angel with candle_148763723A Day To:

Make a start on writing Christmas cards. 

Order personalised address labels.

Make plans for New Year.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“Jingle All the Way” (1996): starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad and Rita Wilson. The must-have toy this Christmas is Turbo-man. Workaholic Dad Howard Langston, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, intends to buy one for his son but forgets and ends up on a desperate Christmas Eve shopping mission. He has a rival in the toy stakes, however – another inadequate father, Myron Larabee. Failure follows failure, until Arnie becomes the very man his son Jake so dearly desires. “Jingle All the Way 2” was released in 2014, starring American comedian Larry the Cable Guy. This direct-to-DVD film used a similar plot: this time with a father and step-father trying to out-do each other and deliver a much-sought-after talking bear to daughter Noel. (Movie Magic: Neighbour Ted’s reindeer goes on the attack in Arnie’s neighbourhood.)

Here’s some festive television to consider today, too…

“Not Going Out – Christmas Specials” is a collection we return to each Christmas. Lee Mack’s ability to deliver funny one-liners like few other modern day comics makes him a rare treasure and his sit-com “Not Going Out” infinitely watchable. This Christmas Specials DVD is available featuring the festive episodes: “Murder at Christmas”, “Absent Father Christmas” and our favourite “The House”. Lee wants to create a perfect Christmas for Lucy at an old house in the snowy countryside. But he didn’t plan for the presence of dopey friend Daisy, Lucy’s parents, his Dad and certainly not the ghost of a young boy. A big country house, open fire, decorations, snow and a Christmas ghost: it makes for perfect festive fayre. Sally Bretton plays Lucy and Katy Wix is Daisy, while the late Bobby Ball is Lee’s useless father. “The House” episode first aired on Christmas Eve 2013. (TV Magic: Lee’s ability to antagonise at will Lucy’s permanently unimpressed father. It’s an on-screen battle and partnership all in one.)

 Ponder:

“Somewhere between the angel and Mary’s house I had figured it out. The first gift of Christmas. It just came. It came to my heart. The first gift of Christmas was love.” 

Richard Paul Evans, from “The Christmas Box”

Listen:

“All Bells in Paradise” by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge;

“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby;

“Last Christmas” by Wham!

candles lantern_186210149

Learn:

Did you know…Brussels sprouts get their trademark bitter taste from a chemical defence, evolved to ward off insects? During cooking, sprouts release sulphur compounds that react with bacteria in the gut to produce hydrogen sulphide, which is found in stink bombs.

PLEASING PAGES TO PERUSE: Advent: Variations on a Theme – CLICK HERE; Wreaths, Garlands & Greenery – CLICK HERE; Made-for-TV Movies – CLICK HERE; Playlist Tips – CLICK HERE; Trivia & Trifles – CLICK HERE

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: Depending on how many cards you have to send out, writing them can be on a sliding scale anywhere from an hour-long delight to a five-hour slog. My Christmas card list is easily into three figures, so I’m on the slog end of the scale. And yet I don’t look at it that way. Instead, I relish the very prospect of plonking myself down with plonk, listening to Bing crooning about his dreams of a white Christmas and writing the most sincere lines of love and kind wishes to my family and friends.

Ed Elf: Mrs. C doesn’t have Bing on a loop, you understand. She plays other music as well.

Mrs. C: I try to change my greetings in each batch of cards and attempt to make it as personal as possible. I like to order sticky labels with my own address on them, so I don’t have to write it out hundreds of New Year Champagne _66472681times. Some of you might not bother with a return of address label, but I believe it to be the polite thing to do. Plus, if someone has moved since last Christmas and failed to inform you, the card can be ‘returned to sender’ and you’ll not waste your time or postage money next year. A batch of about 300 labels shouldn’t set you back more than £20.

Ed Elf: So what about New Year plans?

Mrs. C: Ah yes. Maybe you love New Year every bit as much as Christmas. But, like many people out there, you may find the whole New Year’s Eve thing a little tricky to negotiate. Christmas is a reflective time, but New Year even more so. There is every chance for that maudlin feeling to set in, perhaps accompanied by tears and sadness and a resolution to make the New Year so much better than the last.

There are six weeks to go to New Year’s Eve, so why not spend part of today making a plan for the night – and indeed New Year’s Day itself. The How to Christmas team has created a New Year Celebrations page in our Parties & Hosting section, on our New Year Celebrations page. Think it over today and make a New Year plan, however simple. If you hate New Year, as I hear so many people say, then reinvent it to work for you. That way, you’ll keep Christmas going much longer than you ever thought possible.

Ed Elf: Personally, I always like to link up with my friends in Scotland. I hope I’ll be allowed to do that this year. Hogmanay – brilliant! The Scots know how to do New Year. And I like how they call me ‘wee man’.

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

  • Write at least your first batch of Christmas cards to a festive sound of music – relish and enjoy the process.
  • Buy personalised sticky address labels from an online source.
  • Consider New Year festivities and plans.