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How to Put Lights on Your Christmas Tree Without Swearing Up a Storm

In the McKay household, I’m the official “Put the Lights on the Christmas Tree Person.” I’ve done this job every year since Kate and I were married. And every year, I’d end up muttering swear words under my breath while Nat King Cole crooned in the background about the joys of a decked-out tannenbaum. I kept running into a set of perennial problems that made putting the lights on the tree an exasperating task. But over time, I slowly worked out remedies for each that have made the job easier an...
Tags: Holidays, Life, Christmas, Travel & leisure, Kate, Nat King Cole, McKay, Ted Slampyak


Prosecco crisps, pigs in blankets pot noodles – please make these Christmas treats stop

What to do with festive specials in the supermarket aisles? Probably leave well aloneWhat really says Christmas to you? Is it a squeezy bottle of Sainsbury’s “Pigs in Blankets Mayo”? No? You surprise me. Or not, as the case may be. For the December issue of OFM I tasted that particular joy, and so many other Christmas products, alongside the fabulous chef Ravinder Bhogal. Oh, the things they make us do for you. It is, for the record, mayonnaise punched up with artificial smoke flavouring and, in...
Tags: Food, Christmas, Life and style, Sainsbury, NPD, OFM, Christmas food and drink, Ravinder Bhogal


Family in South Australia find live koala in their Christmas tree

When the McCormicks came home on Wednesday, the Christmas tree in their Adelaide house had acquired a new ornamentThe McCormicks went for a silver, pink and blue theme on their Christmas tree. The old plastic leaves were worn but looked beautiful with baubles on each branch and twinkling lights.But this year the family tree included one very unexpected ornament: a wild – and somewhat confused – juvenile koala. Continue reading...
Tags: Animals, Environment, Christmas, Life and style, Australia news, Wildlife, Adelaide, South Australia, McCormicks


Australian family finds live koala in their Christmas tree

When the McCormicks came home on Wednesday, the Christmas tree in their Adelaide house had acquired a new ornamentThe McCormicks went for a silver, pink and blue theme on their Christmas tree. The old plastic leaves were worn but looked beautiful with baubles on each branch and twinkling lights.But this year the family tree included one very unexpected ornament: a wild – and somewhat confused – juvenile koala. Continue reading...
Tags: Animals, Environment, Christmas, Life and style, Australia news, Wildlife, Adelaide, South Australia, McCormicks


On the first day of ... Australian family finds live koala in their Christmas tree

When the McCormicks came home on Wednesday, the Christmas tree in their Adelaide house had acquired a new ornamentThe McCormicks went for a silver, pink and blue theme on their Christmas tree. The old plastic leaves were worn but looked beautiful with baubles on each branch and twinkling lights.But this year the family tree included one very unexpected ornament: a wild – and somewhat confused – juvenile koala. Continue reading...
Tags: Animals, Environment, Christmas, Life and style, Australia news, Wildlife, Adelaide, South Australia, McCormicks


These shirts remind us that it’s almost as if…there’s no war on Christmas at all. Weird.

I had to laugh when I caught wind of Kayla Pekkala’s wonderful holiday gift collection on Tiny Werewolves — the highlight of which are the mugs, hats, tees and sweatshirts, all lovingly adorned with a classic Christmas sweater pattern. Oh, and the words, The War on Christmas is Not Real. Accurate. Related: Funny 2020 ornaments that celebrate a […]
Tags: Fashion, Holidays, Shopping, Christmas, Coffee Mugs, Humor, Pop Culture, Holiday Gift Ideas, Gifts For Women, Gifts For Men, Holiday Picks, Gifts For Teens + Tweens, Kayla Pekkala


The virus that stole Christmas: meet the Santas giving this season a miss

They are used to spending Christmas up close and personal, but the criteria for playing Santa – being older and overweight – put them at significant risk of catching coronavirusRandyl Lee Walker starts bleaching his hair and beard every October. Both are dark, so it takes six weeks to reach the snow-white shade he’s going for. When he’s finished the result is nothing short of transformative. Related: Elbow bumps and open windows: UK scientific advisers' Christmas tips Continue reading...
Tags: Family, Gender, UK, Christmas, Life and style, Unemployment, Infectious Diseases, Santa, Lee Walker, Coronavirus


'We all need magic in our lives': how Santa's grottos moved online to beat the pandemic

It’s 130 years since Father Christmas first appeared in a department store. But this year is the strangest one yet – with virtual calls taking the place of shopping centre visits. Is it enough to keep the ho ho hos flowing?Five bearded men, dressed head to toe as Santa, wearing fur-trimmed face masks, file into an office building in London and sit behind wooden desks – laptops and webcams in front of them. The room has been made magical with the addition of a red and gold curtain, a snow-flecked...
Tags: Technology, London, Christmas, Life and style, Retail industry, Britain, Acting, Santa, Jimmy Wales, Lovell, James Lovell


It's Father Clickmas: can Santa save Christmas over Zoom?

