Well, it's that time of year again. The kids are off school and, with Santa's visit just days away, they're on their best behaviour. Presents have been bought and decorations have been put up so now it's time to sit down, have a mug of hot chocolate and tell you my Christmas wish.
Christmas is supposed to be the 'most magical time of the year'; but it's often stressful what with family overload, presents to buy, travelling, and eating habits that tend to be chaotic at best
Let's face it, old people rock! And you never know when they might pop off, leaving you wondering, did I really do my best to look after them? Dizzee Rascal agrees.
The conventional image of loneliness or isolation, particularly at Christmas, is of an older person living on their own. But families can feel intensely isolated too. Everyone needs support from time to time, and when that support is absent and people feel they have no-one to turn to, it can have a significant impact on an individual's health and well-being and can damage families.
This year Christmas at school is a happy occasion. Tom is taking part in the Christmas festivities at school, he attends Hillside Specialist School for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD) in Longridge Preston and he is a different little boy to a year ago all because of this wonderful school.
But do we have to let aloneness define who we are? Or can alone time, however it arises, offer the opportunity to dig deeper and find hidden resources? That's what happened to me. I found that a sense of alienation didn't necessarily need company in order to be subdued.
This is a question I was first asked in primary school, by a small boy with an awful haircut and a smirk on his face (That first pot of hair-gel made us all feel so much older than our years, but at eight we just didn't have the carefully sculpted stubble or the desirable, industry-standard skeletal facial features required to look like the guy from the Shockwaves advert, and the family photos never let us forget it).
'Tis the season of being generous, and so we hop to the High Street and stress over presents or punch in credit card details online, enticed by 'now-or-never' deals. In this pre-Christmas rush it is easy to focus too much on ticking the boxes and lose the bigger picture of gratitude, kindness and the art of giving back.
Still stuck for gift ideas for your loved ones this Christmas? Running out of time? Then Swiss-made watchmakers Larsson & Jennings may be just the brand to look for.
This time next week the festive season will be in full swing but please remember to consider the health and happiness of your four-legged family members and avoid potential hazards.
Many of us think of weight gain as an inevitable result of the festive season. However, you can still enjoy the holidays without piling on the pounds. Here are our top 10 tips on how not to gain weight.
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.