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Welcome to the last 5 Things before Christmas! Are you excited? We are!


It’s A Wonderful Life, Monday 22nd

The Kings Theatre in Portsmouth has a traditional annual screening of this 1946 classic starring James Stewart. I know it’s  black and white, but if you’ve never seen it before, don’t let the lack of colour put you off. This is the movie that’s always voted as the best Christmas movie of all time, and anyone who’s seen it can see why. The basic story is that James Stewart is a business man who falls on hard times and considers killing himself, until an angel named Clarence comes and shows him how different the world would be if he had never lived. Once you’ve seen this movie, you see just how many times the story and ideas from the film have been copied and parodied in numerous other films and TV shows. James Stewart always said that of the numerous films he made, this was his favourite, but it was originally a flop when first released in 1946. Did you know, up til this movie, they used to use cornflakes painted white as snow – but they were so loud, the dialogue had to be dubbed on later. The director wanted the dialogue to be recorded live though, so he devloped a new technique using a fire fighting chemical, soap and water. They used 6000 gallons of it during the course of filming.


White Christmas Dip, Christmas Day

If you’re particularly bonkers, there’s the White Christmas Dip at Boscombe on Christmas Day at 9:45 am. Registration closes on the 23rd, so there’s still time to sign up if you’re that way inclined, and raise money for Macmillan Caring Locally, the Macmillan unit at Christchurch hospital. The basic idea is this: you get on down to Boscombe, preferably in a silly outfit, and go for a little swim! This is a great, fun way to raise money for a fantastic charity. This is its seventh year now, and it’s been getting bigger each year.

If you’re busy opening presents on Christmas morning, but still want to do some crazy, freezing swimming, check out the Boxing Day Dip at Swanage, which raises money for different charities each year – of course, with optional fancy dress too!


New Forest Point to Point, Boxing Day

If you’re into horses, you’ll love this. If you’re not into horses, a point to point is a steeplechase race from one point to another – hence the name. In this case, the race is from… er… well, it’s kept a secret until the day before, at which point entrants call a number and are told where the start is. And the finish line… also much of a mystery. But that’s what makes it fun, right? This is a great tradition of the New Forest; the point to point is only for New Forest ponies and it’s a big event in the horsing world. If you’re around the area on Boxing Day, expect to see a lot of horses moving very quickly.

50 Funniest Moments of 2014, Saturday 27th

The week between Christmas and New Year is full of these sorts of shows – the Great Big Quiz of the Year is on Boxing Day; we all know what to expect with that show now. This one is another Channel 4 production, which makes you wonder what will be different about this one.

So what will be on this list, any way? There’s bound to be a bit of Mark from Big Brother – his tantrums were epic! Then there is bound to be something from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, maybe a couple of things from the World Cup – does the Suarez biting incident count as funny? The jokes that came out after it certainly were!


Chas & Dave Christmas Special, Sunday 28th

Oh. Em. Gee. Chas and Dave are playing the Clarance Esplanade in Southsea for a Christmas special – their only south coast show this Christmas. Their show in 2013 was a complete sell-out, so this year the venue have opened up a larger standing area for people who want to get up and dance their socks off!

Did you know, Chas and Dave were prolific session musicians in the 1970s, and the hook from Eminem’s My Name Is is from a Labi Siffre tune on which Chas and Dave performed.

Vicky Charles

Vicky is a single mother, writer and card reader.


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