We want to reassure you that, we’re still running our revised services and we are continuing to take our lead from the latest government guidelines. For those with an essential need to travel, there are some things we can all do to help keep everyone safe, including practising social distancing by sitting on your own wherever possible, using contactless payment if you can and taking your newspaper home with you. Please check service updates for up to date information or see our Coronavirus page
01 Dec 2016
December is here! Get those Christmas songs on, pull out your dodgiest festive jumper and start planning your “big shop”. But don’t let all the Christmas hoopla stress you out – here are some brilliant ways to give yourself a little lift throughout December...
December is the only month you’re allowed, nay, encouraged to eat chocolate every day. So don’t miss a chance and get your advent calendar ready.
Fancy an alternative to a traditional advent calendar? Why not create a “Reverse advent calendar” where you donate an item to your local foodbank for each day of advent. Check out the foodbank app to see which items are most in need in your area, and each day add a new item to your box to donate at the end of December or early January. Non-perishable items like tins of soup, tinned vegetables, toiletries, dry grains and cereals and longlife products will ensure the recipients of your donation can enjoy the food well into the new year.
If you haven’t already, get your secret Santa organised! This is a great way to spread the cost of gifts across a wider group, and ensures everyone get a present. Sites like Secret Santa Organizer can organise it for you via email address, and you can even add wishlists if you have a couple of hard-to-buy-for people in your group!
As much as we love the perfectly decorated, towering Christmas trees in our shopping centres, our own trees at home can be more than a little… chaotic. Embrace the personality and character of your tree with a homemade or home-painted ornament.
Okay, so people feel very strongly about the date they put up their Christmas tree and we’re not about to engage in that debate, but we couldn’t miss it off the list. So whether your tree goes up on the 1st November or the 24th December, don’t forget to put it up!
You can’t have Christmas without visiting Santa – otherwise you could end up on his naughty list! We have a list of some of the places he’s visiting in the UK before he has to head off to distribute presents!
Instead of Christmas cards this year, why not send e-cards and use the money you would have spent on cards and postage to donate to your favourite charity? Learn more at DontSendMeACard.com
There’s nothing better than filling your house with the delicious scent of baking! Mince pies are traditional, and Christmas cookies can be a great homemade gift (if you don’t eat them all!). Here are some of our favourite recipes.
Make your house extra-festive with a Christmassy wreath on your front door! Or make your own!
Fancy a festive family outing? Check out your local Pantomime! It’s fun for all the family – and you might spot some famous faces! Check out Big Panto Guide to find one near you.
What says Christmas more than twinkling lights, mugs of hot chocolate and delightful stalls of wooden ornaments, food and treats? Here are some of our favourite Christmas markets, plus our favourite things to eat and drink there!
Hark! The herald angels sing! A Christmas concert is a great way to get into the festive spirit, and you’re sure to go home with a smile on your face.
If you’ve conquered Christmas cookies and mince pies, why not give a gingerbread house a go? Just a head’s up though – there’s a good chance it won’t look quite like the ones on Pinterest.
And start a debate on the best Christmas song! Is it Fairytale of New York, or Driving home for Christmas? Mistletoe and Wine or Stop the Cavalry?
Cinnamon, orange, cedarwood, spiced apple, vanilla cookie… delicious!
Grab your duvet, get the hot chocolate on and have a day watching your favourite Christmas films, from Elf to Die Hard.
With Santa on his way to you, it’s a nice idea to donate to the children who might be less fortunate. Take your unwanted toys to your local charity shop, or contact The Salvation Army to learn more about donating toys.
Marshmallows or Maltesers? Whipped cream or sprinkles? Why not all four?! Add a dash of peppermint syrup to really make it festive.
A DIY gift is a great way to tell someone you love them and is often appreciated much more than something you spent your hard-earned pennies on. What about a brownie in a jar, homemade coffee syrup or a photo calendar?
Every town has one - that house which is completely covered in Christmas lights! Go for a stroll around your neighbourhood and try to find it, or pick your favourite Christmas lights in your area. A lovely thing to do to get out of the house on a chilly, dark December evening!
Grab your boxsets or hunt through Netflix and find all the Christmas episodes of your favourite TV shows. We recommend the Friends episode “The one with the Holiday Armadillo”. Guaranteed to get you in the mood!
Get your Christmas jumpers out and have a silly festive photo shoot session. You could even use the photos for next year’s e-card!
Take some time to look through your phone and computer for all your favourite photos and pick the best for a 2017 photo calendar. Order some extra copies for family too.
Making Christmas dinner is hard work, so offer to help out with the biggest meal of the year. Peel potatoes, set the table, help clear up and be sure to give some extra love and TLC to the chef in your house this Christmas!