A Day To:

Start arranging Christmas gatherings with family and friends.

Book in to see a festive show.

Find an electrician to install additional sockets, indoors or out, where you have always wanted festive lights. Check the lights you already own still work.

(Scroll down for the day in detail)

Watch:

“The Man Who Invented Christmas” (2017): starring Dan Stevens and Christopher Plummer. Stevens portrays Victorian author Charles Dickens, the man commonly believed to have revived and re-established many Christmas traditions. His Christmas books lay at the heart of this revival – the most famous and beloved of which is “A Christmas Carol”. This film splendidly captures a time in 1843 when Dickens set out to write and self-publish a novel he hoped would reinvigorate his career. He spends six weeks trying to bring Ebenezer Scrooge, Tiny Tim and various ghosts to life and gets rather more than he bargained for. Jonathan Pryce is also among the splendid cast. (Movie Magic: Even amid his own ghosts of the past, there is humour, heart and hope to be found for Charles Dickens – and crucially a family reconciliation.)

We also highly recommend a viewing of this captivating animation…

“Angela’s Christmas” (2017): with the voice talents of Ruth Negga and Lucy O’Connell. Angela is a six-year-old girl from Limerick in Ireland and has a heart of gold. She’s not averse to the odd spat with her pesky brother, even at Christmas. But above all she’s kind and caring. Just ask the baby Jesus. This is a beautiful Netflix original animation, with love, kindness and forgiveness at its core. It is based on author Frank McCourt’s only children’s story, inspired by a tale his mother Angela told him and his brother Malachy as children. A sequel entitled Angela’s Christmas Wish” was made for release in December 2020. Catch that in the run-up, too, if you can. McCourt famously wrote celebrated novel “Angela’s Ashes”. The Angela in question in each story is none other than McCourt’s mother. (Movie Magic: Malachy McCourt’s narration of a story at the heart of his family.)

Ponder:

“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Calvin Coolidge, (1872-1933), 30th US President

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Listen:

“Overture on French Carols” (Performed by BBC Concert Orchestra & Barry Wordsworth);

“Step into Christmas” by Elton John. 

Learn:

Did you know…postmen in Victorian Britain wore red uniforms and were nicknamed robins? It has been a widely held belief that the robin pictures on Christmas cards are paying homage to the men who deliver them. However, robins have long had connections with winter and certain religious beliefs so would have traditionally featured on cards, regardless of the postmen link. So no…postmen are not solely responsible for robins on seasonal cards. Some cards in the Victorian era even featured dead robins (and other dead birds, like wrens). Thankfully, that kind of macabre greeting was eventually put to rest. The macabre cards were most prominent in the 1880s, a time of mourning rituals and posthumous pictures of people; a time in Victorian Britain when death was a common part of every day life. But it could all just be that killing a robin or wren in late December was once thought to bring good luck. Ireland’s St. Stephen’s Day on December 26 is known as “Wren Day”, when the bird was traditionally hunted. It is a good luck ritual still seen in some parts today, but now with a fake bird on a pole.

PLEASING PAGES TO PERUSE: Folklore & Customs – CLICK HERE; Presents for Children – CLICK HERE; Christmas Crackers – CLICK HERE;  Posting & Packaging – CLICK HERE

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C: This is the day we traditionally recommend securing tickets for a festive show. Even last year, there were virtual events for which to buy tickets. Whatever your taste in entertainment, there has always been something out there for you: from a simple but beautiful carol concert, like the ones traditionally performed each year in Liverpool by the wonderful Philharmonic, a classical evening with Handel’s “Messiah”, that touring version of “White Christmas” or “Scrooge” or a pantomime in town with a favourite soap star. Take care to observe any possible Covid protocols. Some shows may already be booked up. Some of you may have purchased tickets already. But for the procrastinators, there are still tickets to be secured for many a festive performance.

Ed Elf: That’s a big word so early in the countdown, Mrs. C.

Mrs. C: Now to the Candy canes 118310902question of electricity: more to the point, stocking up on sockets. Have you wanted to do something more elaborate with your Christmas lights for some time and not had the necessary power sockets to achieve your dazzling goal? Why not search out a local electrician today who can help illuminate your way to lighting heaven. While you’re thinking about illumination, it might be worth checking the lights you already own for inside and out still work.

Ed Elf: Just untangling them would be a good start.

Mrs. C: Now while you’re at it, how about shedding some light on the Christmas get-togethers you hope to enjoy in the coming weeks. Are you planning to make up for what you couldn’t do in 2020? It’s never too early to start planning for such occasions. In the first instance, you need to establish who will be hosting what and where. Start contacting people, negotiate some dates and put a reminder in your calendar for later this month – say some time from November 21st to 26th – to firm things up.

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

  • Check what festive shows are on and possibly book tickets.
  • Secure the services of an electrician if you plan to expand your Christmas lights displays indoors and/or out. Check the lights you already own still work.
  • Start thinking about and planning your Christmas gatherings and consider who might host what.