CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ADVENT BLOG Wednesday 16th December 2020
12 RAMBLINGS OF CHRISTMAS
ONLY 9 SLEEPS TO CHRISTMAS
- A CHRISTMAS QUOTE
Me: “I want a magical Unicorn for Christmas.”
Santa: “Be realistic.”
Me: “Okay. I want 5 minutes to myself each day to drink my coffee hot and pee in peace.”
Santa: “What colour Unicorn would you like?”
- CHRISTMAS FEATURE – THE ROBIN – A BIRD FOR CHRISTMAS
One of my favourite garden birds is the robin. It gets into most things Christmassy. But this is interesting from Country Living Magazine.: Read on –
Robin Redbreasts are facing a food shortage this Christmas and need your help
The iconic festive birds are sadly under threat this winter
Robins are an iconic Christmas bird but, to keep winter sightings of them on our bird tables regular and in abundance, the native birds need a bit of extra help from us this year.
Experts at Ark Wildlife are reporting that robins and other UK birds are under threat this winter, due to a ‘perfect storm’ of predicted harsh weather, decreasing hedgerow habitats and a lack of food.
It takes a lot of energy for these small birds to survive the winter, with a robin using up to 10% of its body weight to stay warm through just one cold night. This makes it vitally important for them to be able to replenish their energy reserves by feeding and drinking every day. Otherwise, a cold spell can prove to be fatal.
Sadly, food sources are in shorter supply after an estimated 50% of the UK’s hedgerows have been lost since WWII. The People’s Trust for Endangered Species states that 84% of our farmland birds rely on hedgerows for food and protection, and for over half of these a hedge is their primary habitat.
So, this is where we come in and, optimistically, there is plenty we can do to help robins and other native birds survive the winter. Sean McMenemy, garden wildlife expert and director of Ark Wildlife, advises…
PUT OUT THE BEST FOOD FOR ROBINS
Put out food for robins daily. “Robins prefer to forage and feed off the ground,” says Sean. “By placing a small food tray full of their favourite food close to a shrub tree or preferred perch, you can encourage them to make your garden home and spend more time with you day by day. Ark Wildlife have a robin feeder pack which could get you started – if you’re lucky, after a little time robins can quickly become confident in our presence and feeding from the hand is not unknown!”
Robins’ favourite foods are:
Mealworms and calcium worms, which are especially beneficial because they are insectivores
Fatty foods like suet pellets
Special high protein robin blends
Meaty kitchen scraps
Cake and biscuit crumbs
Peanuts (shredded or crushed)
BY EMMA-LOUISE PRITCHARD
AND A COUPLE OF ROBIN BOOKS!
Robin’s Covid-20 Christmas: A Robbie the Robin book by Henrietta Caledon (Author), lizzy Lloyd (Editor), Jaz Kilmister (Photographer)
Paperback : 39 pages
Publisher : Henrietta Caledon
A charming children’s Christmas book about a robin redbreast with ideas to help manage our first covid-19 Christmas. We have all been confused this year and children are finding it difficult to understand all of the ripple effects of the pandemic. It is full of bright coloured illustrations and stories and is very happy and fun.
The Robin: A Biography by Stephen Moss (Author)
Hardcover : 208 pages
Publisher : Square Peg;
No other bird is quite so ever-present and familiar, so embedded in our culture, as the robin. With more than six million breeding pairs, the robin is second only to the wren as Britain’s most common bird. It seems to live its life alongside us, in every month and season of the year. But how much do we really know about this bird?
In The Robin Stephen Moss records a year of observing the robin both close to home and in the field to shed light on the hidden life of this apparently familiar bird. We follow its lifecycle from the time it enters the world as an egg, through its time as a nestling and juvenile, to the adult bird; via courtship, song, breeding, feeding, migration – and ultimately, death. At the same time we trace the robin’s relationship with us: how did this particular bird – one of more than 300 species in its huge and diverse family – find its way so deeply and permanently into our nation’s heart and its social and cultural history? It’s a story that tells us as much about ourselves as it does about the robin itself.
