'It's freezing!' everyone seems to be crying in the UK as if we have never seen winter before. I was in need of something, or some things, to get me through these dark days. Why don't we all embrace the season and the Danish art of 'hygge', or cosiness?
Christmas ads are in full swing on TV, the Quality Streets are on offer in Sainsbury's and the kids are already counting down the sleeps until the big day. Like it or not, iiiiitttt'ssss CHRIIIIISTMAS!!!!!
Christmas will soon be on its way, with the sweet and spicy essence of the christmas festivities lighting up our eyes, ears, hearts and, of course, ou...
Every single year I try desperately to conjure up the epitome of Christmas. But it's 2016. Santa doesn't exist and the old fashioned paper chains and snow globes I keep stockpiling don't actually have the power to transport me back to a Victorian knees-up with the Fezziwigs.
I am practically seconds away from putting up a tree. However it has actually taken a while for me to get back into the idea of Christmas since my father died and I am totally empathetic to anyone that has lost someone and is facing the daunting prospect of a nostalgic Christmas ahead. My dad used to enjoy this season so much that it is literally impossible not to think about and miss him.
The way that I have handled Christmas so far, seems to have actually prevented my children from feeling gratitude, and because of this, I actually believe that they enjoy Christmas far less authentically than they would if they received less and gave more.
It's that time of year again. The latest entry in the John Lewis Christmas advert series has bounced onto our screens like a ragtag band of thrill-see...
Winter holidays don't have to be about strapping things to your feet and careering down mountains. Tour operators are increasingly realising that there are plenty of other ways to enjoy the unique charms of winter - and most of them don't include a whacking increase on your insurance policy and the chances of coming home in a neck brace.
The shops are full of it, the adverts have started and if you were one of the reported one million families who were in Oxford Street last weekend, you'll know that the lights are up and on. Christmas is well and truly on its way.
Halloween has now passed and so the Christmas festivities begin. Christmas shopping starts and we go to more parties than our livers would like. We start to become consumed in Christmas. Buying more, drinking more, spending more, eating more. Hey, it's Christmas right?
For fellow retail workers the world over, the mere mention of the C-word is enough to bring them out in a cold sweat, and not just from the sheer effort of unloading mammoth deliveries. As we speak, store staff everywhere are taking a collective deep breath and muttering:
That was the first Christmas that I ever faked and I was terrified that I would be found out. A whole childhood of being laughed at and singled out as different will do that to you. I was afraid that everyone would know I was a Christmas fraud and more than anything I so badly just wanted to fit in. To be normal. That kind of thing sticks with you.
Whether it's saving money online, being super organised or simply telling people you can't afford to buy for them, there are ways that you can enjoy Christmas without feeling the financial burden of the big day.
Let's be honest, it is completely up to you what you do. No-one has to do anything they do not want to and no-one has the right to judge you for your choices. You just have to be happy yourself with what you choose to do or as the case may be, don't do.
No matter whether you are religious, agnostic or atheist, the great old churches and temples of this world carry a powerful charge of energy from the centuries of prayer, of song and of silence that have been carried out there. Even now, most folk hush themselves when they enter an ancient church and take a moment to feel the echo of the ages.
Whether it's you, or someone else in your life, we all know a health nut who wants nothing but an organic stocking filled with life-boosting goodies.... So, I've put together a list of my 10 favourite gifts to make your life a little easier!