Christmas 2015

While I always opt for Aldi for my Christmas food, I was impressed by Asda this year. I'll still be getting my whole Christmas food assortment from Aldi but Christmas Eve and Boxing Day is set to be Asda (with sprinklings of Tesco and Sainsbury's).
A truly Poncetastic Christmas (TM) requires precision-planning, commitment, heroics and, occasionally, martyrdom. Think you can handle it? Here's what you need to know.
When it comes to Christmas food the most important thing is not to overcomplicate and to stay calm! Producing a perfect spread is all about time management and not losing your head when things don't quite go according to plan. So pour yourself a Baileys and follow my tips for perfect festive food.
The families I spoke to were far from gloomy, however: they told me that with a disabled child, Christmas is sometimes different, but that doesn't mean it can't be loads of fun.
Our understanding grows all the time about the links between loneliness, mental and physical health. The Marmot Review, conducted under the last Labour government, showed that people who live isolated lives are five times more likely to die early than people with a strong social network. According to the Campaign to End Loneliness, loneliness is as dangerous to our health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, and more dangerous than obesity. Medical studies show a clear link between loneliness and dementia, high blood pressure, and suicide.
You will have to make a last-minute stop to a major supermarket to restock all of the Christmas booze and chocolates. You bought them last month on special offer and they have mysteriously vanished. This, you swear, will be the last time you step foot in Asda... until 27 December.
Think about it. You're shelling out £30, maybe £40 for something that not only looks dreadful but you'll also only wear once before it vanishes into the depths of your wardrobe never to be seen again. It's not even as if you'll drag it out again twelve months later because you'll then be mug enough to buy another one.
I don't feel Christmassy this year. I've tried to hide from it, if I'm honest. It reminds me of Mum and I don't feel strong enough for that at the moment. We're going to a family friend's house. We've known them since I was six weeks old and they're practically family, but we've never been to their house on Christmas day before so it's a new kind of Christmas for us.
So congrats to whoever it was who strung up the mistletoe, and well done TfL for ferrying everyone round more or less successfully for another year. But please, please, as a Christmas present, let the man on the Clapham Omnibus decide what constitutes 'good', and stop telling him what to think. That's if he can squeeze on to it, that is.
Of those who will speak to their neighbours over Christmas, 71 per cent said that they were likely to speak to neighbours who are of a different age. The figure stands at only 23 per cent for people who say they are likely to talk to neighbours from a different ethnic background to themselves.