BLUES BROTHERS star Dan Aykroyd knows exactly what it feels like to skip Christmas - his father banned festive festivities at the family home in Canada when he was a kid.

The actor, who plays a Christmas-loving neighbour in new comedy CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS, can sympathise with Tim Allen's grouchy character in the movie - because he quite enjoyed missing SANTA's big day.

He says, "My father stopped Christmas for three years in our house. He did it because he was fed up with the years of ritual and the years of compulsion to celebrate.

"He said, `I feel these values all year around. You're living in a beautiful Victorian house in Ottawa, your education is

paid for; Christmas is every day.' So that was it, no tree, no eggnog, no socialising, no presents, nothing for three years. "By the second year, my brother and I were cool with it becauseyou didn't get us something so we didn't have to get you anything. It was fine because we didn't have to buy presents. We were relieved of the material commercial aspect of it. All of that was OK.

"Then, as girls started to come into the house and we were dating we started to get back into the spirit of it. The three years of no Christmas at home were actually quite a relief."

27/12/2004 01:37