By now, many of you will have spent the day waking up at the crack of dawn, ripping open your presents and slaving away in a baking hot kitchen preparing a roast dinner to end all roast dinners. You will no doubt have had numerous moments where you wished you were sunbathing on a beach instead of partaking in the traditional family Christmas and occasions where you’ve snuck off for a sneaky cigarette so your Great Aunt Doris doesn’t find out about your nicotine addiction.
By now, you’ll probably be wishing for an oasis of calm amidst the riotous nature of the contemporary Christmas Day, a few moments to recharge your batteries and prepare for an evening of board games, temper tantrums and overly drunk relatives. So why not seize the opportunity to partake in a little blogging? For today marks the commencement of the Twelve Days of Christmas Blog Challenge!
And as its Christmas Day, we begin with: one thing you got for Christmas!
Now, given the fact that I live in relative isolation, surviving Christmas is always a difficult task for me. I don’t get to enjoy the hectic Christmas dinner, children throwing toys across the room or the random person in the corner of the room that may or may not be one of your relatives. I just have to find whatever outlet I can to survive this most insidious and lonely of days as safely as I can.
One of the things I do to get through the day unscathed is buy myself a present. In 2009, when I was homeless, I treated myself to dinner. In 2011, when I was still homeless, I purchased a couple of books from a local second-hand bookstore to provide me with a distraction from the big day. This year, I decided a DVD box set was the way to go.
As regular readers of my blog will be aware, my favourite animated movie of all time is the Studio Ghibli classic My Neighbor Totoro; which celebrated its 25th anniversary this year. Not only is it one of the most perfect films of all time, it is also a film that has tremendous sentimental attachment, for this was the film that Samantha and I chose to watch during our day in Glasgow.
To mark the film’s 25th anniversary, Madman Entertainment saw fit to release a limited edition box set, consisting of: the film on DVD and Blu-Ray, an exclusive matchbox diorama, six exclusive postcards and a 176-page hardback book showcasing the art of My Neighbor Totoro.
This box-set was my Christmas present this year; and I am overwhelming happy with my decision! The book – a generous collection of concept sketches, fully rendered character designs and background paintings – is one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! The matchbox diorama, of a sleeping Totoro, is beyond cute. And I fully plan to frame the postcards in order to brighten up my rather drab cream walls.
Sure, some people may think that for someone living in poverty this purchase was a little excessive, but I do not. Since waking up this morning the urge to self-harm has been omnipotently present throughout each arduous hour. But after transporting myself into Totoro’s world, that urge has dissipated; replaced with a broad smile and a renewed spring in my step.