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…

“The Magic Reindeer” (2012): with the voice talents of Matthew Boyle, Darragh Kelly and Ned Dennehy. This animated sequel to “The Flight Before Christmas” reintroduces us to adventurous young reindeer Niko. When his mother finds a new partner, Niko has to share life with a stepbrother Jonni and is far from happy about the prospect. But when eagles kidnap Jonni, Niko flies off to rescue him – helped by an aged former leader of Santa’s Flying Forces. However, they also have to face a wolf in search of revenge. This film was produced in Finland, Germany and Denmark, with post-production carried out in Ireland. In the US this film is entitled: “Little Brother, Big Trouble: A Christmas Adventure”(Movie Magic: Brotherly love isn’t just about shared blood.)

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;

“Mistletoe & Wine” by Cliff Richard.

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.