winter scene snow trees_161092340A 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 3: The Escape Clause” (2006): starring Tim Allen, Martin Short, Elizabeth Mitchell and Wendy Crewson. The third in The Santa Clause Trilogy picks up four years after the second installment. Santa and his wife Carol are expecting their first child together, but before the new arrival the big man is summoned to a meeting of the Council of Legendary Figures such as the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. Jack Frost is there, unhappy he has no holiday or special occasion in his honour. He decides to steal Christmas from Santa using The Escape Clause and misery follows. Santa becomes Scott Calvin again and doesn’t like what he sees. Is there any way back to the North Pole? Perhaps…with a child’s help. (Movie Magic: Alan Arkin and Ann-Margret deliver winning performances as the bewildered in-laws dropped into the fantastical world of Santa’s North Pole.)

For lovers of black and white comedy greats…of genius partnerships…

“Big Business” (1929): The legendary Laurel and Hardy in a funny festive frolic. The comedy duo are Christmas tree salesmen in this silent movie caper, who become involved in a ridiculous tit-for-tat contest with James Finlayson’s grumpy, mustachioed character that eventually destroys his house and their car. The opening template reads: “The story of a man who turned the other cheek – And got punched in the nose”. The film “Big Business” was added to the USA’s Library of Congress as a national treasure in 1992. (Movie Magic: Tears flow and it’s catching. Anything to get out of another fine mess.)


“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

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Favourites from the album “Michael Buble – Christmas”;

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

“Ring Out Solstice Bells” by Jethro Tull.


Did you know…according to German folklore, candy canes were first enjoyed in 1670 when Cologne Cathedral’s choirmaster handed out sweet sticks, shaped like shepherd’s crooks, at the Christmas Eve Living Crèche service in the hope they would keep the children quiet? He had the candy canes made by a local sweet-maker.

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 you expect to be 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. 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.