My most memorable Christmas was in 1990 - the year my mother had a zillion jobs to ensure she could brilliantly (and believably) keep the facade of Santa alive on her income alone. One of said jobs was being a cleaner, and driving to drop her off at a factory very early each morning, my mum, grandfather, sister and I would count all the Christmas trees zinging cheerfully from living rooms in our town en route.
For anyone who is doing it for the first time, or who feels a slightly sense of dread then read on. Some of this is obvious stuff, but I personally find it very useful to have everything in one place. Here's my plan, for what it's worth...
If you've got children, Lapland UK is a truly magical place in every sense of the word. From the moment you arrive, you're transported to the gateway to all things Christmas and if, like us, you're a big fan of this time of year, you certainly wont be disappointed.
Forgiving may seem marginal to the seasonal celebrations but if it isn't done then any Christmas spirit is going to be contaminated and you may find that (pun intended) your past poisons your present.
Even though money can be tight and your children may not be with you for the whole holiday, there are plenty of ways you can create a special Christmas for your family. Here are some top tips for single parents this Christmas put together by our advice and information team.
Christmas is my favourite time of year for dating. There's something about twinkly lights, hot mulled cider and enjoying a glass of red in a cosy corner in the pub by a crackling fire that sets the mood for romance.
A successful life is down to how adept you are at attracting personal and professional opportunities into your life, and the lives of everyone else you know. Meeting new people face-to-face is the single best way of doing that. It applies equally for purely social events as well as work related parties, drinks receptions etc.
With Christmas just around the corner, this is the weekend to do your Christmas check-list and ensure your home is ready for guests. There's nothing worse than having a less-than-perfect display in the home when you have all the family round. Here are my top nine decorating "don'ts" for dressing your home in December... I hope these tips help you create a festive look you'll love and will be proud of your home when you welcome guests this Christmas. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and happy decorating!
Research indicates that around half of those sleeping rough don't seek help before they end up on the streets, and many are simply unaware of the help that is available to them. This is not surprisingly really. Nobody plans to end up in that situation, and it often happens suddenly, the result of circumstances outside their control.
No doubt about it - Christmas creeps up on us just that much faster each year, don't you think? Every year, us POMs (Brits) always muse (occasionally with a 'soupcon' of a whinge) about how Christmas in Australia just isn't the same. Not just because of the weather.
Picture this. You gather family and friends of all ages in a large room and ask each person to hold a single, unlit candle. Then you turn out t...
Dachshunds go by many names; doxies, sausage dogs, wieners but whatever you want to call them these mischievous little pups have just as many ways to steal our hearts! Here's another dose of cuteness from our mini little friends and it involves snow... Lots and lots of snow.
Shopping for clothes is the opposite of convenient. I don't know about you but I only shop a couple of times a year, and if I ever decide to visit a clothing store or shopping mall - especially over the holidays - I'm on a mission with a carefully planned exit strategy.
So Christmas trees, it seems, have spindly tops and broad-based bottoms this year, because there have been a couple of mild winters.
Christmas is a time for peaceful relaxation by the fire right? Wonderful times with family and friends? Peaceful, gentle walks in the country side and non stop magic and fun?! Well, not always.
The smell of one-sided toast with melted butter - it was always done on just one side under the grill, crisp and melty. Tea for the grown-ups, milk for us. Sitting by the fire that my grandmother had set when she got up at half six, as she did every morning.