Christmas music gets such bad press and unfairly so given that most people have only dipped their toes into about 1% of what is available. So in an attempt to redress the balance here is a list of 10 Christmas songs that you probably have never heard before but will soon be occupying your annual playlist of cherished favourites.
Flick through any magazine, TV station or website this Christmas and the messages are mostly about perfection. How to get the perfect skin, body, clothes, relationship... life. But underlying all of it is that your life isn't good enough, you're not good enough.
I don't wish to preach, but I feel that we should focus less of our attention to giving gifts to our family and friends who, if we're honest, probably have enough money to buy the nice things we're getting them. We should take note of the giving side of Christmas, and if we give gifts surely they should be to those who really can't afford it.
I'm that cliché- the middle aged divorcée and nothing could make me run further and screaming, than the thought of life-draining relationship. I think men are nice enough but I've 'been around the block' once or twice and understand that nothing is ever what it seems.
The reality of human existence has always been one of diversity, particularity and dissimilarity. The most heroic contributors to human civilisation - and to the story of nations - have been individuals and cultures with distinct perspectives and propensities to those of the prevailing norm.
The flavour of Douglas fir combines well with chocolate and infused in cream, it makes delicious chocolate pots. For extra Christmas colour and texture add some pomegranate seeds.
My advice to you this festive season is to do whatever you can to have present moment awareness. Christmas can be a tricky time with emotions running high. But the fact is that the past is gone and the future doesn't exist so all we have is the present.
A vicar has told his congregation that only going to church at Christmas is a 'sham' and seems to suggest visitors should stay away if they don't fully embrace the Christian message.
It is no laughing matter that reports of domestic violence go up by as much as a third on Christmas Day. According to the charity Women's Aid, "A great deal of domestic violence is not reported ... [but it] is likely to increase during the holiday periods, perhaps due to the pressures of family members being together for long periods."
'Tis the season to be panicked, fa la la la la la la la la. With less than a week left before the floors of your home are turned into a veritable wrapping paper wasteland, any names left on your Christmas list are sure to cause a bit of anxiety.
Even relatively short car journeys can begin to feel endless when travelling with small bored people. Rather than hoping that 'the rocking motion will send them to sleep', as I overheard my dad say in 1997, travelling pains can be ameliorated by keeping children entertained and happy for as long as possible.
A recent survey by the RSPCA (1) has revealed that 55% of pets will get one. According to the figures we spend £300m on our pets at Christmas. Almost all pet owners surveyed will buy a present for their animal chum, with just over half saying they will spend up to £10.
David Cameron's Christmas card shows that the man truly has his finger on the weakening pulse of the nation. Not a Christmas tree, baby Jesus or Santa in sight: 'It's not very festive,' tutted The Guardian... How wrong is that?
We put a lot of effort into our festive celebrations. Food, drink, family, friends and presents all come together (hopefully) to make the big day a special occasion. But one thing I often leave until the last minute is planning how to get there.
For many, Christmas is personified by mulled wine, mince pies, and The Muppet's Christmas Carol. For Ben Jonson, it was a man dressed in strange clothes. Each to their own I suppose.
Our response to stress often has us drawing battle lines against the person with whom you could instead be creating a battle strategy WITH. So if you notice yourself dropping into 'confrontation mode' with your partner, here are a few simple steps to help you get back in each other's corner again.