It’s 130 years since Father Christmas first appeared in a department store. But this year is the strangest one yet – with virtual calls taking the place of shopping centre visits. Is it enough to keep the ho ho hos flowing?Five bearded men, dressed head to toe as Santa, wearing fur-trimmed face masks, file into an office building in London and sit behind wooden desks – laptops and webcams in front of them. The room has been made magical with the addition of a red and gold curtain, a snow-flecked...
Tags: Technology, London, Christmas, Life and style, Retail industry, Britain, Acting, Santa, Jimmy Wales, Lovell, James Lovell


Glittering photos show how the White House has celebrated Christmas through the years

First lady Melania Trump walks past the 2019 White House Christmas decorations. Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks December means homes across America are decking the halls, and the nation's most famous address is no exception. The White House has been decorated every December since John and Abigail Adams held the first White House Christmas party in 1800. The decorations have only gotten more elaborate with time. These photos show how White House Christmases of years past compare ...
Tags: Politics, New York, Congress, Washington, Mexico, Life, White House, Christmas, US, America, West Virginia, Barack Obama, Trends, Reagan, Ap, History


Bake me happy: 10 deliciously different mince pie recipes

From the perfect traditional version, to brownie hybrids, deep-fried delights and a throwback from 1591, homemade never looked so goodNothing should make the heart sink quite as much as the phrase “homemade mince pies”. The chance of failure is simply far too high. Pick a bad recipe and you run the risk of serving up a tray of inedible pastry bin lids gummed together with a miserly Marmite smear of mincemeat.But it doesn’t have to be like this. An endless array of mince-pie variations are now av...
Tags: Food, Christmas, Life and style, Christmas food and drink


‘Let’s bring joy into the house as early as possible’ – why Britain is already celebrating Christmas

At the end of a truly difficult year, Christmas lights, trees and decorations are springing up, and even the shuttered shops haven’t slowed the present buying. What’s behind this race to begin the festive season?A couple of weeks ago, Christmas was unleashed on the home of Wayne Smith and his family. The tub of chocolates has been opened, Home Alone has been watched and the first Tia Maria and Coke of the season has been poured. The tree is up along with retro foil decorations and lights. This y...
Tags: Christmas, Life and style, Britain, Santa, Kent, Coke, Wayne Smith, Tia Maria, Coronavirus, Natalie Miller Snell


Chocolate thins and nut brittle: Rachel Roddy's recipes for sweet Christmas gifts | A kitchen in Rome

These easy walnut and honey brittle biscuits and little chocolate, nut and currant sweets make for glorious festive gifts“Light candles, gather shrubbery, do it, do it now,” was Signe Johansen’s advice the other day: small rituals against dark days. Advice is like plastic: there is just too much of it, and I am like plastic in the face of most advice – stubborn and impermeable. But this advice came at just the right moment, so I took it. Also because I needed bay leaves (which come from bay tree...
Tags: Food, London, Snacks, Christmas, Life and style, Rome, Italian food and drink, Baking, Chocolate, Dessert, Rachel Roddy, Signe Johansen, Monte Testaccio, Christmas food and drink


Christmas: scientists suggest outdoor festivities to keep safe from Covid

Independent Sage proposes community celebrations with food and drink in the streetCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageChristmas could be turned into a communal outdoor celebration – with hot drinks and mince pies consumed in the street – scientists have suggested, in alternative plans drawn up for safer festivities.In a set of proposals compiled by Independent Sage – a group formed in response to concerns about a lack of transparency in scientific advice given to governme...
Tags: Christmas, Life and style, UK News, Coronavirus, COVID, Independent Sage


Scientists suggest an outdoor Christmas to keep safe from Covid

Independent Sage proposes community celebrations with food and drink in the streetCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageChristmas could be turned into a communal outdoor celebration – with hot drinks and mince pies consumed in the street – scientists have suggested, in alternative plans drawn up for safer festivities.In a set of proposals compiled by Independent Sage – a group formed in response to concerns about a lack of transparency in scientific advice given to governme...
Tags: Christmas, Life and style, UK News, Coronavirus, COVID, Independent Sage


