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.
My treatment finished in July and I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am about this Christmas. I had bought all my presents by the end of October! The atmosphere in our household will be completely different to last year when we had a big dark cloud looming above us.
When we questioned our members about their dating habits during the winter months, 16% of women revealed that they would rather snuggle up the sofa...
There's nothing that generates more schadenfreude than watching an earnest-looking historian gulp down chicken liver foam at 9.35am on live TV, with a red wine chaser. After all, your new book on 19th Century clocks isn't going to publicise itself.
The four Rs - Rest, Relax, Recharge and Reward! When time gets short, us ladies sometimes decide that to create more of it we will simply stay up later, get up earlier or worse...both!
Often Christmas is a terribly difficult time, not only the expectations, but the rejections and let downs. The trouble - not for all though - is being thrown together with family members, extended family members, or even strangers for several days in a row. And there's little room for escape.
Hands up anyone who has bought a full-on, sequins, lace or sheer party frock to wear for the so-called "party season". No, thought not. Because, let's be totally honest here, despite all the magazine articles... very few women actually wear a full-blown party frock for the office "do".
From chutneys to truffles, jams to gingerbread houses, research is showing that two thirds (67%) of families are getting their bake-on for friends and family. Kids are leading the Christmas cooking charge as Mum is revealed to be the top target for a homemade gift, closely followed by teachers, then grandparents.
Debates about globalisation examine impacts on all concerned - whether importers of labour, food and goods or those countries losing key workers, giving up their food or being turned into polluted assembly lines. Debates about the EU and migration which lack that level of empathy - and concentrate purely on what Britain is supposedly losing - simply miss the point.
Christmas is a time for enjoying yourself and relaxing but that doesn't mean that you have to gain weight. Here are some 'cheat' ideas to help you avoid piling on the pounds WITHOUT feeling that you're missing out! It can be done and here's how...
If, like the Cambridges, you have a baby aged zero-12 months, you are either aiming towards a routine, or have one already ticking along. The challenge is to make sure that as you take up invitations from family over the Christmas period, that it is a relaxing time for everyone - you and baby especially.
So what happened to release me from the confines of my decidedly Scrooge-like slump? A trip to the doctors believe it or not. Somewhere in the stench of other people's bugs, a delay of nearly an hour on my allotted appointment time and some delightful piped Christmas tunes a change occurred.
So, grab a mince pie and a mulled wine and join us on a journey through time. In reverse order, here's the Food Tube fan's Top 10 videos of all time (and it's actually scientific because these are the ones you watched the most).
Aaah Christmas. A time of jingling sleigh bells and jangling nerves. Of togetherness and family, and massive rows with your nearest and dearest. Yes Christmas is a time for joy and celebration, but it's also a time that causes most people an untold amount of stress.