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Merry Christmas & Season's Greetings

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I am a huge fan of Christmas. If I had my way, we'd have Christmas at least twice a year, if not more. I even like Christmas pudding. And Christmas cake. And mince pies. (Although not sprouts; I don't get the point of sprouts.)

If you follow me on Twitter, you'll probably realise this love of Christmas was practically bred into me by my parents, who treat Christmas with the reverence I'm sure other families reserve for birthdays, or, I don't know, weddings.

My parents still have stockings, which have got more elaborate as the years have gone on and the entire family now contributes to everyone else's. The point, I should stress, is not about spending shed loads of cash, but about being as thoughtful as possible.

So woe-betide anyone who mentioned, back in July, that they quite liked, say, cress in sandwiches. They're guaranteed to end up with a grow-your-own-cress-at-home kit, with four different kinds of seeds, hidden in amongst the satsumas, chocolate coins and variety pack cereal boxes (another of our stocking traditions).

Lunch is always late, because there's only one shower, the heat of which is powered by the Aga, which is also trying to cook for however many people are eating with us this year.

Lunch, this year at least, will also consist of three different options: turkey for the meat eaters, veggie option for me, and raw option for my sister and her husband. It's actually amazing Mum and Dad want us back at all.

The afternoon is given over to ultra-competitive card playing, a brisk walk to burn enough calories so we can start eating again, and if I get my way today, Absolutely Fabulous on TV.

It doesn't go unappreciated that I have a family who value this time of year and that I've got a warm loving home to retreat to, something I cherish even more highly having read some of the brilliant blogs emailed in this week, including Alex Ford's account of Christmas spent on the front-line in Afghanistan.

But of course it's not just Christmas being celebrated this week. Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt writes for us on the history of Hanukkah, while Dina Rickman ponders the reality of being Jewish at Christmas.

However, and whichever festival, you are celebrating, from everyone here at HuffPost UK, the very best wishes for this festive season and the coming year ahead.

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