gifts wrapping red box_118683163A Day To:

Buy Christmas stamps 

Allot any Christmas gifts already purchased

Buy Christmas pudding & cake ingredients

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“The Apartment” (1960): starring Jack Lemmon and Shirley MacLaine. One for the grown-ups. This comedy-drama was nominated for ten Academy Awards and won five, including Best Picture. A significant slice of this black and white Billy Wilder classic is set at Christmas, but there is little to feel festive about as Shirley MacLaine’s elevator operator Fran Kubelik becomes desperate in the apartment occupied by Jack Lemmon’s wonderfully portrayed Calvin ‘Bud’ Baxter. Her boss Jeff Sheldrake insists he loves Fran, but heads home to his wife and family in the suburbs for Christmas. Baxter has loaned out his apartment to executives in his company for their illicit liaisons so he can climb the corporate ladder. But enough is enough – especially where his true love is concerned. This is watchable any time of the year, but is even more thought-provoking at Christmas. A magnificent film. (Movie Magic: “Shut up and deal!”)

As an alternative (or a companion) to the above is this angelic made-for-TV offering…

“A Heavenly Christmas” (2016): starring Kristin Davis, Eric McCormack and Shirley MacLaine. One of our favourite Hallmark Channel festive films of recent years features two comedy icons playing it straight: Kristin Davis, for so long an integral part of “Sex and the City”, and Eric McCormack, always stellar in “Will and Grace”, are the romantic leads. Just one problem hindering their on-screen relationship: Kristin’s character is an angel. But where there’s a heavenly will, there must be a way of recreating their connection on earth. Shirley MacLaine plays the angel-in-chief with aplomb, while McCormack is a one-time singer armed with the task of raising his niece after a tragedy. (Movie Magic: Buying a wreath was never more Christmassy.)

Ponder:

“For creeping softly underneath

The door when all the lights are out,

Jack Frost takes every breath you breathe,

And knows the things you think about.

He paints them on the windowpane

In fairy lines with frozen steam;

And when you wake you see again

The lovely things you saw in dream.”

Gabriel Setoun (1861-1930), Scottish poet & author

baubles dangling red_160224650

Listen:

“Christmas Cracker” (Performed by the RTE Concert Orchestra & Gavin Sutherland);

“This Christmas” by Jess Glynne;

“The Christmas Waltz” by Frank Sinatra.

Learn:

Did you know…around the time King Charles I was captured and beheaded amid civil war in 1649, puritans banned Christmas in England for 13 years? Many people still celebrated in secret.

PLEASING PAGES TO PERUSE: Angels & Tree Toppers – CLICK HERE; Flower Arrangements – CLICK HERE; Christmas Number Ones – CLICK HERE; Family Books – CLICK HERE; Card Holders & Displays – CLICK HERE; Wrapping Advice – CLICK HERE

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says:  If you’re feeling inspired to bake this festive season, today’s a good day to buy in the ingredients for a baking session in a few days. Plus, take note: this year’s Christmas stamps are now available.

Iced Xmas puddingEd Elf: Work out how many stamps you need for domestic cards and how many for overseas cards and get ‘em bought nice and early. You can do this online.

Mrs. C: Buy an extra batch of stamps – be they of the new Christmas variety, the perennial Christmas religious theme or the basic, regular style – for your Christmas thank you cards.

Ed Elf: Again, work out how many you need and…

Mrs. C: I think they can fathom that for themselves.

Ed Elf: But some people are thick….I mean, need more help to think than others.

Mrs. C: Now, if you are anything like me, you will have collected a few gifts throughout the year and put them in a bottom drawer or store cupboard, thinking: “This’ll come in handy for a birthday or something.” Well, that something might now be Christmas. Check what you’ve bought and start allotting the presents, ticking people off your gifts list as you go. Might be worth amending the gifts list at this point. Any additions you need to make?

Ed Elf: Any deletions?

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

  • Purchase Christmas pudding and cake ingredients if you plan to make your own festive produce.
  • Buy Christmas stamps for greetings cards and thank you cards.
  • Check gifts you picked up and put away throughout the year.
  • Decide who those gifts might go to and tick them off your list.