Have you remembered to stir the soaking Christmas cake fruit? It should be plumping up nicely by now and smelling faintly Christmasy. The fruit can be used after 24 hours soaking but a superior cake is the result of a long old soak.
Preparing the tin is a bore and best done ahead of cooking. Wrap a 23cm round cake tin with brown paper, tie it with string. Line the tin with either greaseproof paper or (better) that reusable magic paper stuff from Lakeland Ltd.
When you cook the cake, stand the full tin on a folded up copy of a newspaper in the oven. All this stops the cake from browning too fast.