The head of Britain’s Christmas tree-growing industry has likened artificial versions to “toilet brushes” and claimed they are damaging to the environment.
Roger Hay, secretary of the British Christmas Tree Growers Association, admitted sales of real trees are likely to fall this year as a result of Britain’s worsening economy.
But he insisted they look better and cause less damage to the environment than “junk food” artificial trees, particularly as they can be recycled into compost.
One in three of Britain’s 25million households – around 8million – bought a real tree last year.
But 25 per cent price rises because of import costs and the pound’s weakness mean real trees cost up to £40 this Christmas, compared with less than £10 for a fake one.
Source: The Telegraph
GERMANY is facing a Santa Claus shortage in the run-up to Christmas, as new recruits fail to meet high Teutonic standards of jollity and expertise.
Job agencies, which are currently conducting a desperate last-minute recruitment drive, have reported a distinct lack of jolly, rotund, fluffy-bearded Santas with no criminal records.
Among the tough criteria are a suitably low voice, child-friendliness, good German, not too youthful, and a full repertoire of Christmas poems and songs. For good measure, they must show spontaneity and energy.
“It takes a lot to be a good Santa,” said Tarik Kilinc of the Heinzelmaennchen agency in Berlin. “About 10% don’t make it through the casting process.
“Just handing out presents isn’t enough. Our Santas have to sing songs with the families and talk to the parents about their children and the evening’s arrangements,” he added.
“The kids want to see sleds and reindeer and you need calm nerves to deal with that,” Kilinc said. “Every year it becomes harder to recruit people.”
Source: The Times
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
The Prince of Wales will feature in a special edition of the Antiques Roadshow, Top of the Pops will return and the cast of Blackadder will come together for a one off special to mark its 25th birthday - these are some of the highlights of the BBC’s Christmas schedule that have been unveiled.
The Prince will talk to Fiona Bruce from Dumfries House near Cumnock in East Ayrshire and Blackadder Rides Again will include the first ever in-depth interview with Rowan Atkinson, about his personal experience of being involved in the show.
Bruce Forsyth and Tess Daly will also present a Strictly Come Dancing Christmas special, featuring previous winners Alesha Dixon and Jill Halfpenny, also Kelly Brook, who pulled out last year after the death of her father will return to compete with the remaining contestants of the latest series.
Nigella Lawson will be returning with a five part series ‘Nigella’s Christmas Kitchen’ comprising of three new programmes and Rab C Nesbitt returns in a 45 minute long special.
As well as special holly-encrusted editions of Doctor Who, The Royal Family, EastEnders and Gavin and Stacey, other BBC1 highlights include a Christmas edition of the detective series Jonathan Creek and The 39 Steps, a drama based on the novel by John Buchan, and set in the build up to the First World War, starring Rupert Penry Jones.
Comedy will include the return of Shooting Stars, and Jack Dee will star in a special of Lead Balloon. Among the plethora of feature films due to get a Christmas airing will be the television premier of a new Wallace and Gromit adventure In A Matter of Loaf and Death, and Finding Nemo, Shark Tale, The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest and Starter for Ten.
Jana Bennett, director of BBC Vision, said the BBC had: “Pulled out all the stops this year to ensure a truly wonderful holiday schedule featuring the very best of British talent in a great line-up of exciting seasonal specials”.
She added there was something to appeal to everyone. So while the schedule of BBC1 is unashamedly populist, BBC2 is emphasising the highbrow in its own Christmas offering.
Highlights include the conductor Daniel Barenboim in The New Year’s Day Concert 2008: Live from Vienna and two major religious documentaries In The Truth about Carols, looking at the major traditions and Star of Bethlehem -Behind the Myth, which takes a look at the latest findings of scientists, astronomers and historians as they map the night skies.
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.
After months in development Happy Christmas (or HC for short) are pleased to announce “WE HAVE A NEW WEBSITE, YEAH”.
After spending months listening to feedback and comments from our beautiful users (that’s you :-)) we have tried to create something a little bit different yet functional to help with all your Christmas needs. So what’s the big deal?
Well, apart from our trendy new look you may notice some major improvements? We now have a new and improved price comparison shopping portal which includes over 100k products from some of the UKs largest and most established retailers (see all our suppliers).
We also aim to bring to you the latest discount codes and offers, you will find these listed on the blog and it is possible to RSS them straight to your desktop so you never miss that next money saving idea.
On top of this you will also find new and improved E-Cards, Games, Facebook Apps and Christmas Info. We also have loads more planned for the coming months delivering great Christmas Fun, News, Info and Shopping all year.
Thanks for reading, any comments? Speak up, we can’t hear you at the back!
Welcome to the HappyChristmas.com Blog, here you will find offers, discount codes, recipes, fun games to play and general Christmas news.
A Charleston radio station is observing Valentine’s Day with a reminder that Cupid sometimes misses his mark. WKLC-FM, better known as Rock 105, is giving away a free divorce. Valentine’s Day isn’t all hearts and flowers, says WKLC Program Director Jay Nunley. There is a darker side, he said, “where maybe you despise your spouse and resent the entire day.”
Through 4 p.m. on Thursday, Valentine’s Day, applications for the free divorce will be accepted on the classic rock station’s Web site, http://www.wklc.com. The winning name will be drawn at 5 p.m.
Nunley cautions that this is a real divorce and people shouldn’t enter if they aren’t serious. Also, people expecting a long, drawn-out legal battle should hire a lawyer because the Rock 105 contest is for a relatively uncomplicated divorce.
“Sure we can give away concert tickets, and we do,” said Nunley. “That’s going to make you happy for a little while. This is the chance to make someone happy for the rest of their life.”
Source: Google News (US)
For those of you that aren’t aware, the Happy Christmas head office is based in Tonbridge, a quaint little market town based about half way between Royal Tunbridge Wells and Sevenoaks in the South East of England.
Tonbridge holds a few distinct landmarks including: a medieval castle, the river Medway, Tonbridge School, and, oh yeah, the site for the largest robbery ever to take place in England!
Our office is just a 10 minute walk away from where the biggest heist in England took place, a £53 million ($106m) raid on a Securitas depot. Yesterday announced the news that five men have been convicted of kidnap, robbery and firearm charges. Sentencing takes place on Tuesday.
Our new website, laptops, company cars and office expansion is a pure coincidence, I was in the office all day!
Most people are now checking their bank balances and working out the exact cost of Christmas. A quick tally up around the HC office proves that like most people we seem to have spent way more than anticipated (as per usual!)
UK retailers recorded their worst December figures since 2004 according to The British Retail Consortium. However, e-consultancy.com recorded the opposite for online traders who experienced a bouyant Christmas, fuelled by customers seeking a good deal.
Now for the stats…
4.4 million people in the UK spent a total of £84 million on Christmas Day, 269% more than last year with an average of £19.09 per person. While in the US £14.9 billion was spent in December up 19% on last year.