A Day To:

Get out the Christmas crockery.

Buy Christmas napkins.

Buy a board game for some old school fun.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“Scrooged” (1988): starring Bill Murray and Karen Allen. A modern twist on the classic Charles Dickens’ tale “A Christmas Carol”, with Bill Murray cast in the role of Scrooge – or in this case the ruthless TV network executive Frank Cross. His career drive cost him his true love Claire, played by Allen, and now he is cynical, cold and heartless. But visiting spirits believe he is not beyond redemption and, unlike Ebenezer, he still has a chance with his lost love. Frank unravels to the backdrop of his network’s live Christmas Eve broadcast of “A Christmas Carol”. Robert Mitchum, John Forsyth and Carol Kane are among a winning supporting cast. Four years earlier, Murray had starred in the blockbuster hit “Ghostbusters”. This led to “Scrooged” being marketed with the tagline: “Bill Murray is back among the ghosts, only this time it’s three against one.” (Movie Magic: Carol Kane’s Ghost of Christmas Present packs one heck of a punch and takes great glee in proving it time and again to curmudgeonly bully Frank Cross.)

And let’s dip into the TV world 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:

“Christmas is the season for kindling the fire of hospitality in the hall, the genial flame of charity in the heart.” 

Washington Irving (1783-1859), American author

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Listen:

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

“Good Christian Men Rejoice” by Guildford Cathedral Choir;

“A Christmas Overture” (Performed by the Band of Her Majesty’s Royal Marines & Captain J.R. Perkins).

Learn:

Did you know…the original form of the spiced liquor Glögi, otherwise known as mulled wine or Glühwein, was used to revive messengers and postmen who travelled on horseback or skis in cold weather in Nordic countries?

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: 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 entertaining 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 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 and John Lewis stock simple, largely inexpensive, new games each festive season. 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. Just don’t fight over “Monopoly”. 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.