3. CHRISTMAS MOVIE
4. CHRISTMAS SONG
- 5-03 Rockin_ Around The Christmas Tr 2:07
5. CHRISTMAS CHILDREN’S BOOK
The Miracle on Ebenezer Street by Catherine Doyle (Author)
Hardcover : 240 pages
Publisher : Puffin (1 Oct. 2020)
Reading level : 8 – 13 years
Shortlisted for the Specsavers Children’s Book of the Year (senior category) at the 2020 An Post Irish Book Awards.
An enchanting and exciting tale of Christmas magic from multi-award-winning and bestselling writer Catherine Doyle.
‘Sparkles with magic . . . A wintry wonder of a book’ Abi Elphinstone
A stunning modern reimagining of Charles Dickens’ beloved classic, A Christmas Carol.
‘Old Marley’s magic was beginning to stir…’
George is about to spend his third Christmas without his mum. Since she died, George’s life has felt dull and grey; his dad has thrown himself into his work and has no time for family, and definitely no time for Christmas.
Then, George stumbles across Marley’s Curiosity Shop. There he finds a mysterious snow globe, which – though George can’t quite understand how – appears to show a scene from George’s past. A Christmas in which he and his family were together, and happy…
That night, George and his dad are swept on an adventure to three Christmases – past, present, and future. With help from new friends, and just a touch of magic, can they begin living life in full colour again?
‘A supremely confident writer’ Telegraph
‘Vividly exciting and poignant . . . Destined to become a Christmas classic’ Louise O’Neill
6. CHRISTMAS CAROL
7. IT’S A CRACKER (CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE)
Why is Mrs Claus always checking Santa’s phone? He seems to know where all the naughty girls live
8. EVERY CHRISTMAS TV TIMES COVER
9. A FAMOUS SCROOGE
10. SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT – A TOP TV CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FROM THE PAST
Porridge – No Way Out
“No Way Out” is the first Christmas special of the BBC sitcom Porridge. It first aired on 24 December 1975. In this episode, prisoner Tommy Slocombe makes an escape attempt in the lead-up to Christmas.
Porridge is a British sitcom, starring Ronnie Barker and Richard Beckinsale, written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and broadcast on BBC1 from 1974 to 1977. The programme ran for three series, and included two Christmas specials and a feature film of the same name. No. of series 3 No. of episodes 21
11 NICE LITTLE CHRISTMAS NUMBER
151 1819 The image of Santa Claus flying his sleigh was first seen and was created by Washington Irving, the same author who dreamt up the Headless Horseman.
152 1939 The Montgomery Ward department store created Rudolph the Reindeer as a marketing gimmick to encourage children to buy their Christmas coloring books. The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
153 1942 – The Trafalgar Square Christmas tree has been an annual gift to the people of Britain since 1942 from Norway as a token of gratitude for British support to Norway during the second World War
154 3 – The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
155 1940+ Bicycle, the U.S. playing card company, manufactured cards to give all the POWS in Germany during World War II as Christmas presents. These cards, when soaked in water, revealed an escape route for POWs. The Nazis never knew.
156 145 – No number really I just like this fact: In Poland spiders are considered to be symbols of prosperity and goodness at Christmas. In fact, spiders and spider webs are often used as Christmas tree decorations. According to legend, a spider wove baby Jesus a blanket to keep him warm.
157 1610 – Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
158 1955 – NORAD’s “Santa Tracker” was born from a misprint in the newspaper. A 1955 Sears ad was supposed to print the number of a store where children could call and tell Santa what they wanted for Christmas. The number printed was to the hotline of the Director of Operations for the U.S. Continental Air Defense. Colonel Shoup ordered his staff to give the children updates on the flight coordinates of Santa A tradition began and continues until this day. NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) continues to provide flight updates on local news, the Internet, and even a special iPhone application every Christmas.
159 20 years – You would have to use your artificial tree for more than 20 years for it to be ‘greener’ than buying a fresh-cut tree annually
160 1572 – The Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany was first held in 1570 and is one of Europe’s oldest Christmas markets. It is also the largest in Europe. Folks from all over the world visit it annually.
12. CHRISTMAS TV ADVERT