How to fight 'Covid fatigue' as America heads for a deadly winter

Polls suggest Americans are exhausted after months of restrictions, so we asked experts for advice on how to convince loved ones to stay safe ahead of the holidaysFatigue with pandemic restrictions has hit many Americans at a time when it’s more important than ever that people take the virus seriously and stay home.While the US contends with a huge surge in cases and record hospitalizations, federal inaction has forced local officials to adopt their own rules and messaging, creating a patchwork ...
Tags: Thanksgiving, Christmas, US, America, Life and style, US news, Coronavirus


Boris Johnson under pressure as scientists back tight rules for Christmas

PM set to announce end to lockdown before trying to broker national agreement on family gatheringsCoronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageBoris Johnson will meet his cabinet remotely on Sunday to decide how people will be able to gather with loved ones at Christmas, before the announcement of a new Covid winter plan.The prime minister, who is self-isolating, will then confirm by video to parliament on Monday that national restrictions will end on 2 December and be replaced by...
Tags: Politics, Science, Christmas, Conservatives, Life and style, UK News, Boris Johnson, Johnson, Coronavirus


The spirits of Christmas: drinkable homemade gifts – recipes

Festive tipples for family and friends with whom, in better times, you’d usually share a Christmas drinkThis will keep for three weeks in the fridge, so it’s not one to leave under the tree in the run-up to Christmas. Continue reading...
Tags: Food, Christmas, Life and style, Fruit, Spirits, Soft drinks, Christmas food and drink


How to Feast at the Holidays Without Packing on the Pounds

The holidays are just around the corner and that means food.  Lots and lots of delicious food.  Turkey, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, rolls, pumpkin pie. Mmm . . . mmm . . . mmm. My mouth is watering just typing that out. You hit that smorgashboard at Thanksgiving and then a month later you’re doing it again at Christmas, and in-between there are often parties, gift baskets, and dropped-off platters of cookies to wade through.  While holiday feasting is great for activating the p...
Tags: Holidays, Life, Christmas, Turkey, Food & Drink, Gillian, Health & Sports, Barbell Logic Online, Gillian Ward


10 of the best Christmas songs (that aren’t by Mariah Carey)

The classics are back in the charts even earlier than usual – alongside the perennial row about the Pogues. So why not discover these lesser-known festive bangers? Judging by the number of trees and lights going up already, the UK is rounding off the worst year ever by turning Christmas 2020 into a six-week celebration of successful vaccine trials. Sure enough, sales and streams of festive songs are up by 50% compared with the same week last year, with Mariah Carey leading the charge and likely ...
Tags: Music, UK, Christmas, Life and style, Rap, Soul, Kanye West, Culture, Pop and rock, Indie, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Folk Music, Britney Spears, Kelly Clarkson


3 Must-Haves For The Perfect Christmas Party

If you’re considering throwing a Christmas party this year, you may already be thinking of what all you want to include. The planning process should be fun and leave your guests with happy, unforgettable memories, so make sure your party includes these 5 must-haves in order to have the perfect Christmas party! Guests You can’t have the perfect Christmas party without guests but you may not know you to invite. Make sure the length of your guest list is appropriate for the size of th...
Tags: Fashion, Christmas, Party, Christmas Party, Guest List, Holiday Features, Christmas dresses, Christmas Party Ideas, Perfect Christmas Party


'All I want is chocolate': Jamie Oliver and other top chefs on their Christmas wish lists

Tinned fish, ceramic tableware and cornettos – Santa’s sack is full of unusual treats for our chefs and food writers Bread, cheese… and ginJamie Oliver, celebrity chef and authorA couple of loaves of Coombeshead Farm bread. The crust is exceptional, it’s nutty, chewy and malty. Toast it up with some good butter, it heats like a dream and will last for a week. Have it with some good cheese and a glass of wine or beer, it’s just heaven and a meal in itself. Continue reading...
Tags: Food, Christmas, Life and style, Chefs, Jamie Oliver, Santa


Why a digital Christmas goes against our instincts

What can science tell us about our urge to celebrate with loved ones this festive season despitethe dangers?Coronavirus – latest updatesSee all our coronavirus coverageEven at the best of times, Christmas can be a season of contradictory feelings. There is a yearning to enjoy the season of goodwill with our relatives and yet their proximity often creates friction. For many families, it is the only time of year we get to spend together, yet we resent the stress that this creates.The Covid-19 pand...
Tags: Psychology, Family, Science, Biology, Christmas, Life and style, Genetics, Boris Johnson, Patrick Vallance, Coronavirus


