We all might wish it could be Christmas everyday, but what if you actually made this dream a reality?
I admit, I’m one of those who feels very glum when putting the decorations away come January – I always wish there could be an extra day or two to enjoy the festive season.
Wiltshire electrician Andy Park loves Christmas so much, he’s celebrated it every single day for nearly a quarter of a century. Yes, while the rest of us are still enjoying our mid-July BBQs, Andy is tucking into a full Christmas dinner.
Andy’s daily routine is slightly different to most – every morning he wakes up and enjoys a glass of sherry with some mince pies – which certainly makes my Weetabix routine feel dull.
He then opens some presents and cards from under the tree – which he sends to himself. Hey, in the age of monthly subscription boxes, I’m all for treating yourself.
Then, he pulls a cracker before heading out to work for a ‘couple of hours’ – returning for the main event: preparing the Christmas dinner – which he admits is his favourite part of Christmas.
At the time of writing he’s eaten well over 9,762 turkeys and more than one million sprouts. When he can’t get hold of turkey – as is sometimes the case during February and March – he opts for chicken.
He loves getting the house smelling all Christmassy and getting the festive tunes playing before tucking into his traditional grub.
After dinner, Andy settles down to toast Her Majesty in front of the Queen’s speech – he knows most of the Queen’s speeches off by heart and has them all on tape, ready to go.
The speech he finds most memorable is the one following the death of Princess Diana, as well as the one after Windsor Castle went up in flames, but he says his selection will vary from day to day.
He’ll then nip out to the shop to buy himself a present to unwrap the next day – he’ll bring the prezzie back, wrap it and place it under the tree, ready for yet another Christmas day to begin.
Speaking to UNILAD, Andy told us just what he loves about Christmas so much:
What is it I like so much about Christmas? Well, it’s everything! The decorations are up, the lights are up, the lights are lit, the crackers are out, the smell of Christmas dinner…
I love to watch the Queen’s speech every day on DVD. I love the Christmas cards I send to myself every day. Theres nothing about Christmas I dislike, I like the lot.
It seems Mr Christmas may well have found the secret to a happy life:
I get up in the morning happy, I got to bed happy. I’ve had a present and I’ve had a Christmas dinner. I’ve met a few neighbours and pulled crackers, had a sherry and mince pie with them all – it’s fantastic.
Andy is all about spreading Christmas cheer beyond his front door and once harboured dreams to keep his hometown of Melksham, Wiltshire, twinkling all year round:
One time, I did get on to the council. I even offered to pay them to keep the [town’s Christmas] tree up all year round and also the decorations.
I was going to pay for every bulb but they wouldn’t hear it. They said, ‘that’s crazy, keeping a Christmas tree up all year round? It’s a real one for a start, it will lose all its pines!’ but they didn’t want to know.
His strong interest in Christmas has made him something of a celebrity – he releases a record every year called It’s Christmas Everyday Remix and makes various celebrity appearances throughout the year, alongside household names such as Gino D’acampo and Calum Best.
So what led to Andy’s obsession with Christmas? He told me how he’s always loved the holiday, harbouring fond memories dating back to his childhood.
His parents made sure to buy him ‘decent Christmas presents’, despite not having a lot of money and this festive generosity was something Andy really appreciated – he remembers being ‘so happy’ when he received a wooden toy aeroplane, which he played with all day long.
However, it wasn’t until a scorching summer day in 1993 he decided to take his love of the season to the next level:
I was out delivering a washing machine – because that’s my job – I work on white goods and that sort of stuff – and it was such a hot day in July and I thought there’s something better I can do than delivering white goods surely and I thought, ‘I’ve got it!’
I went home, got the Christmas decorations out of the loft, got the tree up, got the Christmas dinner cooking. I found a VHS copy of the Queens Speech, put it on and it really worked!
It felt like Christmas day in the middle of summer and I did it the next day and the next day and 24 years on, I’m still doing it and it’s really great fun.
Looking back over his many years of making merry, Andy laments the decline in Christmas cards, with messages being sent via the internet in a way he views to be much less personal.
He also notes how children have very different gift expectations than he did as a boy, wanting expensive items such as iPhones and tablets.
So what tips does this Christmas expert have for this special time of year? After all, this guy has experienced more Christmases than anybody who’s ever lived…
Andy gave me the following advice when cooking the all important Christmas dinner:
I always say, well the best tip is to make sure the Christmas dinner is cooked absolutely fantastic. Take your time over it, don’t rush it because its the most important dinner of the year.
Make sure the turkey is cooked well, make sure you have got a nice selection of vegetables.
In regards to present buying, Andy also has plenty of wisdom to offer:
Presents? I always think that, always make sure you buy someone presents that they want.
Otherwise, just give them a bit of money so that can spend it on something they really do want, you know. That way, you’re not wasting your money.
So what next for Mr Christmas? Well, he has some very big ambitions indeed, with hopes of one day joining Take That:
I’ve been on to Gary Barlow about this and it was taken as a joke. I’ve learnt all his songs, I’ve learnt all his music, all his records and I just hop that one day I get a phone call saying, ‘yes you can join Take That‘.
Gary, if you’re reading this, you couldn’t ask for a more dedicated bandmate.