A Day To:

Order hampers – for gifts and for you.

Download Christmas apps, including gift guides.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“The Bishop’s Wife” (1947): Starring Carey Grant, David Niven and Loretta Young. David Niven plays Bishop Henry Brougham, who believes he is on a divine mission to build a cathedral. He is unwittingly neglecting his wife and daughter, while becoming ever more desperate to raise funds. He offers up a prayer. Help appears in the shape of Carey Grant – an angel not averse to mischief or feelings of the flesh. He is not so neglectful of the Bishop’s wife. Not everyone will enjoy a happy ending. Denzel Washington and Whitney Houston made an ill-advised remake called “The Preacher’s Wife”. Steer clear of that and watch this jewel of a forties festive film in its black & white or colourised version. It’s angelic. (Movie Magic: On a visit to a dear friend, the professor, the Bishop’s wife introduces her angelic companion who soon ensures the old man’s sherry bottle is never half-empty again. The accompanying visual effects are a forties movie marvel.)

And for a splendid double bill, here’s one for the youngsters…

“Frozen” (2013): with the voice talents of Kristen Bell, Idina Menzel, Josh Gad, Jonathan Groff and Santino Fontana. This is not a Christmas movie per se, but was released in time for the holiday season in 2013 and its wintry magic makes it perfect festive fayre. Disney’s 53rd animated film was a box office sensation, becoming the highest grossing animation of all-time and among the top five grossing films of any genre. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s story “The Snow Queen”, the movie features a fearless princess named Anna on a journey to find her estranged sister Elsa, helped by iceman Kristoff, his pet reindeer Sven and the naïve – and occasionally headless – snowman Olaf. Elsa’s powers plunge the kingdom into eternal winter and later freeze Anna’s heart. Only true love will thaw her from her frozen state. “Frozen” won two Academy Awards for Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song. Broadway star Menzel said Frozen is “a bit of a feminist movie for Disney. I’m really proud of that.” The sequel was inevitable, but we had to wait until 2019. Again, “Frozen 2” was a smash hit. Some critics believed it was better than the first…so you might want to consider that for today instead, if not some time in December.  (Movie Magic: “Let it Go” is the Academy Award winning song and the tune that helped children all over the world fall head over heels in love with this animated film.)

Ponder:

“Let us honour, O my brother, Christmas Day! Call a truce, then, to our labours – let us feast with friends and neighbours, and be merry as the custom of our caste; For if “faint and forced the laughter,” and if sadness follow after, we are richer by one mocking Christmas past.”

From the poem “Christmas in India” by Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936)

Listen:

“A Fairytale of New York” by The Pogues Feat. Kirsty MacColl;

“The Holly and the Ivy” by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge – along with other favourites from the “Carols from King’s” album.

Learn:

Did you know…the phrase “to eat humble pie” comes from a 17th Century Christmas or mince pie eaten by the lower classes, made of deer innards and other offal and sometimes mixed with fruit and spices? It was known as ‘Umble Pie’. ‘Umble’ came from ‘numble’, after the French ‘nomble’ meaning deer innards.

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: Just a month to Christmas and it feels like I’m ready to take things to a yet greater level of festiveness with some of my favourite music and films. It is also time to get on my computer or tablet and indulge myself in all things food and drink. It’s hamper time. If you need to send any corporate gifts, hampers are a perfect solution. A basket or box stuffed with delicious festive treats is a great way to remember office colleagues, friends in the staff room, business support staff, the hair salon staff and those pals who are so difficult to buy for. There are so many options, from food and drink combinations to chocolate and sweet offerings, ‘wine only’ boxes and selections for coffee and tea lovers. We have details on our Hampers page. Now Ed, I know you also like exploring new technology more than I do.

Ed Elf: I’m not exactly on the cutting edge, but I’m open to anything that can make my life easier.

Mrs. C: Even I get quite excited about the Christmas and gift apps you can download these days. I have several on my smart phone. There are many choices for countdowns to Christmas – a lot of them free, like “Sleeps to Christmas Lite”. There are apps for festive games, too, such as “Christmas Piano” where you can play or sing-a-long to favourite tunes. Why not explore Santa’s “Naughty or Nice logoScanner”. You can use that on the youngsters in your life. To help with gift buying you can upload one of the Secret Santa apps.

Ed Elf: Some are free apps that might just take some of the stress out of finding that quirky little something for the gift exchange at work.

Mrs. C: Now, one final thing today might be to double check delivery deadlines if you are lining up some online orders for gifts and treats.

So today’s the day to:

  • Order hampers for gifts and for home use, including corporate presents if required – remembering the choices are wide and varied.
  • Explore Christmas apps for your tablet or smart phone and download your favourites, especially the gift buying helpers.
  • Check delivery deadlines around the Christmas holidays and plan accordingly.