tree window frame_157885100A Day To:

Take an early evening walk around your neighbourhood to absorb all the beauty of decorated trees in windows and Christmas lights on houses…or try a virtual tour.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“The Snowman and the Snowdog” (2012): This was created to mark the 30th anniversary of “The Snowman” and was broadcast on UK network Channel 4 on Christmas Eve 2012, watched by almost six million viewers. This time, the snowman is joined by a snowdog with socks for ears. Music comes courtesy of Ilan Eshkeri and Razorlight’s Andy Burrows. It is always difficult following up a treasure like “The Snowman” with a sequel, especially so many years after the main event. But this was a triumph and sits beautifully alongside its heralded predecessor. (TV Magic: The creation of the dog – and this time he’s here to stay.)

From a long-running and beloved TV drama…

“Midsomer Murders: Ghosts of Christmas Past” (2004) is an ITV Christmas special starring John Nettles and John Hopkins. Nine years after magician Ferdy Villers commits suicide, his family gather for a Christmas reunion blissfully unaware someone is plotting revenge for life lost. A note is discovered in a Christmas cracker announcing two family members will be dead by midnight on Boxing Day. This episode was available as part of “Midsomer Murders: The Christmas Collection”. The other episodes are: “Death of a Stranger”; “A Talent for Life” and “Shot at Dawn” – although be warned none of these are set at Christmas. Rather, they were apparently shown over the festive period. These episodes are also usually shown on ITV networks over Christmas and should be available on BritBox. (TV Magic: Pay back by DCI Tom Barnaby as he tricks his father-in-law with a metal detector and the fabricated contents of a Christmas pudding.)

Ponder:

“And he who gives a child a treat makes joy-bells ring in Heaven’s street, And he who gives a child a home builds palaces in kingdom come. And she who gives a baby birth brings Saviour Christ again to earth.”

John Masefield (1878-1967), Poet Laureate for 37 years

Listen:

“Fairytale Sleigh Ride” by the Royal Ballet Sinfonia & Gavin Sutherland;

“Shepherds’ Cradle Song” by the Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge;

“Man With The Bag” by Jessie J.

Learn:

Did you know…Christmas in Sweden and Finland runs from St. Lucia’s Day on December 13th to St. Knut’s Day on January 13th? The Christmas tree is then taken down with these words of goodwill: “May God bless your Christmas. May it last until Easter!” January 13th is ‘tjugondag Knut’ or ‘tjugondedag jul’ – the twentieth day of Knut/Christmas.

The Day in Detail:

Lights Christmas Street 7531711Mrs. C says: More and more people are lighting the outside of their houses with Christmas lights: dangling blue icicles from fascias, wrapping white lights around trees and bushes and bejewelling windows. Christmas trees sit proudly in bay windows, twinkling merrily, announcing Christmas is almost upon us. Driving – or being driven – through a Outdoor lights 131432225neighbourhood of lights is lovely. Walking through such a neighbourhood is better still. Only then can you truly absorb all the beauty of decorated houses in and around your local streets. So make a point today to take an early evening stroll, wrapped up against the cold, to witness and savour all the illuminated Christmas magic that surrounds you.

Ed Elf: I love how this is all getting bigger and better every year.

Mrs. C: Now, if you don’t live in such an illuminated area or are quite remote, maybe take a virtual festive tour of a light-strewn array of images on your computer. You can do a worldwide tour this way. Some neighbourhoods are so dazzling, they attract good audiences and have turned the whole thing into a charity fund-raising occasion. Now where’s my Christmas jumper and my red coat?     Ed Elf: Wait a minute. I’m coming with you.

So today’s the day to:

  • Enjoy the Christmas beauty of your neighbourhood with a leisurely walk – or take a virtual lights tour instead.