Thanks for the replies, guys. Sounds like the developer is the problem.
I was mostly joking about the christmas-easter thing and realize there are lots of subtleties in finding the right filter pack which I still haven't grasped. A few darkroom sessions has hardly made me a competent color printer, but I am pleased by the half-way rational color rendition I can now quite easily get.
Bob, I've read that dialing in "C" only adds density as you say. Would the results be in any way different from just decreasing exposure time?