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.
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.
ARE YOU A DODGER, PINCHER, PLANNER OR SURPRISE SHOPPER? › Continue reading
1. Did you know: It is illegal to eat mince pies on Christmas day. Oliver Cromwell banned Christmas pudding, mince pies and anything to do with gluttony. That law has never been rescinded so mince pies are illegal.
2. Did you know: Goose is the only bird you can eat legally on Christmas day! In 1588 Elizabeth I enacted a law making it an offense to eat any other bird on Xmas day.
3. Did you know: Christmas crackers were invented almost by accident by Tom Smith in 1847 originally using sweets in a twist of paper. The tradition is now only found in the UK.
4. Did you know: 7 out of 10 dogs will recieve a Christmas present in the UK.
5. Did you know: Over 200,000 trees are felled each year to make the 2 billion Christmas cards that are sent in the UK over Christmas.
6. Did you know: Dido, Annie Lennox, Sir Isaac Newton, Anwar Sadat, Humphrey Bogart and Sissy Spacek all share their birthday with Christmas Day.
7. Did you know: Santa Claus is real and based on St Nicholas of Myra, ‘Sinterklaas’ who lived in 4th century Byzantine Anatolia and gave secret gifts. Did you also know that the Coca Cola Company invented his distinctive red suit.
8. Did you know: Over 10 million turkeys are eaten over Christmas.
9. Did you know: Xmas originates from the greek letter chi, pronunced with an aspirated (kh), which is the first letter of Christ’s name.
10. Did you know: That Christmas day used to be on the 24th December but was moved in the 15th century for political reasons.
A man who has celebrated Christmas every day for the last 14 years with a full roast dinner, champagne and presents is scaling back his celebrations because of the credit crunch.
Andy Park, known as Mr Christmas, has munched his way through 117,600 sprouts, quaffed 5,110 bottles of Moet, and sent himself more than 230,000 Christmas cards since his festive fetish began.
But this year the 44-year-old electrician, from Melksham, Wiltshire, is having to make swingeing cuts to keep his unique devotion to Yuletide on the road.
Mr Park, a divorcee, said: “I’ve been through 37 electric ovens and worn out 23 video recorders by watching the Queen’s Speech every day. I’ve also sent myself 235,206 Christmas cards. But these days the postage is so dear I’m having to deliver them myself.
“The credit crunch is getting to me big time and I may even have to cut out the champagne and start singing for my Christmas dinner.
“The lunch with all the trimmings and alcohol is costing in excess of £150 a week, but I’m fighting hard not to let the financial crisis ruin the celebrations.
“I’m not being tight but a few of the little extras are having to go. I’m only having one Christmas tree this year, instead of two, and I’m cutting back on the Christmas lights because of energy bills.
“I used to get a 14lb turkey, now I’m going for a 9lb one. I refuse to compromise on champagne and always have Moet, but now I’m having to make it last two days.”
Every morning since July 14 1994, the father of one has breakfasted on mince pies and sherry, before opening the presents he has bought for himself. Then he eats a full roast turkey lunch and watches the Queen’s Speech on video, his favourite being her “annus horribilis” address.
When he last took stock of his intake in October, Mr Park calculated that he had consumed 5,110 turkeys, 94,080 mince pies, 28,224 roast potatoes, and opened 204,400 Christmas crackers.
Explaining the moment his life changed, Mr Park said: “I’ll never forget the day it started. The sun was shining, but I was just feeling fed up and bored, so I went home and put the decorations up. Suddenly I was happy. I thought, this is fun. So I did it again the next day, and the day after that.
“People do think I’m crackers, but I enjoy treating myself and I’m the only one in the world who does it. Others have tried to copy me, but they can’t last.
Maybe Mr Christmas should have a go on our Happy Christmas Turkey Scoffing Game?
Source: The Telegraph
Top Of The Pops, that old TV hit parade favourite, is back for two special shows over Christmas and New Year. Presented by Fern Cotton and Reggie the schedule is for one show to go out on Christmas day building up to the Christmas No1 and the second show on New Years eve highlighting the best music of 2008.
Going aganist a BBC embargo to relesase the news Chris Moyles informed the nation on his Radio 1 show this morning. Clearly delighted with the news Chris Moyles also announced that “TOTP is part of Christmas day, I can’t wait to watch it whilst eating my mince pies”
The Jonny Vegas of radio then went on to talk about trifle.
Fern Cotton also interviewed on the Chris Moyles Radio 1 show this morning tipped the XFactor winner to be the Christmas No1.
Cartoon favourites Wallace and Gromit will return to BBC One at Christmas with their latest half-hour adventure. A Matter of Loaf and Death sees inventor Wallace and his dog Gromit open a bakery.
It reunites Oscar-winning animator Nick Park with Bob Baker, co-writer of The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave. “Over the years, the BBC has been incredibly supportive of Wallace and Gromit,” said Park. “This film feels like their homecoming.”
The film - originally entitled Trouble At’ Mill - marks Wallace and Gromit’s first appearance since their 2005 film The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.
Peter Sallis will again provide the voice of Wallace with Coronation Street star Sally Lindsay playing his new love interest Piella Bakewell.
“I love making films for the cinema but the production of Chicken Run and Curse of the Were-Rabbit were virtually back to back,” said Park. “Each film took five years to complete,” he continued, saying A Matter of Loaf and Death had been “so much quicker to make.”
BBC One controller Jay Hunt said she was “delighted” to be premiering the latest instalment which she promised would be “unmissable family entertainment”. The film is described as “a classic ‘who-doughnut’ mystery… in the tradition of master of suspense Alfred Hitchcock”.
Source: The BBC
I stumbled across this exhibition of illumination whilst driving through South London late last year. I kid you not this house is real!!!
How they afford the electricity bill is anyones guess.
Love it or loath it, DIY Christmas lighting is here to stay and we want to see your pictures of lighting jobs gone wrong or those that are just too bright to ignore! Below is one we saw on our festive travels. It is not a bad start but we know there is better out there.
Share your pictures with us: Elves@happychristmas.com
Reindeers love to eat bananas!