Clean the house – top to bottom.
Prepare tips for the postman and paperboy etc.
Reward yourself for a day’s hard work with a luxurious bath and cocktail.
(Scroll down for the day in detail)
“Arthur Christmas” (2011): with the voice talents of James McAvoy, Hugh Laurie and Jim Broadbent. This wonderful animated feature sees the passing of the festive baton from generation to generation. Steve appears to be the heir apparent to dear ol’ Santa, until a bicycle isn’t delivered to one deserving child. Steve’s younger brother Arthur can’t rest until the little girl has her present and his relentless pursuit of Christmas Eve perfection changes the course of Santa history. With each viewing, this quickly gallops up our all-time favourites chart. What better than this beautifully inventive festive tale for a fabulous feel-good time in the days before Christmas? (Movie Magic: Bryony – the elf who wraps – Grand-Santa and the ever-stoic, ever-capable Mrs. Claus: Christmas heroes one and all.)
And a golden oldie…
“Holiday Affair” (1949): starring Robert Mitchum and Janet Leigh. This romantic comedy might not have the renown of “It’s a Wonderful Life” but releases equal measures of feel-good endorphins in all its black & white glory. A young boy’s wish for a train set, snow and above all love are at the heart of this American hidden gem, based on John D. Weaver’s “Christmas Gift”. (Movie Magic: An uneasy Christmas dinner with a heartfelt declaration, plus Timmy’s tearful plea to New York shop owner Mr. Crowley.)
“And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them: and they were sore afraid.” Luke 2:1, 3-9
The album “Silent Nights” by Nigel Hess;
“The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole;
“There is No Rose of Such Virtue” by Sting.
Did you know…Altmarkt Square in the German city of Dresden has held a Striezelmarkt since the mid-15th century – one of the oldest festive markets in Germany? Since 1434, the market has preserved its distinctive character. The market’s name comes from the Christmas bread Stollen, which is also known as ‘Striezel’ in Middle High German.
The Day in Detail:
Mrs. C says: How many of you do as I do when it comes to taking care of the home at Christmas, I wonder? For months in the build-up I can be heard saying: “I must fix that for Christmas…I must paint that for Christmas…I must replace that for Christmas” and, most importantly of all, “I must clean that for Christmas”. I have a good old clean through the house before I put up the tree and decorations and then I go berserk with my polish, duster, vacuum, disinfectant and bleach today, to the point Christmas dinner could be eaten off my floor it’s that clean. Of course, the timing of the ‘big clean’ depends on your work-life schedule. Today is merely the day that fits best for me this year – and is not so far removed from Christmas Day that the house won’t still be sparkling in a few days time. Nor does today clash with the arrival of visitors or a party.
So today is that big cleaning day for me and some of the prerequisites are: fresh linen on the beds, fresh towels, Christmas fragrance throughout, furniture polished, toilets and wash basins sanitised, windows cleaned, laundry done, ironing done, vacuuming done, garden patio swept and…well, you get the picture. It’s exhausting, but oh so satisfying.
When I finally have chance to put my feet up, I prepare thank you cards with some money inside for some of the people I just couldn’t live without: the postman, the paperboy and the window cleaners. Yes, it’s tip time. I’ve managed to get round to tipping the recycling bin-men, too. We have so many collections of so many different bins by various crews. that it is difficult to cover all of them.
Ed Elf: I heard the local councils don’t like that anyway: bit Scrooge-like of them.
Mrs. C: Once that’s done, you can reward yourself for a day’s hard work with a luxurious bath and an invigorating cocktail, like a Manhattan, a Cosmopolitan or one of Nigella’s Christmas “Poinsettia” specials.
- Clean the house from top to bottom, making it spick and span for Christmas.
- Prepare tips inside thank you cards for the postman, paperboy and so on.
- Luxuriate in a hot bath with a regenerative cocktail by way of reward.