lights on house_121934992-1A Day To:

Put Christmas lights on the house and garden trees, ready for the big switch on to come.

Tick more jobs off your to-do list if going big on lighting is not your thing.

Make Christmas pudding on the traditional Stir-up Sunday.

(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 Sunday double bill, here’s one for the youngsters…

“The Rise of the Guardians” (2012): with the voice talents of Chris Pine, Hugh Jackman and Alec Baldwin. Based on William Joyce’s “The Guardian of Childhood” book series and “The Man in the Moon” short film by Joyce and Reel FX this DreamWorks animation tells how Jack Frost is enlisted to help guardians Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy defeat Pitch Black and prevent this baddie from plunging the world into eternal darkness. Excellent viewing all-year-round but has an added impact in the dark winter months. (Movie Magic: The Sandman and his wondrous ways.)

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:

“Christmas All Over Again” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers;

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

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Learn:

Did you know…legend has it that the first public display of Christmas lights was in 1885 in Heckmondwike, West Yorkshire? The lights were gas powered.

And did you know…each member of the family should stir the Christmas pudding mix going from east to west in honour of the three kings and the direction they travelled?

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: Get the lights and ladders out – it’s time to illuminate your lives. The house and garden lights are about to go up. Depending how many lights you plan to put on the house, trees and bushes, this could spill lights garland_131642774into a second day. But try to break the back of it today, making sure you put safety first so that’s the only thing you break the back of. Better still, if you’ve followed our advice from previous years, you’ll have booked a professional specialist to do the testing task for you.

Ed Elf: This could also be a good time to put strands of lights around the inside of windows and doors, if this is part of your decorating scheme.

Mrs. C: In our Christmas Lights section we have given you some advice on outdoor lights and who to look for if you fancy giving the job to an expert at a speciality company next year, if not this. (Click Here for our Outdoor Lights page). Now if you don’t plan on a great lights display on your house – or live in a flat – make use of today by wrapping more gifts, writing more cards and picking out more stocking fillers online. Then have a coffee and read those new Christmas magazines. Sunday is a good day for that.

Ed Elf: This particular Sunday is good for this, too…puddings. You’ve saved the best until last today, Mrs. C. Stir-up Sunday. I love stirring things up.

Mrs. C: I’m very well aware of your stirring prowess, mischievous Mr. Elf. Yes, today is indeed Stir-up Sunday – the last Sunday before the season of Advent and a traditional time to make Christmas puddings. Remember to rest the pud in a cool, dark place after making it. You can also visit our Christmas Puddings page for more history and inspiration.

So today’s the day to:

  • Start to put up outside lights around the house, trees, bushes and fences ready for switching on some time soon – always being aware of safety.
  • Put up lights around the windows inside if this is also part of your house decorating plan.
  • Tick more jobs off your to-do list, like wrapping, writing cards, browsing and purchasing stocking fillers.
  • Make Christmas pudding on traditional Stir-up Sunday.