In the run up to Christmas most working parents will have already planned their Christmas leave, but taking time off is the easy part - what isn't so easy is making sure you have enough things planned that make the Christmas holidays fun for the whole family (especially if this year you're having a 'staycation'!)
I did want to contribute to decking the halls this year, and I also wanted a challenge.... So I made some Christmas tree lights that change colour and pattern based on how many people are reading HuffPost.
"Why are there never any pencils in this house? If I could have one thing from Santa, it would be a working pencil," I said to my seven-year-old as I tried to tick off her homework. She gave me a look that said "Right....you go ahead and ask for a pencil, I'm sticking with the Anna Sleigh," and went back to her spellings.
There's nothing like a short European break to get you in the mood for Christmas. As the nights draw in and the December days pass by, pop over to Lausanne, Switzerland on a special winter trip--you'll have ample opportunity to get your festive shopping done, and return refreshed and ready for the big day!
If you are going to black-out at 10pm, why not just go home? What's the difference between leaving a party early, and drinking to oblivion early? Either way you are intentionally checking out and not being there anymore. The only difference really is feeling the pressure of expectation. Of being other people's chimp. Performing for drinks and approval.
This is almost too quick to knock up. Like one of those cake in a cup jobs that leads to 10pm cravings and tighter jeans. This freezes well and is delicious toasted for breakfast with a little butter spread on it.
One hundred years after the outbreak of the First World War, which contributed to a major shift in cultural attitudes and practices relating to death and mourning, with discussing dying increasingly becoming a taboo, many British people remain deeply uneasy talking about bereavement.
When you lose someone, you often find yourself in a cliché firing line as, 'It was their time to go', 'Time is a healer' and 'Everything will be okay' are shot at you. Of course, people are trying to help as best they can (which is appreciated immensely), but it is so difficult to digest anything positive when things are painfully raw and you are suffocating in grief.
As a parent of children who are fortunate to live in comfortable circumstances, I don't want to have to cancel Christmas or deprive them of the things they want. I don't want to make them feel guilty for having a better life than the many less fortunate children in the world. At the same time, I do want them to know that not everyone in the world enjoys the same level of comfort and security as they do.
Although there are an infinite number of stupid answers there are far fewer stupid questions and sometimes the most childlike questions are actually vitally important. Asking the question, 'What does God want at Christmas?' is therefore not as childish as it sounds.
If the only effort you make with those you love were once a year, you'd likely be left alone at Christmas. So why do brands and retailers show the love disproportionately at Christmas and then revert to the same-old, same-old throughout the rest of the year?
At this time of year we can get a bit carried away with all of the present opening and eating (often the best bits of Christmas!) and forget about some of the disasters that could take place over the festive period!
The trouble is that we all tend to think we're a little more well-liked than we are. Therefore, the receiving of a Hallmark offering is often the only validation we have of our self-perceived popularity.
December has finally arrived and it will soon be Christmas. We love Christmas because everything is guilt free. It's the perfect excuse to eat for two, nibble on chocolate in the morning, sleep until midway, watch TV all day and play monopoly until Midnight.
As London gets colder, the wine is getting hotter; that's right people it's officially mulled wine season and time to say yes please to Christmas in a cup! This ain't no time for those dodgy mulling tea bags and some pre-made bottle of wine job, this is a time to go long on your spices and brew something magical.
Admiringly, it would appear that it is not just the likes of Ebenezer Scrooge who is able to turn a chime of despair into a tune of hope. Many UK volunteer groups are making a stand against commercialism, from helping the homeless to sponsored carol singing.