My family are not a very ‘together’ sort of family when it comes to television. We are usually stowed away in separate rooms using different devices to watch it – my parents with the television, my brother with his Xbox, and me with my laptop. Christmas is practically the only day, especially since the demise of Top Gear, that my family all get together in one room in-front of one screen.
The TV is on in the background at various points throughout the day of course, playing Christmas specials of shows that we do not even watch; Outnumbered, Mrs Brown’s Boys, Dr Who. But they are only given half of our attention at the best of times, the day being too busy with preparing, cleaning and the inevitable bickering. But when we have finally finished with all of that, when we at long last slot ourselves into two sofas and turn on the television, that’s when the real Christmas TV tradition starts.
Pink Panther. Not the new 2006 and 2009 atrocities, but the old classics of Peter Sellers.
The first Christmas we watched it was a failure. I don’t think I laughed once. My dad kept insisting that the next one was good, that we should give it another chance and sit down to watch it all together. Of course, a day like that didn’t come around again until the next Christmas. But this time – we laughed. We were, of course, aided by mulled wine and brandy-saturated Christmas cake. But we laughed a lot, and ate the last of the mince pies, Christmas cake, and chocolate as we did. It has been a tradition ever since, and it would not feel like Christmas without it.