Growing up in this part of the world meant my imaginings and memories of Christmas are drawn largely from the pages of books—warmly illustrated short stories, sumptuous descriptions in novels, raucous sketches of snowball fights in comics, and later when cable television came to most homes, the tinny, schmaltzy renderings in films. It wasn’t something to relate to but it certainly created a different world of legend and wonder.
And so, for the last issue of Lounge this year, we have tried to bring this sense of a very personal Christmas to the stories. In one piece, a mother and daughter spend time together experimenting with salt, sugar, vinegar and lemon to recreate Christmas dishes they have read about in books—from Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile and Dr Seuss’ Who-roast-beast to a breakfast from Little Women. Other writers reflect on what the season means to them, what they love and hate about it, why they would pick Panaji over New York at this time of year. Some recount the adventures they have had—riding elephants in Santa suits, discovering rare herbs in Lapland, or dealing with crafty cats.
If you would prefer to spend the day bingeing on films, we have a selection for you. And for fans of The Big Short, the sharp film that educated many about what the 2007-08 global financial crisis meant, director Adam McKay’s latest dropped yesterday. Don’t Look Up is a star-studded climate change comedy—featuring everyone from Meryl Streep as the US president to Leonardo DiCaprio as an astronomer. In an interview, McKay tells Lounge about the power of laughter, why he believes comedy bridges us—and the sheer joy he draws from making goofy yet insightful films.
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