I don't feel Christmassy this year. I've tried to hide from it, if I'm honest. It reminds me of Mum and I don't feel strong enough for that at the moment. We're going to a family friend's house. We've known them since I was six weeks old and they're practically family, but we've never been to their house on Christmas day before so it's a new kind of Christmas for us.
We all eat to excess at Christmas. Think back to last Christmas... bet you found yourself continuing to eat long after you were full, felt sick, could no longer taste the food etc. When you reach this point, you need to stop.
We can all be truly thankful that demand for foodbank parcels has, over the last year or so, begun to settle, though only after climbing to a figure of around a million three day parcels a year. It's an extraordinary high level compared with only a few years ago, and one that I would never have imagined we would reach. What seems bizarre though is that some commentators are suggesting this plateau in demand means that the problem of food poverty has gone away. It hasn't. It's too many, and there's no guarantee that it won't rise again soon.
During the winter months try to cram these in as much as possible! For Christmas dinner, my favourites also include cranberries, parsnips, red cabbage and walnuts with all their array of feel good nutrition.
Think about it. You're shelling out £30, maybe £40 for something that not only looks dreadful but you'll also only wear once before it vanishes into the depths of your wardrobe never to be seen again. It's not even as if you'll drag it out again twelve months later because you'll then be mug enough to buy another one.
'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house The children were shrieking, like they'd seen a mouse. The stockings weren't hung by the beds anymore; The children thought they looked better thrown on the floor.
Every vegan knows there's more to the holidays than mulled wine, roasted chestnuts and high-street light displays. From meat-free centrepieces to faux-leather handbags, vegans have the holly-est, jolly-est Christmas around!
So congrats to whoever it was who strung up the mistletoe, and well done TfL for ferrying everyone round more or less successfully for another year. But please, please, as a Christmas present, let the man on the Clapham Omnibus decide what constitutes 'good', and stop telling him what to think. That's if he can squeeze on to it, that is.
Of those who will speak to their neighbours over Christmas, 71 per cent said that they were likely to speak to neighbours who are of a different age. The figure stands at only 23 per cent for people who say they are likely to talk to neighbours from a different ethnic background to themselves.
Just as children hold on to the idea of reindeers, sleigh bells and Santa Claus at this time of year, there are certain Christmas myths about rescue life that pop up as regularly as re-runs of The Wizard of Oz. Here are the four we most frequently hear, in no particular order..
He knows that he has to be good. He knows that if he forces down the broccoli, the mysterious pensioner may well squeeze down our non-existent chimney on Christmas eve and deliver him a Leappad Ultra and a scooter.
This year, although I've just moved into a new house, I've found myself telling family and friends there's nothing I need for Christmas. Of course there are things I would like, a car, new shoes, jewellery etc. But there really is nothing I feel like I urgently need.
I've been trying to come up with a recipe that celebrates the good old sprout and uses up Christmas leftovers. Sprouts with bacon and cream is my favourite side dish (I think I prefer it to turkey... shhh) so what better than a carbonara to use up those green little gems.
Christmas is also the gifting season. In my family, we aren't obliged to give each other presents but if you want to give one then there is no expectation to receive anything in return. That was worked fine for us for years, especially when some of us were cashless. I'm fully aware it's not the same in every family.
Whilst for many, the thought of Christmas conjures up images of mince pies, mulled wine, sitting cosily around the fire, this isn't the case for everyone. There are numerous reasons that someone might not look forward to Christmas - mental health problems being one of them.
One of the main themes that I have heard time and time again is the importance of each resident experiencing the Christmas that they want, whether it's a morning tipple in bed or an afternoon of old Christmas films. I have worked in the sector for a number of years and am still struck by the variety of days that make up a care home Christmas.