A Day To:

Pack away precious objects if children/pets are coming to visit/stay.

Set up the spare room for visitors.

Write out a Christmas Day cooking plan.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)


“The Santa Clause 2” (2002): starring Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Eric Lloyd and Elizabeth Mitchell. The second installment in The Santa Clause Trilogy see Scott Calvin, played by Tim Allen, eight years along from his Santa debut and enjoying life at the North Pole. His happiness is disturbed by news his son Charlie is on the naughty list and, worse still, the revelation of another clause in the Santa contract – the Mrs. Clause. Santa must marry before Christmas Eve or the season will die away. A replica Santa takes control while the main man is away in search of a bride and Christmas is almost ruined forever…almost! If you are so inclined, there is also a third film in the series: “The Escape Clause”(Movie Magic: Gifts from a secret Santa make adults’ childhood dreams come true at last.)

And as we first watched this last month, when we suggested a second viewing nearer Christmas is very much on our to-do list, you might like to enjoy this classic once more…

“It’s A Wonderful Life” (1947): starring James Stewart and Donna Reed. Frank Capra’s classic is a must-see Christmas movie. James Stewart plays George Bailey, whose life doesn’t take the path he had hoped and finds himself making good the lives of his fellow townsfolk in spite of the best efforts of the wicked Mr. Potter (played superbly by Lionel Barrymore). A cruel turn of fate leaves George ready to end it all. Enter Clarence – his angel without wings. George learns: “No man is a failure who has friends.” How this realisation is reached is the stuff of movie legend and guaranteed to crack even the hardest heart. (Movie Magic: Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings. Congratulations Clarence.)


“It came upon the midnight clear,

That glorious song of old,

From angels bending near the earth

To touch their harps of gold!

Peace on the earth, good will to men,

From heaven’s all gracious King!

The world in solemn stillness lay

To hear the angels sing.”

Edmund Sears (1810-1876), American parish minister & author


“I Wonder as I Wander” by the King’s Singers;

“Please Come Home For Christmas” by Aaron Neville;

“Ring Out Solstice Bells” by Jethro Tull.


Did you know…today is the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere? As is the case today, it often coincides with St. Thomas’s Day – a day of charity which once included donating flour to the poor to bake bread? Children used to cover their faces with soot to go A-Mumping or A-Thomasing (that’s begging for money). The Winter Solstice falling at this point in December (Dec 19-22) led to the old poem: “St. Thomas Grey, St. Thomas Grey, longest night and shortest day.” 

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: My main task today is to finish off what I started yesterday when I carried out the big clean and that’s to add a few final finishing flourishes to the guest bedrooms and bathrooms. With visitors in mind, complete the setting up of the spare rooms ready for anyone staying over the Christmas holidays. Think of some thoughtful touches, such as fresh flowers, bottled water and fragrant soap. We have much more on this on our Accommodating Guests page. Also think about putting throws, blankets and cushions in rooms you and your guests will use in the coming days when you ‘cosy up’ to watch festive films armed with mulled wine or hot chocolate.

Ed Elf: I like a chocolate on my pillow each night, if it’s not too much trouble.

Mrs. C: Trouble and you are inextricably intertwined, my dear. One more thing to consider. If you are likely to have visits from friends or family with young children and/or pets, you might want to pack away – albeit temporarily – some of your more precious ornaments or possessions. Don’t risk treasures finding their way into sticky fingers or smashing on the floor. Finally for today, if you are hosting Christmas dinner, put some time aside today to write a Christmas Day cooking plan. Make notes of the planned menu, oven temperatures, preparation times, cooking times and list the required sequence to help guarantee a smooth ride.

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

  • Set up the spare room for guests, adding a few personal, welcoming touches. Put throws and cushions in other rooms ready for cosy nights in front of the fire or television or both.
  • Pack away precious ornaments and possessions you don’t want to be touched or broken if visitors are likely to include inquisitive children and unruly family pets.
  • Write out a Christmas Day cooking plan, including preparation times and oven temperatures.