Christmastory is a festive period ensemble film (well, several period) - think Love Actually, but more historical and more Christmassy. It follows key moments that defined the modern Christmas: from King John's gluttonous feast to the organ-eating mice that led to 'Silent Night', via Dickens, Prince Albert and good old St Nick. This film entertains, enlightens and enthuses about Christmas, unwrapping the true tales behind those secular festive guests who seem to have taken over the party. Spanning the centuries, our characters journey towards their key festive moment - St Nicholas' generous gift of gold bags through a window (into fireside stockings), Oliver Cromwell's decision to ban Christmas completely, Queen Victoria's drawing together of Germanic Christmas trees and cosy English family gatherings, and Irving Berlin's snowy Christmas song that became the world's bestseller. Ultimately, we'll see how each of our custodians of Christmas has their role to play in history's great Nativity: shepherds, wise men, angelic choirs - even grumpy Christmas-banning ruler. Writer Paul Kerensa has extensively researched the history of Christmas on a number of projects - but this is the first to unite his favourite historical characters into their own Nativity story that spans the ages.
By the film's end, we'll show that the Nativity story plays out over the centuries, with famous folk and forgotten festive innovators all playing their part. Some are priestly shepherds giving what they can, others are angelic choirs giving the season a soundtrack. There are three deep-thinking Victorian wise men, who bring royal gold and sweet smells that lift off the page. And there are those who shut out Christmas or seek to stamp it out. Like the original gospel writers, we all have our own perspective on Christmas: our key characters merely did what they thought best to preserve the season as they thought it should be kept. Cromwell thought celebration was idolatrous, so banned Christmas to preserve his brand of Christianity. By contrast, King John celebrated - but a little too much. Dickens saw it as a chance to reconnect with the poor and lost. As they enter and exit the world stage, our familiar characters unknowingly take their place in history's grand Nativity.