I was, like most people my age, introduced to Narnia through the 2005 film and within a couple of years I had devoured all seven books. Whilst some of the books are bizarre and downright disturbing, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe has an enduring charm with a childlike simplicity that will always remind me of Christmas.
A world trapped in eternal winter with NO Christmas by an Ice Queen who can only be defeated by four plucky siblings evacuated from the London Blitz, a talking Lion and numerous other talking animals. What could possibly go wrong?
Well, Edmund could go very wrong for starters. The second youngest boy, not quite as clever as his older sister, not as brave as his older brother and not as innocently sweet as his younger sister, he is the middle child with a grudge. On another note, who wouldn’t want more Turkish Delight and mysterious hot chocolate from a pretty lady?
Whilst as a child I couldn’t help but condemn his actions, I can see that he was rather innocent in it all in hindsight. The book was written in a naiver time, where adults could adopt children on a whim, where a King had just abdicated for love and the second son had become King. Why wouldn’t Edmund have thought all his luck had come at once? His siblings never seem to be very nice to him, and even when he’s been rescued, Peter doesn’t really show him much understanding or kindness.
Perhaps unsurprisingly I always identified most strongly with Lucy or Susan, the former for her child-like love of everything and the latter for her intellect. As the series wore on and everyone grew up, this did change. However, in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, I can’t help that feel that Lucy was my favourite character, after all, she is the one who discovers the world at the back of a wardrobe. She’s also the one who remains herself throughout the book; Edmund has a transformative experience, Peter learns responsibility and more kindness and Susan learns to break some rules. Lucy however, remains firmly a young girl who had a good adventure, something which I value in a book that is so wintery and festive, despite the lack of Christmas.
This book also reminds me of Christmas because it is the archetype of a White Christmas, something which I either don’t remember experiencing, or that I have never experienced. The idea of sleighs, reindeer and magical Turkish delight is a world away from most Christmas experiences which for the most part in the UK don’t involve snow or sleighs.
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is also one of those books that I have reread several times and a film that I have seen just as much. It’s a world that, for this book at least, is very festive for the majority of the book and always inspires a hint of nostalgia. For me, it’s just as festive as anything that’s written for Christmas, or anything with Christmas being the main theme. Personally, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe will always be a Christmas-y film and book, and I can’t wait to watch it again soon.
Do you have any books or films that aren’t classically Christmas-y but still remind you of Christmas? If so, let me know in the comments!