Christmas tree outdoors 149122061A Day To:

Decorate the real Christmas tree – if your fir has been acclimatising in the garage or shed.

Check the lists you made at the outset of the calendar. Forgotten anything?

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“A Christmas Story” (1983): starring Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon. Ralphie is a nine-year-old boy in 1940s Indiana whose dearest Christmas wish is to own a “genuine Red Ryder 200-shot Carbine Action Rifle”. There’s one major problem: his Mother point blank refuses his request, saying: “You’ll shoot your eye out.” But Ralphie has a plan. From triple-dog-daring to leg-shaped lamps, from canine turkey robbing to a frozen flagpole mishap, this American classic has so much to offer. (Movie Magic: When Ralphie’s father receives his prize and the container reads: “Fragile.” Dad exclaims: “Fra-gee-lay….it must be Italian.” Just wait until you see the prize.)

And from the TV archives…

“The Good Life: Silly, But It’s Fun” (1977) stars Richard Briers, Felicity Kendal, Penelope Keith and Paul Eddington. The outrageously pompous Margot, played to perfection by Penelope Keith, has to admit: “Christmas hasn’t been delivered to this house” when she realises her order of complete festive provisions won’t be arriving. She sent back the order because her tree was a few inches too short. Tom and Barbara Good save the day with an invitation for a humble, home grown Christmas. Margot isn’t best pleased when she finds a Daily Mirror paper hat in her cracker, but finally discovers her inner child…after a threat from Tom. (TV Magic: “Your Christmas comes in a van,” says Tom to Margot. “It’s supposed to, Tom!”)

Ponder:

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! How dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.” Francis P. Church: an extract from a reply in the New York Sun in 1897 to a letter from eight-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon asking “Is there a Santa Claus?”

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Listen:

Favourites from the album “Now! That’s What I call Christmas” by various artists;

“Boar’s Head Carol” by Westminster Cathedral Choir;

“Don’t Shoot Me, Santa” by The Killers.

Learn:

Did you know…a boar’s head is carried on a silver platter, dated 1668, into the hall at Queen’s College, Oxford for an annual Christmas feast while the “Boar’s Head Carol” is sung?

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: You might only have one tree to decorate. You might food gingerbread cookies_196082636 have done it long before now, especially if your preference is an artificial tree. You may have done like thousands of others and trimmed the tree last weekend. But if you have been patient enough to wait until today to decorate the aromatic pine, now is the time to unleash your creativity and indulge in the goose-pimply joy that it is to decorate one’s festive evergreen.

Ed Elf: I’m thinking of a theme this year based solely on chocolate. Well, it is Christmas.

Mrs. C: If the tree is already decorated – and even if it isn’t actually – you might want to scrutinise the lists you made at the very start of the calendar. How are you doing? Much left to accomplish? Have you forgotten something? Do like Father Christmas and check that list twice to make sure there are no oversights.

Ed Elf: And if you find you’re pretty much covered to this point, sit back and enjoy a Christmas book or magazine with a mince pie and a beverage. You’re on track for the big day, you deserve a few hours of peace. Now, aren’t you happy you followed our countdown calendar?

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

  • If you haven’t already, decorate your real Christmas tree and enjoy every last second of it.
  • Check your Christmas lists for potential oversights.