We’ve had time to rest, recuperate and reflect on the Christmas that was and now that we’ve been back at work for a couple of weeks we’re taking the time out to share our thoughts and favourite moments on the Christmas period. My top five memories, in no particular order, are as follows.
1. Christmas Morning
While the build up to the 25th of December is amazing with everyone you meet being full of the spirit of the season and the houses and high streets are lit up with Christmas lights and decorations, the highlight of Christmas is always the early start on the 25th.
The early start after (for most people) a long night either wrapping presents or out socialising with friends and/or family, the noises of delighted children tearing through wrapping paper to lay their hands on the gifts that Santa Claus has left makes the lack of sleep, expense and hard work all worthwhile. Children are, after all, the reason to make Christmas such a special time!
Depending on your position, company and location you may get up to two weeks paid holidays over the Christmas and New Year period to enjoy the festive season. These holidays the best holidays that you can possibly get from work as you have the freedom to soak in the atmosphere - the lights, the decorations, the Christmas markets and the joy in the faces of the people around you - while having no need to worry about the prospect of a day’s work ahead of you.
The Christmas holidays also give you the best opportunities to rest and relax with your nearest and dearest. The children are off school while your friends and family also have the time off from their jobs giving everyone ample chance to catch up, sometimes for the first time in months, and share stories from the year and previous Christmases. The holidays are truly an integrate part of the Christmas experience!
3. Food and Drink
Whether it be the turkey, the Christmas pudding, the mince pies or the mountains and mountains of chocolates and biscuits that appear around the house at the start of December we feel that there is no better time of the year food wise. Add to this the vast amounts of drink involved around Christmas and the second half of December is a veritable banquet for all and sundry!
However, this does have a dark and shadowy side too that usually requires willpower and a gym membership at the start of the new year to remove those extra pounds gained over Christmas. We’re happy to forego this hard work at the start of each new year in order to enjoy ourselves to the fullest over the festive period though!
Depending on where you are in the world you may see feet of snow, a slight sprinkling or no snow at all but no matter where you are snow at Christmas is something that makes the season more festive. 2013 was a fantastic year for snow too with Cairo, Egypt seeing snow for the first time in 112 years as well as much of Europe seeing a fall of whiteness at one stage or another.
The snow did occasionally get too much in places as many parts of the USA experienced greater amounts of snow than in many years, but personally we love snow and the more that falls the better! Although if we were snowed in while attempting to go Christmas shopping or head to the post-Christmas sales I’m sure we’d be glad to see the back of it too!
Whether it be games around the table with the family, such as the old classics like Cluedo, Monopoly or the Game of Life, or online games, such as free online bingo, poker, casino games or even Xbox/Playstation, Christmas affords ample time for playing these types of games. If you want to check out a decent friendly bingo site click here.
No matter your choice of game and whether you choose to play with family and friends to spend time with the people you care most about at Christmas time or alone on your laptop (possibly after the game with your family has ended in another heated argument!), the feeling of sharing time with those closest to your heart or claiming a large cash prize online adds to the joy of the festive experience in our own personal experience.
The popularity of Casinos seem to be growing in the UK and have proved to be a popular destination for those seeking a little fun over the festive period.
For many, influenced by popular culture such as the James Bond films, roulette is still the classic image that comes to mind when they think of a casino. Maybe they also imagine such places as late night gambling dens, but these days there’s a new type of casino in town.
The Grosvenor Casino (www.grosvenorcasinos.com) in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth may still have the traditional gambling games, but there’s also a bar, a restaurant, a designated show bar and a poker room - all thanks to a £2.7mn renovation that finished just before Christmas.
Get in touch to share your experiences of Christmas Parties and Casinos.
While kids open their advent calendars this Christmas, adults will also get their chance to join in with the festive excitement thanks to tombola bingo’s new FREE Advent Calendar game.
The game, which will be inviting users to simply register (without a credit or debit card!) for their chance to win prizes between a £5 bonus to £5,000 cash.
Each day players will look for the date on the present, when found a symbol will be revealed; each symbol has its own prize. To win simply match any of the three symbols.
And most importantly, if played every day from the 1st December, players are guaranteed to win £5 bonus to £5,000 cash.
So what are you waiting for? Head to tombola.co.uk now and get playing!
Prizes include; £5 bonus, £10, £20, £50, £100, £500, £1,000 and £5,000 cash prizes. If you play every day until 24th December you’re guaranteed to win at least £5 bonus.
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We have been speaking to the head honchos over at Good Elf, they offer up some useful advice on how to get the most out of your real Christmas Tree, we do not advise this…
Missguided Fashion are the home of faux fur ear muffs…
Crabtree are offering 10% off selected hand care products for this weekend. Click below…
Today Only: Rocket Sports Roadster Ride On Battery Car – Black Only £99.95
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Something cute and stylish for the special person in your life never fails, and lovely pyjamas always feature on the Christmas nightwear gift list. Idlewild are a leading stylish London nightwear boutique.
Amateur chefs who get flustered while preparing their Christmas turkey can relax this year after a free helpline was launched offering last-minute cooking tips.
The Turkey Hotline has been set up by the British Turkey Federation (BTF) to help cooks negotiate any pitfalls they might encounter in roasting their festive bird.
A team of eight experts are on hand to offer advice on defrosting, cooking times and carving techniques until 5pm on Christmas Eve.
They expect to deal with several hundred callers a day on turkey-related issues in the lead up to Christmas. A spokesman for the BTF said many first time roasters do not know which end of the bird to stuff, or how long a turkey should be in the oven for.
Half of them deliberately leave the bird in for longer than they should to kill any bugs, he added. Confusion over cooking the perfect turkey has been exacerbated by conflicting methods proposed by celebrity chefs such as Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith.
Lawson has insisted that cooking a 6.5kg (14lb 5oz) turkey for only two hours and 45 minutes is perfectly adequate to deliver moist, succulent and tasty meat.
Meanwhile, Smith suggests that the correct cooking time for the bird, assuming it is stuffed, should be four hours and 50 minutes.
The Food Standards Agency, the government watchdog, offers yet another “safe” cooking time – four hours and 20 minutes.
The Turkey Hotline is on 0800 783 9994