Buy mulled wine, port, sherry & bubbly.
Stock up on mince pies.
Order the turkey – decide on your turkey guru.
(Scroll down for the day in detail)
“Bad Santa” (2003): starring Billy Bob Thornton. Good late night Friday fayre for the broad of mind. A black comedy which – be warned – is liberally sprinkled with bad language and actions sure to outrage and offend some people. But if you’re not “some people”, you’ll love it. Billy Bob Thornton plays a crude, safe-cracking robber of a store Santa who is befriended by a naïve, overweight, curly-mopped boy named Thurman, whose constantly wanting to “fix sandwiches” for his new houseguest. Willie’s partner in crime is Marcus, who plays elf to the abusive Santa…until he reaches breaking point and turns on the disgrace of a man in the red suit. Betrayal comes with unexpected consequences. (Movie Magic: Willie’s letter to Thurman, narrated in magnificently deadpan fashion by Thornton. Hilarious.)
As this is very much for adults only – and may not be to everyone’s festive taste – you could go for more a family friendly film…
“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.)
“Somehow, not only for Christmas, but all the long year through, the joy that you give to others is the joy that comes back to you. And the more you spend in blessing the poor and lonely and sad, the more of your heart’s possessing returns to you glad.”
John Greenleaf Whittier (1807-1892), American poet
“Past Three O’Clock” by the Choir of King’s College, Cambridge;
“Ave, Maris Stella” by Edvard Grieg (Performed by The Sixteen & Harry Christophers);
“It’s Christmas” by Jamie Cullum.
Did you know…iconic actor Humphrey Bogart was born on Christmas Day 1899? Other famous people born on December 25th include Sir Isaac Newton (1642), Helena Rubinstein (1870), Conrad Hilton (1887), Quentin Crisp (1908), Kenny Everett (1944), Sissy Spacek (1949), Annie Lennox (1954), The Pogues’ Shane McGowan (1957) and England’s highest Test run scorer in cricket history Sir Alastair Cook (1984).
The Day in Detail:
Mrs. C says: It’s almost upon us…December that is. We’re ever nearer that magical date when the tree goes up, decorations festoon the house and Christmas lights brighten up our world. For so many people these days that’s December 1. Any packages you might want to get in the post before December? This morning could be the time. Now, to help prepare for the decorating frenzy to come, make sure you have your favourite festive tipple in the house – along with a mound of mince pies. You’ll need sustenance along the decorating way: mulled wine and mince pies are perfect. And once the tree is standing in all its decorated glory in a few days’ time, you’ll want to toast the occasion with some bubbly or sit back, full of contentment, with a tot of port or sherry…with another mince pie, of course. So get stocked up.
If you are feeling satisfied and full of cheer after tackling the creation of your own Christmas cake, you might want to make your own mince pies. It’s hopefully straightforward enough to order a couple of mince pie tins and some ready-made mincemeat. And while you’re turning to Delia, Mary et al for guidance, it may be pertinent to seek a few turkey tips. We have our own suggestions and cooking guide, too, on our ‘Food & Drink’ page.
Ed Elf: I recently saw a TV clip of cook Fanny Craddock, from the old days. All eyelashes and lipstick, she was. Bit scary!
Mrs. C: If you haven’t already, this is also a good time to put in your turkey order – indeed your overall meat order – with your local butcher, local farm or with your preferred online supplier. Think of the size you’ll require, bearing in mind the bird has to fit into a roasting tray that then has to fit into your oven. Don’t get this bit wrong, whatever you do. Get the tape measure out if needs be. It may be just as well to add extra large tin foil, roasting bags, disposable or metal roasting tray, large carving board/platter and turkey baster to your list right now, so you have all your bases covered.
Ed Elf: So you have all your basters covered.
- Mail off your parcels and packages for overseas.
- Ensure you have a plentiful supply of mince pies or festive treats of your choice, along with delicious drink, to accompany the decorating fun to come later in the week.
- Make your own mince pies if you are so inclined.
- Submit your turkey and/or overall meat order to your online supplier (or make a note to do it in person tomorrow at your local butchers).
- Check you have all the turkey accoutrements, like foil, roasting tin and baster.