Arrange presents around the tree.
Make provision for your Christmas charity donations.
(Scroll down for the day in detail)
“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.)
Here’s some more comedy to enjoy, this time from the big screen…
“Four Christmases” (2008): starring Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon. A couple normally canny enough to holiday together over Christmas rather than visit all four of their divorced parents’ homes are grounded by fog. When they are interviewed live on TV at the airport, there is no escaping the fact: this year they will have to endure four Christmases. In the process, they learn more about each other than they had previously been keen to share. A stellar cast includes Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight and Mary Steenburgen. The comedy pours from every awkward, violent, embarrassing, dysfunctional Christmas. (Movie Magic: Vince Vaughn’s character Brad in a Christmas Day moment he’d rather not be having with his mother’s new man, Darryl, who says: “Look, Brad. I’m not trying to be your father, you already got one of those. I’m just hoping for a chance to be your friend.” Brad replies: “You were my friend, Darryl. You were my best friend. We grew up together, we rode bikes together, we used to smell each other’s hands. But now you’re sleeping with my mom and it’s a little bit weird for me. Can you appreciate that?” Darryl ploughs on: “I never had a sexual thought about your mom until I was 30.” Tremendous!)
“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”
“I Saw Three Ships” by Worcester Cathedral Choir;
“Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid;
“In Dulci Jubilo” by Mike Oldfield.
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:
Ed Elf: There’s nothing like being modest. And that is nothing like being modest.
Ed Elf: Low centre of gravity. That’s not a dig is it Mrs. C?
Mrs. C: As for adults, it is a longer way to fall if you’re unsteady on your feet or haven’t tried it before. There will be more rinks in operation this year. Head out to soak up the atmosphere of a local open-air rink, if there’s one close by. Failing that, stay home and play it safe. Collect together presents you are to hand out in the coming days and arrange them around the tree. There’s a certain art to it. Arranged not thrown, as it were. Always remember that these are gifts not to be delivered by Father Christmas…so nothing under the tree for prying little eyes.
Also today, manage – if the budget allows – 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 charity shop 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 laying out of presents under the tree, maybe you can curl up and watch our recommended films and television shows.
- Get your skates on, if you can, and visit a local pop-up ice rink – or find a suitable alternative. That includes more prep and festive fun at home.
- Get organised with your planned charity donations.