Post cards to UK addresses.
Send charity Santa letters.
Defrost the freezer.
(Scroll down for the day in detail)
“One Magic Christmas” (1985): starring Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton. Ginny Grainger is a wife and mother devoid of Christmas spirit. She’s even unable to utter the words “Merry Christmas”. With husband Jack out of work – but wanting to open a bike shop – and her two youngsters expecting generous gifts from Santa Claus, Ginny is the one to give her family constant reality checks. An angel named Gideon, in the guise of Harry Dean Stanton, is sent to give her a dose of her own medicine. Jack is involved in a tragic shooting, the children are kidnapped and all is gloomier than ever for miserable Ginny. But Christmas is a magical time and she’s about to rediscover that fact with the help of Gideon and an old letter to Santa. This Walt Disney production, filmed entirely in Canada, has elements of “It’s a Wonderful Life” and “A Christmas Carol”. (Movie Magic: The Christmas lights come on again – can that really be Jack walking down the snowy street?)
And to add some animated charm…
“The Snowman” (1982): A Christmas favourite adapted from the wordless picture book by Raymond Briggs. There’s a magical score by Howard Blake, including the classic “Walking in the Air” sung by choirboy Peter Auty. Aled Jones later recorded the song and had major success with it. The film premiered on the UK’s Channel 4 on December 26th 1982. A young boy makes a snowman and it magically comes to life, making discoveries in and around the house before taking the boy on a flying adventure to meet Father Christmas. (Animated Magic: The score is sublime and that song makes for an instant feeling that Christmas has arrived.)
“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Judy Garland;
“Christmas Time (Don’t Let the Bells End)” by The Darkness;
“Mary’s Boy Child” by Harry Belafonte.
“I have always thought of Christmastime, when it has come round…as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time…when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely…”
Charles Dickens (1812-1870) from “A Christmas Carol”
Did you know…until 1850 in England, Twelfth Night parties – when the darkly rich Twelfth Night cakes were eaten – were so beloved that the occasion almost eclipsed Christmas Day itself?
And did you know…the Yorkshire city of Sheffield boasts the unusual Christmas tradition of sword dancing? Among the groups, dressed in leather riding boots, white trousers and tunics (like those worn by Hussars), is the eight-man team of Handsworth Sword Dancers. This troupe performs with long steel swords at the Market Cross in Woodhouse and the church in Handsworth on Boxing Day.
The Day in Detail:
Mrs. C says: Is it December 5th already? Astonishing. Where does the time go?
Ed Elf: Time always seems to go quicker at this time of year. And when you’re old.
Mrs. C: I’ll give you old, you naughty elf. Today’s a good day to get your cards in the post for family and friends in the UK. This way, even with second class stamps attached, they will arrive in plenty of time for family and friends to enjoy. I even know someone who mails her cards in mid-November and that, frankly, is…
Ed Elf: Just showing off.
Mrs. C: And don’t forget your local children’s hospital at this time of the year. Many of them offer you the opportunity to send letters to Santa in exchange for a small donation of around five pounds.
Ed Elf: That’s a small price to pay for making sure you or your kids are on the nice list.
Mrs. C: A more mundane task today, but perhaps necessary to make room for all the festive food to come. If necessary, defrost your freezer. Dull, I know, but you’ll thank me later in the month.
- Post your Christmas cards to family and friends across the UK.
- Send letters to and receive letters from Father Christmas via charity organisations and hospitals.
- If necessary, defrost the freezer.