A Day To:

Research recipes and ingredients for festive favourites such as mince pies and Christmas pudding. 

Work on the Christmas wardrobe.

Look out for Christmas editions of your favourite magazines.

(Scroll down for the day in detail) 

Watch:

“Disney’s A Christmas Carol” (2009): starring Jim Carrey, Gary Oldman and Colin Firth. Our first viewing of “A Christmas Carol” for the season – different enough and enchanting enough to appeal as a perfect appetiser for the fabulous Scrooge creations of Alastair Sim, George C. Scott and Albert Finney to follow later in the countdown. Jim Carrey is superb. He plays Scrooge, and the three ghosts who haunt him, in captivating style. This was a box office smash. Even though this is a Disney animation, be warned there are certain scenes young children might find disturbing, including at they very outset in the undertaker’s premises. (Movie Magic: Christmas in Victorian London is captured in breathtaking, sweeping moves through the streets of the capital. In 3D or not, it’s marvellous.)

Ponder:

“Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love.” 

Hamilton Wright Mabie (1846-1916), American essayist

 Listen:

“Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson;

“A Christmas Greeting” by Elgar (Performed by Worcester Cathedral from “Elgar: The Complete Choral Works”).

Learn:

Did you know…the Christmas Poinsettia plant was found in Mexico in the 1820s by American Dr. Joel Roberts Poinsett, an amateur botanist and the first US Minister to Mexico in 1825? He took the plant across the border and it was later developed for commercial use in the USA.

PLEASING PAGES TO PERUSE: Advent & Nativity – CLICK HERE; The Outdoor Room – CLICK HERE; Advent Calendars – CLICK HERE; Top 30 Movies & Reviews – CLICK HERE; Cards For All Tastes – CLICK HERE; Gifts: Bespoke & Personal – CLICK HERE

The Day in Detail:

Mrs. C says: If you are planning to make your own Christmas cake, pudding or mince pies, write out the ingredients you will need ready for the big bake. If you have never tried making your own Christmas goodies before, why not try at least one of the essentials? The smells alone will catapult you headlong into Christmas.

Poinsettia 131569883Ed Elf: I love the scents of Christmas…especially food-related ones.

Mrs. C: You could go to your favourite cook or chef of choice for inspiration. Their Christmas books alone are so festive. Delia Smith’s first Christmas book in 1990 was an instant classic. In 2009, she delivered “Delia’s Happy Christmas” for a whole new generation of cooks and included lots of new recipes to sit alongside the tried and trusted old ones. On pages 22 and 23 of the book, there are lists of reminders for food and drink items – as well as non-food shopping like Clingfilm, cake boards, parchment and so on – you might need to buy in. Perfect.

Ed Elf: You do like a list, don’t you?

Mrs. C: Most human beings like lists. It brings a sense of order. Elves could learn a thing or two from us.

Ed Elf: I learn at your shoulder every day, Mrs. C.

Mrs. C: But do you really have to continue sitting on my desk?

Ed Elf: As I’ve explained year on end, how else can I get close to your shoulder? And anyway, I’m so ‘wee’ it’s as if I’m hardly here at all. Like an obscure paperweight on your desk or a pile of papers in your in-tray – just cuter.

Mrs. C: You can stay for now. We’ve got to finish talking about clever cooks and then move on to clothes and accessories, so no more interruptions.

(Ed Elf turns an imaginary key to his lips)

Mrs. C: Other Christmas cooks and chefs I turn to now are the wonderful Nigel Slater and the divine Nigella Lawson, the legend that is Mary Berry and the great Christmas enthusiast Jamie Oliver. Many of the Christmas editions of popular magazines are out. We have many angles covered on our site, but we also encourage gathering suggestions from as many sources as you can – especially when it comes to food and recipes. We also have more on our ‘Food & Drink’ page. Now the accomplished cooks among you – “recipes, Delia, Nigella, Jamie, Mary, me? Ha!”– may not need any help on this front, short of a nudge to start on your ingredients list. But what about the festive wardrobe? I need fully two months to get myself looking nice for Christmas.

Ed Elf: (under his breath) I’m saying nothing.

Mrs. C: Make a pot of tea or coffee and indulge in some ‘me time’, finding the must-have pieces to create a striking Christmas wardrobe. Gentlemen…this does not have to exclude you. Browse a few fashion websites or magazines. Look for a complete outfit or maybe something to complement a festive favourite already hanging in your closet. I also like to treat myself to a new festive fragrance that I then forever associate with the holiday season.

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

  • Research recipes and write down ingredients for festive food favourites like mince pies and Christmas pudding.
  • Search out trusted books to help from Delia Smith, Nigella Lawson, Jamie Oliver and Mary Berry, visit relevant food web sites or read food magazines.
  • Start planning and perhaps ordering your clothes and accessories for Christmas Day; browse fashion web sites or magazines for inspiration.