nutcrackers_156928538A Day To:

Bring the decorations out of storage.

Unpack the Nativity set and other ornaments, like nutcrackers and Santas.

Make paper chains and snowflakes.

Put the Advent crown in place.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“Last Christmas” (2019): starring Emilia Clarke & Henry Golding. Paul Feig, director and brains behind such films as “Bridesmaids” and “Ghostbusters”, directed “Game of Thrones” star Emilia Clarke and “Crazy Rich Asians” leading man Henry Golding in a London-based festive film “Last Christmas”. It is based on a script written by double Oscar winner Emma Thompson and playwright Bryony Kimmings (Remember, Thompson was among the stellar cast of Christmas hit “Love Actually”). The film is full of music by Wham! and George Michael and forms the soundtrack to a reluctant elf’s life. That’s Clarke, by the way, as she struggles to find some festive spirit. The playlist, of course, includes “Last Christmas” along with a remastered version of “Faith” and a live recording of “Praying for Time”. There is also a new, previously unheard, song by the late Michael called “This Is How (We Want You to Get High)”. The film received mixed reviews when it was released last year, but the setting in London at Christmastime is undoubtedly festive and should create some seasonal sauce.  (Movie Magic: London as the backdrop, the late Michael’s new music as the film’s emotional full stop.)

And as it is Advent Sunday, perhaps there is room for more film indulgence with this animation…

“Klaus” (2019): Klaus is the title and Oscar winner J.K. Simmons is the voice of Santa Claus in the first original animated feature film released by Netflix. The Spanish-made animation about the origins of Santa was written and directed by Sergio Pablos and also stars Jason Schwartzman, Rashida Jones and Joan Cusack. The story sees a struggling postal worker sent north of the Arctic Circle, where he discovers a mysterious carpenter and befriends a teacher. Together, they help create some seasonal magic. (Movie Magic: How frozen feuding neighbours can be turned into warm and friendly locals – and in turn create some folklore and traditions to pass through the ages.)

Ponder:

“City sidewalks, busy sidewalks, dressed in holiday style, in the air there’s a feeling of Christmas. Children laughing, people passing, meeting smile after smile and on every street corner you’ll hear: silver bells, silver bells – it’s Christmas time in the city. Ring-a-ling, hear them sing, soon it will be Christmas day!”

Jay Livingston and Ray Evans, from 1950 film “The Lemon-Drop Kid”

Listen:

“Gabriel’s Message” by The Sixteen & Harry Christophers;

“O Come, O Come Emmanuel” by Howard Goodall’s The Enchanted Voices;

“The Voice of the Angel Gabriel” by Wells Cathedral Choir & Matthew Owens.

Learn:

Did you know…the traditional colours of Advent are purple, pink and dark blue – not the greens, reds, silvers and golds more associated with Christmas? 

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: There’s always a moment for me, as I take the boxes from the garage, cupboard and loft, when I remember how sad I felt when I had to pack the decorations away in January…then pinch myself that Christmas is here again, my blissful joy renewed. This year is is more special than ever after what we’ve all gone through in 2020. It is all the more marvellous as today is the first Sunday in Advent. Check your Nativity set, Advent crown and other freestanding ornaments to make sure nothing has been chipped or shattered. Dust them down and line them up ready for the fun bit, when you can place them around the house later today or in the next few days.

Ed Elf: Oh no! I’m getting giddy. I feel I could topple off your desk at any moment.

baubles in box_157510031Mrs. C: Steady there! Steady! You will be no use to me with a concussion. And now is a time we may all need assistance from our little helpers.

Ed Elf: Two more sleeps to December, that’s all.

Mrs. C: We’ve already had a busy and productive November. It is about to get busier still. So are there any tasks or chores you could ask others in the household to help you with or indeed take from your hands altogether? You don’t have to delegate jobs that are terribly essential – ones that would cause a significant problem if they weren’t completed. Just don’t feel like you have to do everything alone. And with the house about to be decorated, there may be younger members of the family (heck, I still love doing this too) who might delight in making some paper chains and paper snowflakes for their own rooms, to dangle from the hallway ceiling or display in your windows.

Ed Elf: You used basic, white paper a few years ago to make paper chains for your kitchen and one friend thought you’d spent a small fortune on them at The White Company. It’s amazing what you can do with a Pritt stick and some A4 paper.

Mrs. C: As I mentioned earlier, the first Sunday in Advent is upon us. Advent is such a special time. There is much excitement and anticipation in the air. In the Christian year, Advent is a time for the preparation of Christmas…for the coming of Jesus Christ. Advent wreaths are used to mark the passage of the season, with one candle to be lit for each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Remember the hanging Advent crown from Blue Peter, made of coat hangers and tinsel?

Ed Elf: Health and safety would have a field day with that nowadays…or should that be ‘elf and safety’?

Mrs. C: Blue Peter presenters always recommended using flameproof tinsel.

Ed Elf: That’s good of them: “The tinsel’s flameproof, kids – now here are some pointy pieces of wire and matches…go knock yourselves out.”

Mrs. C: Well, quite. It might be pleasant to tap into those childhood memories and put in place today your own – and very safe – Advent wreath or crown.

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

  • Bring your decorations out of storage and unpack them.
  • Check ornaments for damage and dust everything down.
  • If possible, hand out chores to other members of the household to keep everything running smoothly ahead of decorating day.
  • Make paper chains and paper snowflakes with the youngsters in your life – or the grown ups.
  • Light the first candle on your Advent crown.