As London hosted a splendid summer of sport, all those who saw the achievement and courage at the Olympic and Paralympic Games were further inspired by the skill, dedication, training and teamwork of our athletes. In pursuing their own sporting goals, they gave the rest of us the opportunity to share something of the excitement and drama.
What do I want for Christmas? A genuine democracy and true peace in Burma, the restoration of democracy in the Maldives, an end to religious intolerance in Indonesia, a just and peaceful solution for the people of West Papua, and freedom for North Korea.
During the festive season, it's not likely that any of us need much encouragement to start nibbling on Christmas treats, and it is a festive fact that we tend to eat more than we should with all the mince pies and roasted chestnuts coming to town. However you don't need to stick to the same old thing.
Die Hard is no cuddly, warm, PG Christmas movie, full of zany kids and 'what-are-they-like!' family arguments, instead, it offers a much more nuanced and realistic view of the holidays.
My enthusiasm is in no way hampered by the fact that I am Muslim, for I do not believe that by choosing to partake in a national festival, I am in any way compromising my personal beliefs. And I am not alone in this opinion. All across the land, posters for halal turkeys in butchers' shops in Muslim-populated areas such as Southall, Leicester and Birmingham stand testament to the significance Muslims place on this day.
I'm pretty sure I've hated Christmas all of my life. I'd go so far as to say Dr Seuss's famously grouchy Grinch has nothing on me. Not a speck of tinsel adorns my flat, nor do cards jostle for space on my mantelpiece.
Traditional turkey dinners remind many of us of special Christmas moments when we were young. But maybe the most important memories are the ones we haven't made yet.
The oldest known science programme for young people, the 2012 Christmas Lectures were started in 1825 at the Royal Institution in London and have been given every year since then apart from a short break during the 1939-45 war when their young audience was evacuated to the country.
When I wake up on Christmas morning I will not be looking for any packages under the tree. All I want for Christmas is a job that pays. I value my future more than any gift tied up with paper and ribbon.
I thought of Greta Garbo this week, the beautiful, brooding and reclusive Swedish starlet of yesteryear, as I stood waiting for my morning bus. The b...
If this Christmas "state of mind" helps free us from stress during the holiday season wouldn't we want to keep bringing out these same spiritual elements in our lives throughout the year?
It's been fun learning about Christmas here in the UK. It's a lot louder here. People seem to start celebrating in October, and I do miss that intense calm of a Finnish Christmas. Perhaps it's something only three feet of snow can really accomplish.
Now, I don't mean to sound like Scrooge, but charging to see Father Christmas is a joke. Whatever happened to the spirit of giving, that warm feeling you get from a hug from the big man himself?
I gave up alcohol as a New Year's Resolution at the end of 2006. Since then I haven't had a drop (actually that's not true, I did sip a gin and wine punch last weekend at a party and it was amazing). But it has been easy to 'stay stopped' and I never saw the point of starting drinking again.
For some divorced or separated parents, arranging and organizing equal time with the children has been an easy and smooth ride while for others, and you know who you are, it has been and is still is proving to be an experience straight out of hell for various reasons.
If any of you still have the unenviable task of buying Christmas presents left to check off your seasonal to do list, this little gift guide might well come in handy.