mulled wine_116018746A Day To:

Savour Christmas poems and books with a glass of something festive and a warm mince pie – and decide on some other ‘must-read’ material for the holiday period.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“The Nutcracker and the Four Realms” (2018): starring Keira Knightley, Mackenzie Foy, Morgan Freeman and Dame Helen Mirren. This in an elaborate and visually breathtaking Disney reimagining of the book and ballet “The Nutcracker”. The soundtrack is a clever combination of Tchaikovsky’s famous music for the ballet and composer James Newton Howard’s new work. It was recorded by The Philharmonia Orchestra in London, with esteemed conductor Gustavo Dudamel. The magical story takes place on Christmas Eve, but there’s a darker side to this festive movie tale and the young star of the piece must summon all her courage to emulate her queen of a mother and save the four realms from wicked rule. First, there is the mystery of a Christmas Eve gift and a missing key. Next, there is the substantial matter of who to trust. (Movie Magic: The stunning visuals, the captivating soundtrack, Keira Knightley effectively playing a cake and more Christmas trees of magnificence than you can shake a stick at.)

And as we enter the last week of the build-up to Christmas, it is time to visit Mrs. Brown…

“Mrs. Brown’s Boys”, an Irish-British sitcom starring Brendan O’Carroll as the outrageous matriarch, first aired in Britain in 2011 and its Christmas specials quickly became festive fixtures on the BBC: invariably challenging for top spot in the fiercely fought Christmas ratings. Any one episode could satisfy your Christmas comedy craving, but we will kindly draw your attention to the two from 2012 – “Mammy Christmas” and “The Virgin Mammy”. Mrs. Brown is nothing if not a traditionalist so when Father Damien tells her the annual Nativity is off she decides to write her own version. Moreover, she intends to take the lead role – with typically hilarious consequences. These episodes were shown on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day 2012, watched by a combined audience of more than 22 million. (TV Magic: Mrs. Brown’s daughter Cathy has her Mammy believing hidden cameras are filming her every move for a mother of the year competition. Mrs. Brown is suddenly sweetness and light. That’s nice!)

Ponder:

“Christmas time and happy time,

Set the bells to ringing.

Merry time and joyous time,

Love its good gifts bringing.

Bright the way when love shines through,

Short the way when hearts beat true;

Love will make all skies seem blue…

Join the Yule-tide singing.”

Will M. Maupin (1863-1948), Nebraska newspaperman

candles single flame_134113172

Listen:

 “Lullaby My Jesus” by Choir of Winchester Cathedral & David Hill;

“Torches” by Lincoln Cathedral Choir.

Learn:

Did you know…if you received every gift in the song “The Twelve Days of Christmas” you would have 364 presents in total?

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: With so much achieved already in the build-up to your magical Christmas, we hope at some point today or this evening you can snuggle up on your favourite chair or couch – a soft, warm throw protecting you from the cold – and leaf through some festive poetry and books with a delicious glass in hand. Starting in 2009, and for a number of years thereafter, the Poet Laureate Carol-Ann Duffy published an annual collection of poems in a pamphlet-style book entitled: “The Twelve Days of Christmas”. These bite-size pieces of poetic delight are perfect to accompany a bite-size mince pie or two. I’m also sure to read more ghostly tales from Charles Dickens today and search through my other Christmas books to decide what has to be read in the next couple of weeks. There are certain ‘must-reads’ for me this time of year.

Ed Elf: Interesting to hear that term ‘bite-size’ because a mini mince pie for you is what I might call substantial. Funny that.

So today’s the day to:

  • Indulge in your Christmas poetry books – or explore the genre if you have been resistant in the past. Decide on your other festive reading material.