Christmas tree outdoors 149122061A Day To:

If your fir tree has been ‘acclimatising’ in the garage or shed, maybe decorate it this evening.

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

Donate to a food bank charity.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“A Bad Moms Christmas”(2017): starring Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell and Kathryn Hahn. Very much for grown-ups only. As if the pressures of providing a perfect Christmas for their families wasn’t already stressful and demanding enough for three American mums, this festive season they will have to face their own particular challenges delivered by the visits of their respective mothers. Kunis, Bell and Hahn play the three “moms” and their mothers are portrayed superbly by Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines and Susan Sarandon. The most wonderful time of the year? Not exactly for this bunch, but it comes with adult laughs aplenty for the audience. This sequel follows the huge success of the 2016 “Bad Moms” movie that made around 180 million dollars worldwide. (Movie Magic: The male waxing scene. The dialogue and situation make for hilarity.”)

From the TV archives, something more suited to all the family…

“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?”

Listen:

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

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

“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Rufus Wainwright.

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? Sacrificing a boar and presenting its head at a Christmas feast was an ancient tradition captured in the 15th century English carol. Many other colleges around the world also observe this ancient tradition. For Queen’s, the story goes that the ritual is to pay tribute to a student who was attacked by a wild boar in a neighbouring forest, while reading Aristotle. The scholar bravely put the book in the boar’s mouth and choked the animal. The then severed head may have been the first ever used in the ritual.

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: You might only have one tree to decorate. You might 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 on December 1. But if you like to allow your aromatic pine to acclimatise in the garage or shed, getting it slowly used to a move to the warm in doors, perhaps now is the time to bring it into the house, 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 turn your thoughts to charity and buy some food to donate to a food bank. There are collections in supermarkets – or you can donate money online if social distancing comes into the equation. You can make a real difference to someone’s Christmas, so please be as generous as you can.

Ed Elf: Shocking that food banks are even needed in the UK.

Mrs. C: After that’s done, 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: If you find you’re pretty much covered to this point, rest up after making your food donation, sit back and enjoy a Christmas book or magazine with a warm beverage in the glow of the tree lights. 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 Christmas fir tree and enjoy every last second of it.
  • Check your Christmas lists for potential oversights.
  • Donate food or money to a food bank charity.