How To Christmas

In early December, in the late-afternoon or after supper, play Christmas music of the 1950s and 1960s, such as The Little Drummer Boy by The Harry Simeone Chorale and Marshmallow World by Dean Martin and It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year by Andy Williams.

Mail out Christmas-themed cards to various relatives, friends, and acquaintances. Mailing out early gives recipients a chance to reciprocate and provides them with an address if necessary. And of course, use Christmas-themed stamps.

Bring home a formerly living pine tree, typically of the Balsam Fir or Fraser Fir variety. Beginners should start with a 5 foot or under whereas an intermediate can go about 6 to 7 feet. It may be easier to secure the tree in its stand while still horizontal, before bringing it into the house.

Typically, a couple sets of string-lights will cover a small tree. Start at the top and wind it around and around, ending with the pronged-end at the very bottom of the tree. Place a lighted star on top of the tree and plug it into the beginning of the string-lights. Now plug the lights into an extension cord and insert into a wall outlet. Observe the wondrous magical lights as Christmas music plays in the background.

With lights lit and music playing, place shiny bulbs, various ornaments, ribbons, bows, or other garlands around the tree. Take your time and enjoy. When complete, pour water into the tree’s stand and place the tree-skirt around the base. Place any pre-existing presents under the tree. Further house decorating is optional — one might include artificially lit candles in the windows, a wreath on the front door, a manger scene, a Christmas village, hanging mistletoe, or toy-soldier nutcrackers.

By mid December, bake a batch of ginger molasses or sugar cookies — also consider baking holiday breads such as pumpkin or cranberry. Leave out a bowl of mixed nuts accompanied by metal nutcrackers and keep a supply of clementines in the fridge. Christmas-themed movies should be watched around this time as well — classics include Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964), How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966), A Christmas Story (1983), and Scrooged (1988).

Presents should be purchased and wrapped by this time. If young children are present, gifts from Santa should be hidden and wrapped differently from other presents and placed around the tree late Christmas Eve. On Christmas morning, presents are opened.

In the late-afternoon, Christmas dinner is consumed — a roasted meat with gravy and root vegetables with a splash of corn or peas. For dessert, consider having apple pie with vanilla ice cream and a dollop of whipped cream.

The tree and other decorations are removed sometime after New Years Day. And remember, throughout the season, at all times, be mindful of Christmas cheer and goodwill towards men. Wish others the best and give the gift of forgiveness and the present of patience. And have yourself a very merry Christmas time.

P.S. As every Christmas movie teaches, it’s never too late to save Christmas.