Buy Advent calendars you plan to post.
Order Christmas flowers for gifts and your own home.
Work on seating arrangements for festive gatherings.
(Scroll down for the day in detail)
“101 Dalmations” (1996): starring Glenn Close, Jeff Daniels, Joely Richardson, Joan Plowright and Hugh Laurie. The live-action version of Dodie Smith’s 1956 classic book and Disney’s 1961 animated feature sees Glenn Close bring Cruella de Vil to life in magnificent fashion. The role might have gone to Sigourney Weaver, but Close proved the perfect villain in this comedy full of puppies, scoundrels and animal heroes. The UK premiere was held at the Royal Albert Hall on December 4, 1996. There is a Christmas scene in the movie as the puppies receive their collars and nametags – but the overall feel of the film, with scenes of snow-covered London and English countryside, is suitably festive. (Movie Magic: Glenn Close’s stunning performance as Cruella. It was pitched to villainous perfection.)
And from the wide selection of Christmas TV specials…
“Father Ted: A Christmassy Ted” (1996) includes the classic and hilarious scene in which Ted and Dougal accidentally wander into the largest lingerie department in Ireland where they stumble into six other priests. Ted leads the heroic escape and is rewarded with the ‘Golden Cleric’ award. A trip to Ballykissangel, a mysterious visitor, a baby on the doorstep and Mrs. Doyle’s hidden disgust over an automatic tea-maker ensure this 17th episode of Channel 4’s sitcom series is a genuine treasure. Dermot Morgan, Ardal O’Hanlon and Frank Kelly star. (TV Magic: Mrs. Doyle’s hour-long guessing name game before she randomly lands on the answer…Father Ted Unctious. And that look on her face post-gift.)
“Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves.”
Eric Sevareid (1912-1992), distinguished US news correspondent
“Coventry Carol” by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa from the album “Carols from Coventry Cathedral”;
“The Christmas Waltz” by Frank Sinatra.
Did you know…Henry VIII spent the equivalent of £13.5 million in today’s money on food, gifts and entertainment in the first Christmas of his reign in 1509? This is according to the excellent book “A Tudor Christmas” by Alison Weir and Siobhan Clarke. They point out £483 went to a woman for simply taking a perfumed pomander to keep the palace air smelling sweeter than usual. Henry was just 19.
PLEASING PAGES TO PERUSE: Christmas Birthdays – CLICK HERE; Christmas Eve Preparations – CLICK HERE; Close But No Cigar – CLICK HERE; Music from Films & Musicals – CLICK HERE; Ghost Stories at Christmas – CLICK HERE; Hampers – CLICK HERE; Quiz Time – CLICK HERE
The Day in Detail:
Mrs. C says: The countdown to Christmas really moves up a notch On December 1st, when we put up our Advent calendars and realise we are just 24 sleeps away from the biggest day of the year. Today’s a good day to buy calendars for you and your loved ones, giving you plenty of time to either post them or hand deliver them. Calendars to consider:
- Cardboard calendars with chocolate behind each door.
- Cardboard calendars with Christmas images behind each door.
- Cardboard calendars with religious phrases behind each door.
- Wooden houses decorated with 25 window and door compartments.
- Calendars made from fabric with 25 pockets sewn on.
- 25 small boxes to fill with gifts and hang from a tree, branch or stretch of ribbon.
- 24 crackers filled with gifts and chocolates.
And that’s just for starters. Take a look at our Advent calendars page Selection for more. Bear in mind that if you already own a permanent, annual Advent calendar of a wooden or fabric variety, you may simply need to buy your 24 or 25 chocolate treats to drop into the boxes or pockets.
Ed Elf: If you are planning on buying one for me, Mrs. C, you can’t go wrong with chocolate.
Mrs. C: Quite. Now, festive flowers are beautiful gifts and can add that final crowning glory to your own Christmas decorations. Order your flowers today, for home and others – carefully selecting delivery dates you know will suit you and them. Timing is crucial here. Flowers delivered five days before Christmas should stay in perfumed bloom through Boxing Day and beyond. Plants can be delivered earlier and will last longer, giving recipients joy for a month or so. Poinsettias are beautiful. Hyacinth bulbs in pots smell heavenly. We have a selection of festive greenery to peruse on our Christmas Flowers & Plants page.
Ed Elf: Again, you can’t go wrong with chocolates for me.
Mrs. C: There is another topic worth getting your head around – that of seating. Are you hosting the Christmas dinner this year? Will you be having other Christmas gatherings? The next question is: do you have enough chairs? Start to put a plan in place today if you need to obtain more. It could simply be a case of moving chairs from other rooms or from outside. But if you need to borrow chairs from family or friends, sound them out now and figure out how the chairs can be collected or delivered in time. Buying a few inexpensive fold-up, plastic chairs might also be an option. You can always drape them in inexpensive festive fabric to match your decor, attaching ribbons and greenery on the back of each chair for a seasonal flourish.
- Buy Advent calendars – especially the ones you plan to post to family or friends.
- Consider if making your own Advent calendars for home and gift-giving is a viable option.
- Order flowers and plants for gifts and for your home, making certain of addresses, delivery dates and how long you want the flowers and plants to last through the holidays.
- Consider if you have enough seating for any social gatherings you are planning, especially Christmas dinner round the table – buy or borrow chairs if necessary.