Make a start on the Christmas cards.
Order personalised address labels.
Make plans for New Year.
(Scroll down for the day in detail)
“While You Were Sleeping” (1995): starring Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman. A delightful romantic comedy in which Sandra Bullock falls for a man who falls from a train platform on Christmas morning – then saves his life. He’s in a coma. Confusion ensues. Bullock’s character Lucy is engaged to comatose Peter…or is she? His family fall for her, she falls for them and suddenly finds herself falling a little too much for Peter’s brother Jack. Ease into the season with a feel-good factor that doesn’t rely on Santa Claus magic or Scrooge’s awakening. It’s ideal for a relaxing afternoon or evening by the fire. (Movie Magic: The family’s belated Christmas Day celebration, stockings, gifts, kisses, chatter and all. Beautifully observed.)
“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”
The album “Jubilo” by Alison Balsom;
“White Christmas” by Bing Crosby;
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” by Rufus Wainwright.
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; Elf Helpers – 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 times. 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. If you have lost a loved one in the last year, the occasion can be altogether impossible.
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. At this stage, the most popular and trendy venues in town might not have availability – but don’t let that deter you. The How to Christmas team has created a New Year Celebrations page in our Parties & Hosting section. I’ll share some of their ideas with you now:
“Booking a restaurant or venue for New Year’s Eve can be expensive. Throwing money at an occasion does not make it better if you are simply not in the mood to celebrate amid crowds of strangers. Then again, surround yourself with a wonderful group of family and/or friends and it could be money well spent. However, if you like the idea of a large gathering and don’t want to cram into a restaurant or club, why not think of hosting something yourself? An informal party to see in the New Year, with finger food and a bring-a-bottle policy, could be arranged. The invitations could be emailed five to six weeks out to give people time to reserve the date. If you like the idea of marking New Year’s Eve in some way, but don’t like thoughts of noise and mess and spills on carpets then you might consider a smaller, more intimate dinner party with your closest friends. The menu need not be complicated. Just ensure you have a few bottles of bubbly and just enough festive spirit left to play host and this could be the perfect way to welcome a new year. Plus, if they are your very best friends in the world, maybe they won’t mind you becoming just a tad sentimental or morose for a little spell. You could always see in the New Year quietly. You know, raise a glass, watch the fireworks explode across the London skyline… and go to bed. But then, perhaps, you could mark the New Year with a relaxed and delicious lunch with family and/or friends on January 1st…then again, an open house on that day might be more your style.”
Hope this helps. There is more on our New Year Celebrations page, but I trust this gives you a starter. 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 take myself off to Scotland. Hogmanay – brilliant! The Scots know how to do New Year. And I like how they call me ‘wee man’.
- 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 book a venue for celebrations if you can pin down plans already – or aim to host a party or open house if you wish to have more control over the occasion.