Interview for paulmccartney.com • Wednesday, December 23, 2015

You Gave Me The Answer - Christmas 2015 Edition

Press interview • Interview of Paul McCartney
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Interview

Peter from the US asks: Do you open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning?

Paul: Christmas morning!

PM.com: Not even one present on Christmas Eve?

Paul: Christmas Eve? No, everything on Christmas morning! I suppose it’s just because I have always done that since I was a kid, and I suppose at Christmas you know you do the ‘traditional’ things and carry on with what you’ve always done. So no, I’ve never done Christmas Eve. 

Delroy from the UK asks: Have you celebrated any Christmas’ on the road?

Paul: No! I have always tried to be off. We always kind of specified that we wanted to be home. 

The nearest we ever came to that was with The Beatles. We used to have a Christmas show. We used to get dressed up! And actually it was really cool because it was a sort of like a panto, but with musical people. A musically packaged show but with all sorts of little Christmassy things. 

It was great because we would just show up in our car – at the stage door – in our overcoats and everything. We’d jump out, go to the dressing room, and about five minutes later we were on! 

What we would do is the opening of the show, where they had a fake helicopter set. That came and appeared to land, and someone would introduce us: ‘Ladies and Gentleman…’ to all the screams. We would walk down, ‘Yay!’ and wave, wave, wave… and then walk off! Go back to our dressing room, and then come on again later! 

So anyway, I don’t even think that was Christmas day! It would have been the week of Christmas. So that was fun. But no, Christmas has always been kind of sacrosanct.

Linda from the US asks: We have a tradition of reading Sir Clement Moore’s “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” on Christmas Eve. Do you read anything special on Christmas Eve to your children or grandchildren?

Paul: I don’t normally, no. When they were growing up, the main struggle was just to get them to bed! So that wasn’t one of the traditions. It’s a very American tradition, is that an American fan asking? [We tell Paul it is.] I like the idea though – it’s a great tradition and I’ve read the story. But no it’s not an English tradition so much. It is a nice story though! 

JoAnn from the US asks: Are you the first one up on Christmas morning? For some reason I suspect that you are!

Paul: [Laughs] No! No, it’s normally the kids! When I had little kids – who are now big with kids of their own – that would just be, “Daddy, Daddy! Mummy, Mummy, Santa’s been! He’s been! He’s been!” And we would be like *Imitates snoring* because we would have been up very late trying to leave stuff out for Santa. Amazingly, he had always eaten everything by the morning! He always had about half a mince pie and all of his milk! So, we were up late doing Christmassy things and they were always up the earliest! 

But it changes, when you don’t have kids and you can lie in more. But yes, it’s normally the kids in the family who wake me!

Dawn from the US asks: Do you have a real tree at Christmas, and do you have time to enjoy the holidays?

Paul: Yeah! I have a real tree. I like a real tree! And I like the ones where the needles don’t drop! Because I used to always get them from my own woods, which was great. I would just go out and select a tree, chop it down, bring it in – which felt great – but the needles would go quite quickly and you’d bring them indoors and it’s a warm house. And I always like to have them there for quite a long time – at least three weeks. 

So yeah, we have a real tree, no longer ones that I chop myself though. 

And I very much like decorating the tree, the kids like it and the family like it and one thing I like is we have a few decorations that appear every year. So there are ones that were made by the kids when they were little. Those are very nice, and friends give you them or you buy new ones. I really enjoy all that, it’s magical. 

And I do get time to enjoy it, yes. It’s always over too quick though. I always hate that last night, when I’m either going away, or it’s the last night of the tree. It’s like – I don’t want this ever to come down! All the lights are shining and it’s beautiful! But, twelfth night, you’ve got to do it. I’m often away – I often go off after Boxing Day for a New Year holiday – but I’m always there for Christmas. I do love the tree and the decorations.  

We ended with a music related question, because well – this is Paul after all and we’re sure some of you will be receiving instruments from Santa this year!

Tetsuya from Japan asks: I’m trying hard to copy the guitar and bass line of your songs. Especially with an acoustic guitar, I find it really difficult to play with two fingers. How come you play with only two fingers? How can I get better at playing a guitar?

Paul: Practice! That’s the only answer, Tetsuya! Sometimes it is a little difficult – I hope it’s not too difficult, but the only answer I can give you is this: PRACTICE!

Last updated on February 25, 2021

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