Christmas seems to get longer every year. I noticed that shopping-channel BidTV started flogging Christmas decorations in September... As the build-up gets bigger and bigger, by the time it eventually comes around, the intensity is so excessive that it could never be as good as you'd hoped.
Before meeting my other half I spent the best part of five years navigating the peaks and troughs of single life and know all too well the pain and pleasure of flying solo on special occasions. Here are some of my tips on how I enjoyed, made the most of and kept my sanity/perspective in check at Christmas and many other special occasions.
Across the world thousands of animals may be given as Christmas gifts. Many of them are later dumped when the responsibilities of pet ownership become too much or when they stop being cute.
Mulled wine, Champagne, party punch, even the puddings come fuelled with your favourite tipple; booze can be unavoidable at Christmas time. So unavoidable that alcohol consumption goes up by 40% in the UK in December, 'tis the season to be jolly and all that, but this seems like a lot.
Improving just one of these areas for low income families will make a huge difference towards helping lift children out of the poverty trap. Skint asks players to help Barnardo's tackle childcare costs for the poorest. It's a good start.
The enduring success of All I Want For Christmas Is You should not be a surprise. Whether because of Mariah's iconic video (frolicking in the snow, wearing her Santa-themed micro dress), the recording's upbeat joyfulness or the timeless quality (even though it was produced and written by Mariah with Walter Afanasieff), the track has something for everyone.
The Big Issue is still revolutionary. That is quite something for a magazine launched 22 years ago. In 1991 John Bird and the Body Shop's Gordon Roddick set about providing the homeless, those at risk of losing their home and those at the very margins of society with a legitimate means of making a living. This has remained the constant ever since.
A surge in online sales this September saw Britain hailed by the UK press as the 'internet shopping capital of the world'. The proclamation was made after a rise in monthly online shopping sent an array of retail records tumbling.
I recently went to a talk by a psychologist on how to parent teenagers... she said that kids today have never had a greater sense of their rights and entitlements. Correct. On the other hand, she said, they've never had less sense of their responsibilities. Also correct. Now the gift of a goat for someone in Sierra Leone or reading lessons for a kid in Kenya isn't going to change any of that, but it will do no harm, and it'll do nothing but good for those who receive these gifts in far-off places of which our kids know little. And these gifts really do make a difference. Trust me, I went to Guatemala and El Salvador with the charity Cafod to see it with my own eyes.
Retail industry's worst kept secret is that promotional planning doesn't start with clear business objectives and robust strategy on how to get there based on piles and piles of shopper insight. Because everyone is "very busy" it is usually as sophisticated as 'let's do what we did last year and throw in some more deals in order to hit our like-for-likes'.
Your fingers, like mine, are probably close to bleeding from online shopping. Mine has mainly involved scouring the internet for cheap tat as secret s...
The festive period is upon us, and with it comes a wealth of parties and events, requiring sharp dressing and glamorous looks. From dinner with friends, to work drinks and the all-important Christmas day outfit...
The time has come where I must do what every student dreads: packing for the holidays. This involves making the tough decision of carefully choosing everything I might possibly need or wear, even though deep down I know I'll spend half the holiday in my pyjamas on the sofa and will promise myself at the end of the holiday that next time that I'll be packing more lightly...
Christmas is a time that many charities make appeals for donations from their supporters. It is a lucrative time to do so, and provides much needed income that is spent throughout the year, not just at Christmas.
In spite of being mega busy, I love the Christmas period and seeing the excitement on my children's faces when we put up the decorations and their eyes lighting up when we open presents never fails to melt my heart. That's why I think it's so important to make time for my family at Christmas.
Evidence is growing that high intensity training (or HIT), which involves relatively short bursts of exercise at all out intensity, may be a more efficient exercise protocol for inducing fat loss.