atlantic, well done on being the equivalent of the guy to tell little kids there is no santa. Interestingly I agree with the piece mostly and in part articulates perfectly some of my feelings for the movie.

However I think there is still elements of romance of wishful world where things can be that easy and there are no consequences for the PM falling in love with the maid and where insurmountable human laziness gets in the way of a good thing. What I take issue with is saying it is not a holiday movie. Obviously you haven’t watched Die Hard, You’ve Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle and many countless holiday movies that happen to not be about Christmas but end up making great Christmas movies because they happen to take place during.

So I must say I think you are wrong, one might argue that the romantic relations in the movie are only possible because it is the season and the impossible happens. Love at first sight, love without language and love that suffers in silence. If we are being honest, and seeing as a decade later and every Christmas I still watch this movie, it is a movie that makes us want to fall in love, actually.

The Christmas spirit

The world is in such a hurry in December, the shopping malls are a nightmare and the city streets leave much to be desired. The season is about lists and checking things and people off it. Turkey dinners, fruitcake and pretty lights are summing up the season. It’s time we slowed down and remembered, no?

Perhaps, I have found the Christmas spirit after all, perhaps this year is has come in a more subtle fashion than before. Perhaps though sick in bed and watching my favourite holiday movies while my dad makes me tea and talks about tomorrow’s plans I am experience the joy of the season, a time with family. Happy Holidays.