candles_84158362A Day To:

Get out the Christmas crockery.

Buy Christmas napkins.

Buy a board game for some old school fun.

Give thanks this Thanksgiving Day.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“Miracle on 34thStreet” (1994): starring Sir Richard Attenborough, Elizabeth Perkins and Dylan McDermott. This is perfect for Thanksgiving Day. And here’s why. Elizabeth Perkins plays Dorey Walker, organiser-in-chief of the Cole’s department store Thanksgiving Day parade. Her Santa Claus is drunk, so she asks a white-bearded old man to replace him in her desperation. He claims his name is Kris Kringle and believes he is the real Santa Claus. After being framed for assault and locked up, Kris faces a trial in which his lawyer friend Bryan Bedford must prove Kris is the one and only Santa. Dorey’s six-year-old daughter, played by Mara Wilson, has been taught not to believe in him by her overly pragmatic Mum. If Kris can convince mother and daughter, he might just make believers of us all. (Movie Magic:A twinkling of light darting across a Christmas tree turns a little girl’s Christmas morning misery into hope and belief.)

And let’s dip into the TV world again for a classic…

“Porridge: The Christmas Specials” feature Ronnie Barker at his brilliant best in two festive episodes – “No Way Out” (1975) and “The Desperate Hours” (1976). The first is our favourite so if you only get chance to view one of the episodes, we suggest you make it this one. Barker’s character Fletcher is given little option in “No Way Out” but to help the escape plan headed by imposing inmate Harry Grout. Fletcher points out to Godber: “There’s one big event round here. It’s not the coming of the Lord – it’s the tunnelling out of Tommy Slocombe.” Fletcher likes the idea of a relatively pampered Christmas in the Slade Prison Infirmary, but has to wait for a hole to open up first. In “The Desperate Hours” Fletcher is among those held hostage at Christmas by a fellow inmate. Could he possibly play the hero? “No Way Out” was first transmitted on BBC1 on Christmas Eve 1975, with “The Desperate Hours” shown on BBC1 exactly one year later. Writing plaudits to Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais. (TV Magic: Mackay wants to know where the tunnel-diggers put all the soil at the end of “No Way Out”. Fletcher’s explanation is worth waiting for.)

Ponder:

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence….O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.”

 Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862), American author & abolitionist

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Listen:

“It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas” by Perry Como;

“Wexford Carol” Katherine Jenkins;

“Jingle Bells” by Vasari Singers, Jeremy Backhouse.

Learn:

Did you know…James Lord Pierpont’s song “Jingle Bells” was published under the title “One Horse Open Sleigh” in the autumn of 1857 and was written not for Christmas, but for the American holiday of Thanksgiving?

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: Thanksgiving is a special time in the United States – a non-denominational holiday of gathering and feasting, without the need for gifts. Today is that day. Giving thanks for life’s blessings, that’s what it’s all about. It would be nice to have that kind of holiday in the UK. For now we simply say “Happy Thanksgiving” to all of you celebrating the occasion today. And for us all, maybe we can share some Thanksgiving joy by showing those loved ones around us just how much we appreciate them.

Now then, the Christmas mugs, plates, bowls and platters have been hidden away for 11 long months. It’s time to wash them down and bring them back into the light. Put on a pot of Christmas coffee and re-christen the Yuletide mugs. Check you have all the dinner and side plates you are likely to need for hosting through the holiday season and rinse all your wine glasses, sherry and port glasses and tumblers. Purchase additional crockery where necessary, along with a couple of packs of paper napkins and drinks napkins.

Gifts & wrapping boxEd Elf: I have my own collection of four Christmas mugs: one for eggnog, one for hot chocolate, one for hot toddies and one for…er…hot Vimto.

Mrs. C: Cheeky Vimto for a rascal like you.

Ed Elf: See what you did there, Mrs. C. Good one.

Mrs. C: Now, Ed, I know you like a game of…well, pretty much anything.

Ed Elf: Games are fun. Yes siree Bob!

Mrs. C: Christmas brings out the inner child in so many of us. And, though games are not everyone’s cup of tea, maybe this inner child needs unlocking in some people this festive season. Why not consider an ‘old school’ games night with friends or family over the Christmas period. Maybe you could search out and purchase a retro family game today, like “Pass the Pigs” or “Cluedo”. There are even sets of crackers that double as games nowadays. Marks & Spencer stock a simple, inexpensive selection of new games each festive season and the collection at John Lewis is impressive. Youngsters, let alone adults, might frown at such a prospect. After all, this is the age of technology and gaming. But don’t dismiss the old board games out of hand. Christmas has traditionally been a time for silly games. Give it some thought. We have a host of suggestions on our Parlour Games page.

Conifer and berries 64686097So today’s the day to:

  • Bring your Christmas crockery out of storage and wash each piece – buy any necessary additions or replacements.
  • Rinse and shine all your festive glassware.
  • Buy paper napkins for food and cocktails.
  • Purchase a party/board game you can put to good use over the festivities with family and friends.
  • Give thanks where it is due this Thanksgiving.