Mom’s 2020 Wish List: What to Get Your Mother for Christmas

Within a few months, Christmas will be at the forefront once more. This makes it an ideal time to start early with gift shopping. This way, you can go on and shop before the holiday rush. Avoid the lines and the masses during Black Friday, and when the Christmas Sale hits. Start smart by buying ahead. As you plan, take note of that one special person in mind that was with you since day one. In this case, your mother. We will look at some gift ideas and suggestions for what to get you...
Tags: Black Friday, Fashion, Christmas, Christmas Shopping, Christmas Gifts, Christmas Presents, Gift Ideas, Happy Planner, Holiday Features, Stephanie Fleming


Why It Is Important To Prepare For Big Events

Man, 2020 has presented a great deal of stress and quite a few unexpected challenges. As such, it’s important to celebrate those special occasions – but to prepare for them adequately in order to reduce the risk of contagion. While it might not seem like it quite yet, Christmas will be upon us pretty soon – and it’s important to make arrangements to make sure that you can do all of the things that you normally would, without worrying about the virus. So why might you plan ahead for a bi...
Tags: Fashion, Entertainment, Etsy, Christmas, Events, Christmas Shopping, Event, Event Planning, Christmas Gifts, Planner, Home Life, Big Events


My son swore in front of his grandparents. I was blamed. It made my Christmas

My children had grown up in France, and I was worried about whether they would ever speak English. Then, with two words, all my fears vanishedChristmas 2003 will always live in my memory as the Christmas that turned me off all Christmases, for ever. Almost.We were living then, as now, in Paris, and decided in a moment of madness to undertake a fortnight-long UK tour to showcase our recently recorded greatest hits, namely our son, then nearly three, and our daughter, then seven months. Continue r...
Tags: Europe, Family, UK, France, Christmas, Life and style, World news, Paris, Parents and parenting


Portia’s Christmas Perfumes

Perfume PossePortia’s Christmas Perfumes Hi there Posse. I’m sorry. Got just about nothing much so, I thought we could look at the Christmas Perfumes I wore in sunny, summery Sydney. What I do have is a groaningly full stomach, yes even on Boxing Day… Continue Reading → Perfume PossePortia’s Christmas Perfumes
Tags: Reviews, Style, Holidays, Shopping, Review, Christmas, Summer, Beauty, Sydney, Perfume, Estee Lauder, Fragrance, Samples, Guerlain, Portia, Niki de Saint Phalle


It now seems a miracle my father died on Boxing Day – when all the family could be together

The death of my father last year was surreal and shocking. But it has also left me with a profound gratitude for the peace this time of year offersThis year, I have slipped further into Christmas mania than ever. I have always been the person who wraps their gifts in October and spends the entirety of Christmas Day in homemade reindeer ears, but 2019 has been markedly more intense: I started looking at decorations in early November, organised a four-course potluck dinner with friends as soon as ...
Tags: Macaulay Culkin, Christmas, Life and style, Bereavement


Gay Santa honored for his 30 years of holly, jolly service

After 30-plus years of playing Father Christmas, Leo Treadway is hanging up the Santa suit. Suits plural, actually. And in recognition of his service, Treadway’s outfits will now be featured in the Minnesota Historical Society. Related: 11 times Santa Claus was a total silver fox Treadway, a mental health counselor and an AIDS and gay rights activist, started playing the role of Santa in 1987 when his reddish-blond beard started turning white. He originally wore the same red suit his father wor...
Tags: Minnesota, Minneapolis, Life, Christmas, Lifestyle, Santa Claus, Leo, Santa, Ad Friendly, Queerty, PAUL, Pioneer Press, Minnesota Department of Health, St Nicholas, Treadway, Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome


The Observer Christmas puzzles special: bumper quiz of the year

Test your mettle against our writers’ questions on film, music, politics, theatre and more• Try your hand at the Observer’s literary picture quizWhich of these bestselling novels has not been seen on British stages this year?Life of Pi – Yann MartelThe Line of Beauty – Alan Hollinghurst Grief is the Thing with Feathers – Max Porter Small Island – Andrea LevyA hugely successful revival of Harold Pinter’s Betrayal transferred from the West End to Broadway this year. Tom Hiddleston's casting in the...
Tags: Utah, Books, Music, Florida, Politics, UK, New York, London, Lana Del Rey, Film, Youtube, Theatre, Christmas, Los Angeles, Life and style, UK News



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