I just can't help it: when the festive season comes around, I turn into a total kid again. I spend hours dreaming up the perfect combination of gifts--for friends, for family and, of course, for me. After much research and deliberation, here are my favourite finds for Christmas 2014.
It breaks my heart to think that if she finds out Santa is made up then God and Jesus will go with him. I couldn't handle that because my jaded, patchy grown-up's faith is so strengthened by her perfect child-like one. At this time of year I need that more than ever; I honestly don't know how people survive Christmas without Christ.
Apparently, on most of the rest of this planet, Christmas crackers aren't a thing. Nobody knows what they are, and nobody much cares either. Crackers are a thing in the UK, Ireland, and a few commonwealth countries like Australia, South Africa, and Canada. Nobody else has a stocking-stuffing CLUE what they are.
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...
I think it's normal to feel a bit weird at this time of year. We build up Christmas to such a fever pitch of twee imagination and rose-tinted memories that it can end up feel disappointing and miserable. Sometimes, surrounded by a barrage of Good Will to All Men and Joy to the World and Christmas Cheer, we feel lost and alone, longing for a feeling we can't find anymore.
Christmas is a wonderful time for us to step back from all the busyness that surrounds us so that we can get a clearer look at who we are and where we are going in our lives. A simple way to help us make the most of this opportunity is to 'unplug'.
"Is it a good song? Well of course it is- don't be stupid!" That was me and me having our annual Christmas argument about a song that is both rousing and poetically written, and that takes a different look at a holiday that's normally so delicious, wobbly and sugar-coated it could pass for an M&S crème brulee.
This time of year can be brilliant fun, but occasionally can also be just a little bit stressful, what with buying gifts, cooking elaborate dinners or perhaps simply being thrown together with relatives you do not see very often for long periods of time.
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.