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Monday, November 18, 2019

Review: Last Christmas: Memories of Christmases Past and Hopes of Future Ones

Title: Last Christmas: Memories of Christmases Past and Hopes of Future Ones
Author: Greg Wise, Emma Thompson
Publisher: 29th October 2019 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 235 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: holiday, Christmas, social issues, nonfiction
My Rating: 4.5 crowns

When you think back to Christmases past, what made it magical? Looking towards the future, what would your perfect Christmas be? What would you change? What should we all change?
The perfect holiday book, featuring the remembrances of Meryl Streep, Emilia Clarke, Olivia Colman, Caitlin Moran, and more, to coincide with the upcoming movie LAST CHRISTMAS, starring Emma Thompson, Emilia Clarke and Henry Golding.
This is a beautiful, funny and soulful collection of personal essays about the meaning of Christmas, written by an exceptional body of voices from the boulevards of Hollywood to the soup kitchens of Covent Garden.
Stepping away from the holiday shopping, the midtown Manhattan window decorations, and the gingerbread cookies and hot cocoa, this gem of a book is introduced and curated by Emma Thompson and Greg Wise and celebrates the importance of kindness and generosity, acceptance and tolerance - and shows us that these values are not just for Christmas, but for every day of the year.
25¢ from every book sold will be donated to Crisis and The Refugee Council! 
My Thoughts

"But there must be something more to all this than just marketing and merchandise. For all the differences of our time which pull people apart, something about Christmas now seems to bring us together. As one of the most sacred days in the Christian calendar seeps into other cultures’ diaries as a special date, it calls on us to consider just what makes it so powerful for so many around the world.”

A Christmas book of a different flavour,  an honest collection of essays from an array of people writing on the theme of Christmas - not the fluffy, commercial stuff but rather, husband and wife duo have zoned in on people to capture the essence of this celebration and what we humans are really seeking at this festive time of year. All up, the result is most thought provoking read with some real gems to be discovered within its pages. 

"I don’t know. I know I often wish more would happen to show warmth to others. And I wont claim I’m an angel myself in that regard - it’s so easy to lose track of your own good intentions when Christmas is bearing down on you. But I do think we’re forgetting what Christmas is. And there are still wonderful selfless people who do all those wonderful things.How do we make it a thing that we ALL naturally do at Christmas? And every other week in between?”

There are stories that are funny, some desperately sad and the majority filled with meaning - something for everyone to be sure. Actors, politicians, charity workers, homeless - just some of the line up who contribute to this collection on what Christmas means to them. This book ties in with the film currently in cinema and revolves around the theme of tolerance and acceptance. Proceeds of this book will go to two of the charities mentioned throughout. So whether you wish to hear from the famous Meryl Streep or Emilia Clarke, or rather the lesser known political refugees or volunteers, I found it to be a real window into people's mindset at this hectic time of year and it cuts to the core of the essence of this occasion. 

“I want to go back in time, sit with my mother and father and my brother and sister, give my silly conceited young self a sharp slap and tell him how lucky he is. But perhaps the best way to do that is to help remind the world that many of our brothers and sisters are holding each other fast in strange lands, dreaming of the chance to sit in a place they can call home.”

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher Hachette Australia.

1 comment:

Mystica said...

It sounds nostalgic too.