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My Christmas Day

- DAVE FANNING

I’ve never been outside of Dublin for Christmas. Every year I go with my sistersin-law to 11 o clock breakfast, and then we eat at home with the family, it’s as simple as that. Granny and Grandad kind of stuff, the usual shite! It wouldn’t be me doing the cooking typically, that’s all I’ll say – my wife and the kids are better with that. I’ve never been as good as I should be when it comes to buying presents either. I sometimes get a bit of advice from a friend of my wife to make sure it’s always done right.

When I was a kid, I would get the annuals every year until I was about 14 or 15. I would’ve gotten the British comics like The Hornet and The Beagle. Then as a teenager I’d always ask for albums. One year I got six and I thought that was fantastic.

All year round, I listen to music all day long and watch films all night long – Christmas is no exception. My favourite Christmas song is ‘We Three Kings’ by The Odds. Is it terrible that when I looked up the previous seven Christmas number ones last year, I’d never heard any of the songs or artists? It’s funny how Christmas songs released between 1973 and 78 are the perennials. A few have infiltrate­d like The Darkness and Lily Allen, but it’s strange how nothing sticks like the old ones.

I wouldn’t have one Christmas movie that I’d always revert to, but there’s one on TV all the time at that time of year.

One I love that’s always on is Casablanca. Even though I’ve seen it more than 12 or 13 times now, I’d watch it a 14th and 15th time no problem – it’s just so good. I’m more into boxsets though, you simply wouldn’t believe how many series I’ve seen. If I’ve invested in the first ten episodes, I’ve got to keep going all the way. I watched Bloodline recently; season 1 was good, season 2 wasn’t bad, and season 3 was absolutely shite. But I had to watch the whole thing anyway.

I really like Christmas, especially the build-up over the two weeks before. However, I absolutely hate New Year’s Eve. It always feels like Sundays as a kid, which I hated because you’d have to get up for school on Monday. When I was younger, it was always ‘You have to go to a party, it’s New Year’s Eve’, but in the ’80s I’d always find myself home early watching The Old Grey Whistle Test’s best of the year. Frankly the idea of going into town to one of the big concerts was just never for me. People say, ‘But what about the bells at Christ Church?’ Great – I’m glad people like it. I don’t!

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