candle tealights_114064924A Day To:

Order pillar candles and tea-lights for home delivery, plus festive coffee, tea, jams & chutneys.

Start to actively reduce what’s in the freezer and pantry to make room for Christmas goods.

Make your own Christmas cake and freezable festive treats and meals.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (2005): starring William Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Skandar Keynes, George Henley, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy and Liam Neeson. Based on the C.S. Lewis novel, this film was released in December 2005 to great acclaim and huge box office success. The Pevensie children are evacuated to the country during World War II and, while playing hide and seek, Lucy discovers a wardrobe and beyond it a magical wintry world called Narnia. And so the splendid fantasy adventure begins. Father Christmas makes a most crucial appearance. Indeed without his intervention the children and Narnia may well have been lost to the White Witch. (Movie Magic: Lucy’s first steps into the snowy world of Narnia and her meeting with Mr. Tumnus, setting the tone for the fantastical characters and adventure to come and creating a mood most suitable for the festive season.)

If time is of the essence, you might prefer the following (if not, you might view both)…

“Christmas Carol: The Movie” (2001): starring Simon Callow and Kate Winslet. This animated version of the story has an unusual twist at the end in that Scrooge is reunited with his lost love, Belle. We don’t understand the need to change the original classic, but it doesn’t greatly hurt the overall effect of this particular animation. Simon Callow is the voice of Scrooge and Kate Winslet is Belle. Winslet also had a top 10 hit in the UK with the theme song “What If”. (Movie Magic: Old school animation creates its own atmosphere and adds to the film’s appeal.)

Ponder:

“Were I a philosopher, I should write a philosophy of toys, showing that nothing else in life need to be taken seriously, and that Christmas Day in the company of children is one of the few occasions on which men become entirely alive.” 

Robert Lynd (1879-1949), Irish writer

candle tealight_113379091

Listen:

“Christmas Wrapping” by The Waitresses;

Christmas carols from the album “The John Rutter Songbook”.

Learn:

Did you know…There’s an age-old Scandinavian belief that ancestors might visit to enjoy a feast while the household sleeps on Christmas Eve? A welcoming light might be left on, plenty of food and drink placed on the table and a clean white cloth draped over a chair before retiring to bed. If there are black marks on the cloth the next morning, ancestors have risen from the grave to visit and dine.

PLEASING PAGES TO PERUSE: Accommodating Guests – CLICK HERE; Indoor Lights – CLICK HERE; Christmas Trees – CLICK HERE; Album Number Ones – CLICK HERE; Parlour Games – CLICK HERE; Charity – CLICK HERE

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: You can never have too many tea-lights at Christmas – at least that’s my experience. I go through a considerable number in lighting up the season.

Ed Elf: You’re not kidding there, Mrs. C. You make things ever so magical, running around with your candle-lighter in hand.

Candles and decs_160664129Mrs. C: John Lewis, M&S and other stores have large packs…so five or six bags of those should do me. Maybe make that seven. Add in a selection of up to ten pillar candles and that’s one heavy load: definitely an order for delivery or click-and-collect. The number of tea-lights and candles you require clearly depends how many rooms you have to illuminate and…

Ed Elf: Don’t tell me…how many holders you have to fill?

Mrs. C: Correct. While online, I’ll arrange to have some of my favourite Christmas coffee and winter tea delivered. Perhaps you can do the same. Harrods and Fortnum & Mason always offer a pleasing selection. Betty’s is also a marvellous option. These shops have excellent Christmas brochures and online stores. It’s also worth adding a couple of bags of Starbucks Christmas blend about now, when you next pop in for a caffeine fix. And yes, the festive cups are out so that means Starbucks Christmas is here. If you are ordering from Fortnums, it might be worth including a few jars of jams, chutneys, relishes and pickled onions for the holiday season. Don’t be shy in putting a sizeable dent in the ‘Big Christmas Shop’ whenever you see fit.

The more Christmas stock I buy for my pantry, the more I realise I have to start actively reducing what’s already in there. That goes for freezer items, too. When it comes to the freezer, think ahead to Christmas hosting and work out if you have enough ice-cube containers. If you have an ice dispenser attached to your fridge, ensure it is functioning properly. You can buy novelty ice trays in the shape of trees and snowflakes. If you have room, or indeed a second freezer in the garage, basement or closet, perhaps you can fill large freezer bags of these ice cubes and store them for Christmas functions. You’ll need plenty for champagne buckets and beer troughs.

Ed Elf: When you have a pantry and freezer clear out, I get a bit excited cos I know there’s some baking to surely follow.

christmas cake slice_41360002Mrs. C: How right you are. Today I’ll be making my Christmas cake and getting ahead with my festive food by making and freezing Yuletide treats and meals, such as soups, canapés and desserts.

As we are not a how to bake site, we’re offering the encouragement and not necessarily the in-depth know-how – although we do have some excellent recommendations, recipes and general food fabulousness in our Parties & Hosting section (Click here for the Food & Drink page). Follow your favourite cook to the letter and you can’t go far wrong. It’ll be fun – especially putting your cake in a tin under the bed and feeding it occasionally with liqueur, as is my tradition. Good times.

Ed Elf: Don’t get confused here and feed yourself the liqueur, otherwise you’ll end up under the bed.

So today’s the day to:

  • Buy a large supply of tea-lights and candles to last through the holiday season, arranging for the heavy load to be delivered or collected through click-and-collect.
  • Start actively clearing the freezer and cupboards of unwanted food items – wasting as little as possible and bearing in mind tins can be donated to charity food banks.
  • Think ahead to the amount of ice you may need for parties and other social gatherings and obtain the necessary ice cube trays and/or bags.
  • Purchase Christmas coffee, tea, jams, chutneys and pickles from your favourite stores and have them delivered.
  • Make your Christmas cake and freezable goods to get ahead of the cooking game.