Grotto paper chain 140402800A Day To:

Visit a local skating rink.

Make provision for your Christmas charity donations.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“The Vicar of Dibley” Christmas double bill, starting with: “The Christmas Lunch Incident” (1996) followed by the seasonal special: “Winter” (1999). Dawn French stars as much-loved vicar Geraldine Granger in episodes that will live long as Christmas classics. No festive season, in fact, is complete without them. “Winter”, in which Alice gives birth during the village Nativity, was watched by more than 14 million people on Christmas Day 1999. (TV Magic: Befuddled Alice is worried she may have given birth to the actual Baby Jesus but is assured that’s not the case by the Vicar because, apart from anything else, Alice’s newborn is “a girl, isn’t she?” Alice and Hugo reveal they are to name the baby after Dawn French’s character, with Alice announcing: “So I’m calling her Vicar!” Emma Chambers at her dopiest, Alicey best.)

And if the skating rink isn’t for you, perhaps a session on the couch watching this instead…

“Trapped in Paradise”(1994): starring Nicholas Cage, Dana Carvey and Jon Lovitz. A crime comedy in which Nicholas Cage’s character Bill Firpo is lumbered with his two paroled brothers Alvin and Dave, who ask him to take them to Paradise, Pennsylvania to do a favour for a recent acquaintance. Make that inmate. Lax security at the bank there leads to a plot to rob it on Christmas Eve. But what did the welcoming town folk ever do to hurt them? And in the end, what would the calamitous brothers do without these super-kind people? (Movie Magic: Ma Firpo – played in her own inimitably feisty and cranky style by Florence Stanley – is so exasperated by her hapless thug abductors, she declares: “You guys are dumber than a box of hair.”)

Ponder:

“It’s from granny, from grandfather…From the country…. The Heavenly Mother, Saints and Martyrs! The snow lies heaped up under the roofs now… the trees are as white as white. The boys slide on little sledges… and dear old bald grandfather is on the stove… and there is a little yellow dog…. My own darlings!”

Anton Chekhov (1860-1904), from “At Christmas Time”

crackers_4356235Listen:

“Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” by Dean Martin;

“Box of Delights” from the Carol Symphony by The Cory Band;

“Santa Tell Me” by Ariana Grande.

Learn:

Did you know…December 26th was traditionally known as St. Stephen’s Day but became more commonly known as Boxing Day after money collected in church alms boxes was distributed to the poor after Christmas Day? The term ‘Boxing Day’ may also come from Feudal times when serfs had to work on Christmas Day but were given St. Stephen’s Day off. On December 26th they would receive boxes of practical gifts from their Lord (like cloth and tools) as thanks for their year’s work. Some people still refer to giving tips to workmen at Christmas as “giving them their Christmas box”. Boxing Day has been an official holiday since 1871, when Sir John Lubbock introduced the Bank Holidays Act.

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: More and more towns and cities are creating ice rinks in local parks, town squares or shopping areas over the Christmas period. When I was a girl, I could roller-skate pretty well but when it came to ice-skating…gold cracker iso_91680875well, let’s just say I was a natural.

Ed Elf: There’s nothing like being modest. And that is nothing like being modest.

Mrs. C: Children will skates on ice_174829694love ice-skating. They have no fear and their low centre of gravity means they’ll be little Torvills or Deans in no time.

Ed Elf: Low centre of gravity. That’s not a dig is it Mrs. C?

Mrs. C: Now, as for adults, it is a longer way to fall if you’re unsteady on your feet or haven’t tried it before. But if you hold on to the sides – or a skating friend who can stay upright – you will gain confidence. If all you end up doing is falling down a lot, then it’ll be funny – in a bruising kind of way. If you are a bit delicate, then stay off the skates, get on the eggnog or mulled wine and watch a few others take a spin. The atmosphere alone will make you feel incredibly Christmassy. You can experience that while feeling ever so good about yourself. That’s as long as you manage to make provision today for your Christmas charity donations. You might want to donate money online, make a gift of your donation and pop the receipt in a gift card, select items to take to a local food bank or buy a gift for a local children’s charity toy drive. We have much more on this on our Charity page, so please do what you can. And if all you manage is to organise the charity bit and not the skating, maybe you can curl up and watch our recommended films for the day instead.

Conifer and berries 64686097So today’s the day to:

  • Get your skates on and visit a local pop-up ice rink.
  • Get organised with your planned charity donations.