Christmas Shop front grotto_87059096A Day To:

Potter around local shops to buy the last few bits for Christmas…but to also soak up the Christmas atmosphere.

Meet friends for a Christmas coffee, hot chocolate or mulled wine.

Stock up on firewood.

Water the tree.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)


“Gavin & Stacey: A Special Christmas” (2019): starring James Corden, Ruth Jones, Mathew Horne, Joanna Page, Larry Lamb, Rob Brydon, Melanie Walters, Robert Wilfort and Alison Steadman. This wonderful ensemble cast returned to our screens on Christmas Day 2019 with this brilliant comeback episode. It had been 11 years since the last Christmas episode of the BBC sit-com, which was one of the best television specials ever crafted. The latest festive offering did not disappoint. Quite the opposite. Smithy’s new girlfriend is being introduced to the gang during Christmas in Barry. But she brings about a rather curious change in his behaviour. Nessa decides he needs to hear the truth. The special was watched by a record audience for a scripted TV show in the UK in the 2010s, with more than 17 million tuning in on the night and on catch up. (TV Magic: The towels, Neil the Baby, the confession on Christmas Day, Nessa’s surprising and heartfelt admission, “A Fairytale of New York” with a twist…and so much more. Fantastic!)

And time to watch this again, maybe? We make no apologies for a repeat viewing…

“The Holiday” (2006): starring Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, Jude Law and Jack Black. Snuggle up on the couch and indulge in a romantic comedy of English chocolate box cottages and Hollywood dream homes, set around the Christmas and New Year holidays. Cameron Diaz and Kate Winslet are strangers lost in love and life, who do a trans-Atlantic house-swap to escape their festive woes…only to discover their new holiday homes have unexpected attractions. Sounds perfect for a cosy weekend at home. With each passing year, we feel this film takes on an even greater festive glow. So much so, we’ll view it again before the season is done. (Movie Magic: Learning how to be the leading lady of one’s own life. This could apply to you chaps, too. Basically, don’t be a walkover.)


“At one time, most of my friends could hear the bell, but as years passed, it fell silent for all of them. Even Sarah found one Christmas that she could no longer hear its sweet sound. Though I’ve grown old, the bell still rings for me, as it does for all who truly believe.”

Chris Van Allsburg, American author, from “The Polar Express”

toys window grotto_157061066


Excerpts from “The Nutcracker” by Tchaikovsky;

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” by Diana Krall;

“Once in Royal David’s City” by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge.


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 shepherds’ 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: With the gift buying pressure well and truly off, I so enjoy pottering around the local shops on the days leading up to Christmas. I tend to head for a nearby street where I can pop in and out of inviting stores, buying a few additional treats for my family and friends or, indeed, for me. I like to experience this without having the need to buy a whole catalogue of gifts or groceries on a daunting list. If a Salvation Army band is playing on the street corner or in a town square, that’s all the better. And with the pressure valve closed and the pleasure valve opened, this is also a good opportunity to meet up for a hot chocolate, mulled wine or eggnog latte with fellow ‘potterers’ – those who are similarly chilled out, of course. Don’t allow yourself to be sucked into other people’s mania. There could be a bit of it about this close to Christmas.

Ed Elf: If you do see anyone panicking about the holiday festivities, do them a favour and slip ‘em the address to this website.

Mrs. C: Today’s a good day to stock up on firewood – that’s if you have an open fire or wood-burner of course. Fill the log basket by the hearth and make sure there is plenty of chopped wood in store to see you through at least the next few days. Cosy gatherings by an open fire are the stuff of idyllic greetings cards. Even if you don’t have a fire or wood-burner, you can achieve a similar cosy effect by grouping lots of candles together. Also remember to water the tree, if you have a fragrant fir in the house. Hopefully, you’ve been keeping the water reservoir or pot topped up, but one last check and possible top-up today should ensure you won’t need to concern yourself with this task again until Boxing Day or beyond.

Ed Elf: I’ve got a little rhyme about that. It goes: “Keep the fir tree’s thirst at bay and you won’t awake to needles on Christmas Day.”   Mrs. C: Don’t call us, dearest.

So today’s the day to:

  • Visit local shops to browse and buy as you see fit – after all, the gift buying pressure is off by now thanks to How to Christmas.
  • Meet friends to drink festive brews.
  • Stock up on firewood if you have an open fire or wood-burner.
  • Water the tree, ensuring the water reservoir for your fir is topped up to last to Boxing Day.