Approximately three weeks before Christmas, I joined a growing number of Brits in the decision to go vegan. At university, where I could control my diet and eat as I liked, the change wasn't a problem - but as the Christmas holidays neared, I was overcome with a gnawing fear about how my family would react.
For me, I had the ideal scenario all mapped out for Christmas 2016, with perfect gifts beautifully wrapped, lots of plans made for those in between days to save us from our leftover turkey curry stuffed selves which would add up to a right jolly old time. Then the kids got ill! Not serious ill, thank God, but flu bug ill, which was enough to wash out our winter wonderland.
Before Christmas, my husband and I were bemoaning our cramped living quarters overrun with under-5s and the trail of destruction left in their wake. Sticker books, paint pots and glitter on the dining table, three (yes, three) buggies in the hall, a toddler scooting around the kitchen, puzzle pieces and items of plastic (and non plastic) food behind the sofa cushions, 150 ball pit balls upturned onto the carpet.
There's something particularly challenging about Christmas time. It's a marker in the calendar that is unavoidable. I can dodge (well kind of dodge) other times of year that are particularly difficult.
So here it is, the very last installment of my Christmas dieting series. So far, I've covered a multitude of different aspects to consider; energy i...
Christmas Day. I am sitting here and writing this and my stomach is so full it actually hurts a little bit. It is the one meal that I do just fully ...
It's only since becoming a dad I realise where the strength must have come from. You've told me countless times "you'll know what it's like when you have your own", and you were right.
Reflection on the extreme food and drink consumption and the upsetting moment when you mentally tot up the Christmas shopping receipts and realise you may actually have been able to afford that new extension had you not spent the cash on M&S party food/half the Argos Catalogue/26743 metres of wrapping paper.
In the list of new words to enter the dictionary in 2016 - Trumpism, Brexit, post-truth - hygge seems somewhat out of place. Or does it? Like Trump and Brexit, hygge is definitely not just for Christmas. And like all of those words, a cute and friendly exterior hides unpleasant truths.
In a world which is ever changing, unity and strength, fellowship and peace are ever growing qualities adults and young people should carry. Not ju...
It has been a techy Christmas at the Sapper household. In amongst the DVDs, computer games and (for older family members) books, was a surprise gi...
We all went downstairs together and guided Joseph towards his pile of presents. He glanced across and asked where the iPad was. I explained that there would be no iPad and encouraged him to open his presents.
When you're raising a glass this Christmas, I ask you all to think not about the presents under the tree, but about health, happiness and the people that make you smile. Because that's all you'll ever really need. And, I ask you to spare a thought for four utterly terrified runners (bride, groom, cousin and father of the bride) who are gearing up for one of the biggest days of their lives - in the name of charity.
Jesus Christ lived obscurely for most of his life, and never travelled far. He was maligned and rejected by many, though he had done no wrong. And yet, billions of people now follow his teaching and find in him the guiding light for their lives. I am one of them because Christ's example helps me see the value of doing small things with great love, whoever does them and whatever they themselves believe. The message of Christmas reminds us that inspiration is a gift to be given as well as received, and that love begins small but always grows. I wish you all a very happy Christmas.
Our daughter says that this tidal wave of doubt has not impacted her belief, saying the magic only works if you believe. I want to tell her the truth, but my longing for her innocence is stronger.
As fridges across the UK are being prepared for their busiest time of year, I want to share my tips on how households can stay 'fridgilant' and keep festive foods fresh whilst ultimately saving money.