christmas 2014

While it's the butt of many jokes, it is true to say that women sometimes do get more headaches. Around one in seven people in the UK suffer migraines, but it actually affects three times as many women as men. And as any 'migraineur', male or female, will tell you it's no laughing matter.
There is never an inappropriate time for a drink! Regardless of the day, the number of children you're in charge of or the fact it's before 9am, there is never an inappropriate time to be enjoying a tipple when it comes to the Christmas Period.
So Mary was not sleeping rough. Jesus was not born in a shop doorway. But was there a decent lock on the door of the stable? Was there decent sanitation - even for that time? Were Mary and Joseph alone or were there other people staying in the stable and if so what were they like? Were they drunk? Were they pushing drugs?
What do you most want for Christmas? An iPad, something elegant in cashmere or a voucher for a plastic surgery procedure? The answer, of course, is for it all to be over with as soon as possible. In 1914, that's what millions of people also wanted for WW1. And look at how long that dragged on.
This Christmas thousands of people across the country will be alone; they won't be alone in the conventional sense of not having a place stay, or people to look out for them: they will face exclusion because of an illness that can change the very person they used to be.
With just a few days until the big day, you may be feeling overwhelmed with everything that still needs to be done; underwhelmed, wondering what all the fuss is about for just one day or even, God forbid, full of Christmas spirit! However you're feeling, you may have an underlying rumbling of anxiety.
Before kids, I was adamant that Christmas shouldn't start until December - the second week would be just fine thank you very
There may not be a sign of snow, but this Christmas is still set to be a special one for me. I am now a dad, and with fatherhood comes a new outlook on the festive season. Yes it's fun to wail to Wizzard with a whiskey in hand, but above all, I want it to be a magical time for my son. It's this new responsibility that makes me feel obliged to remind the nation about the dangers of a drink too many.
Last year, in the midst of a relapse, I'd just been discharged from NHS services, told that I didn't meet the criteria for outpatient support, despite the fact I desperately needed it. The timing was particularly poor as a number of external events were also affecting my stress levels.
So when you are tucking into your Roast Turkey on Thursday, give a little thought to those who may not be enjoying Christmas as much as you, not from hardship but simply because they do not have a family in the way society expects on Christmas Day.