At the heart of Christmas is the Bethlehem babe, who later went on to preach that we are to love our neighbours as ourselves. Not instead of ourselves or despite ourselves but as ourselves. The all-inclusive love Jesus was teaching, therefore, includes the call to each of us to look after "number one", too.
If you aren't one of the two people on the planet that lives for Christmas, then below are some tips that will help you survive the festive period without any Santa's, reindeer, adults, children, Christmas trees, TV sets and pretty much anything else being harmed in the process...
Christmas is a wonderful time of giving, receiving and celebrating the birth of baby Jesus with family and friends. Unfortunately for those trying to lose excess body fat over this period our celebrations often include rich, indulgent food, and instead of getting that warm, fuzzy excited feeling approaching the holiday they often feel anxiety and gloom.
Cheesecakes are a fantastic, easy dessert to rustle up when you're entertaining. Although not typically a Winter sweet, my version is perfect for the chilly winter months, combining the classic biscuit case and cream cheese topping with all of the delicious flavours of the Christmas season - red wine, cinnamon, orange and cloves.
Animals can be a wonderful addition to a family - just not when they're gifted to an unsuspecting recipient during one of the most chaotic times of the year. The following are some reasons why...
What could be more quintessentially English than a fine afternoon tea? Tea is of course Britain's unofficial national drink, and accompanying this cultural staple with scrumptious scones, delicate sandwiches and fine cakes and pastries is becoming an ever-greater trend.
Buried deep inside the walls of The Savoy Hotel's American Bar lies a 90 year-old cocktail shaker filled with Plymouth Gin, Cointreau and lemon juice: The White Lady cocktail. It was lovingly laid down in 1927 by Harry Craddock - then head bartender - during an Art Deco refurb at the height of the Jazz Age. But despite many attempts to locate the ancient silver vessel, it has never been found.
The joy of waking early and padding downstairs to poke your finger through the numbered window, finding a bite sized treat ready and waiting for you is something I vow never to grow out of. Which is precisely why I was so excited to have been a part of the Models1 Charity Advent Raffle.
The ONS' conclusion is foreboding, stating that the problem will only get worse given the UK's ageing population. The term 'chronically lonely' is now regularly being used to describe the condition. What can be done? It is an issue very close to my heart and I believe that we can all play a part in tackling loneliness.
You see, homelessness isn't just for Christmas. That man outside your railway station with a cardboard sign, that you are suspicious about, will still be there in the New Year. But then so will the faith groups, silently, below the surface. Homelessness isn't just for Christmas, neither is caring about it.
The words healthy and christmas don't always go hand in hand. But just because it's the season of overindulgence and sweet treats, that doesn't mean you can't add in some healthy twists. So here are a some tips that will help you stay a bit healthier over the festive period...
Have you noticed the number of Random Acts of Kindness stories doing the rounds right now? From paying food bills to funding new tyres and rescuing dogs from frozen lakes, the gestures are endless. Is it the time of year? Or is something more magical going on?
Here I am at 35, sitting at my kitchen table most nights, head in hands, as I navigate new platforms and editing software. And it makes me mad as a box of frogs that I can remember some Latin verbs at the drop of a hat, yet excel baffles me. Anyway, onto the recipe.
The parent used the threat of Santa in an almost chilling way. This parent went on to tell her child that she was going to report him to Santa and Santa would not be coming, under any circumstances. Her tone was serious, her face scary, and her manner was intimidating even to me.
It might sound cliché, but in a year where our family has had tonsillitis, pneumonia, chest infections and plenty of other nasties, I would love for us all to be fit and well over the Christmas break.
As shoppers partake in a rush to buy all those Christmas essentials (and indeed all the things you think you need but probably don't), this may not have much significance for the majority of people who are queuing up to pay for their goods, but it's prompted a lot of soul-searching in my mind.