Today, the 3rd day of January is the perfect day to think about Christmas. Go look for the memory card and download the photos and videos you took onto your computer – if you haven’t already!

Do you see the pictures? In all cases the same thing happens. First, your family is measured. People smiling, talking… and when hours go on, people are laughing much more and that starts the first lost gazes… Yes! Your family start getting drunk! (And you knew that it was the best moment to ask for money, hehe.)
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When you have seen all the pictures, start remembering the best moments of Christmas. For me, one of the best moments is when you have to buy all the stuff to prepare the table for Christmas Eve. When my mother deals with it, there is not any problem but, of course, all family have to help with the preparations and this year my father and I had to go to the supermarket and the mess came home, we forgot almost everything except the chips and the dessert. My mum had to go to the supermarket again.


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Another favourite moment is when my niece sees the Santa Claus presents. This has an easy explanation and it’s because, at the moment, she is the only child in the family- so all of us are waiting the whole year just for this moment, just to see the happiness in her eyes.


Another great moment is when my cousins and I go out to have a drink and go to the clubs. This year we had breakfast together at 7 a.m. This would repeat at New Year’s Day, when we had the traditional churros with chocolate.

When was your best Christmas moment? Do not be shy, leave a comment!
 
 
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Most people know that leaving their Christmas shopping until the last minute can result in frayed nerves, angry exchanges and a poorer selection of presents. According to loyalty-points company Nectar, it can also result in shoppers paying 50% more than their early-bird counterparts.

The further in advance yuletide gifts are bought, the more options that are available and the greater the savings that can be made. Here are five of the top sites for finding a pre-season bargain.


1. myvouchercodes.co.uk 
This is the UK’s largest voucher site, providing more than 77 printable vouchers and 2,300 discount codes. The site works by searching the net for discount codes, which are mostly from large retailers. Keeping an eye on available vouchers can ensure big savings for those with specific presents in mind, particularly larger Christmas gifts such as sporting or electrical equipment. The site can be navigated alphabetically or section by section. The most popular deals are those highest in the list.

2. hotukdeals.com
This site provides pre-Christmas bargain hunters with a forum to share their discoveries. Visitors can search by category, or specify whether they want a voucher or a deal. Deals are rated by the site’s visitors, with the best appearing at the top of the list. The site is great for Christmas shoppers to slowly and cheaply build their yuletide stockpile.

3. groupon.co.uk
Groupon works on the basis of collective buying power. The company offers a daily deal in one of the participating cities. Inhabitants who are interested in the deal click ‘buy now’ and provide the company with their credit card details. If enough people commit in this way, Groupon takes their money and provides them with a redeemable voucher in return (known as a ‘Groupon’). Groupon is great for finding pre-Christmas deals from small and medium-sized local businesses.

 

4. voucherseeker.co.uk

This is a lovely voucher site to use, with a clear interface and a useful ‘help’ button that explains how to get the most from it. It can be navigated by searching by shop, product or category. Just enter the Christmas gift of your choice in the ‘search’ box and see what’s available.

5. formanandfield.com

Forman & Field are a food mail order company offering a fantastic selection of luxury gifts and hampers. Their Christmas hampers, filled with festive treats, are a great gift idea – find gift hampers here. The site is very easy to navigate, clearly displaying each product. You simply click ‘add to basket’ and then select a delivery day convenient to you. There’s also a choice of gift vouchers.


Resources

The London Word

Guide to buying Christmas presents

Love Money

12 cheap Christmas gift ideas

I Want One of Those

Huge range of Christmas gift ideas for all ages


 
 
_ Planning a fun, memorable and exciting Christmas holiday with the family can be a challenge. Making the most of your time with family over the holidays requires some preparation.  Here are some ideas for family activities at Christmas.




Creating Christmas decorations

Children love to make Christmas decorations. The simple process of creating festive decor gives the children focus and allows them to contribute to the home. Crafts are a great way to spend time with children, teach new skills and let them express their creativity.

Christmas tree

Involve children with decorating the Christmas tree, from buying the Christmas tree to putting the star, fairy or bow on the top. Head to your local craft store and pick up some Christmas craft kits. These include all the materials and instructions needed for easy and successful Christmas tree decorations.

Christmas gifts

Gather your Christmas spirit and allow the children to wrap Christmas presents (obviously if they don’t believe in Santa Claus). Help children create their own Christmas cards and gift tags - whether it’s on the computer or with card, glue and anything that sticks!


_ Family activities at Christmas

The festive season will have lots of activities for families to enjoy together. Grab your coat, hats, mitts and scarves and brave the cold.

Ice skating

Head to the local ice rink for some exhilarating fun on ice! The little kids enjoy the thrill, while they laugh at the big kids attempting to stay up-right!

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Christmas shopping

Giving children a budget to purchase gifts is a great way to get children involved. Many shopping centres and Christmas markets will hold Santa’s Grottos and events to enjoy.

Christmas movie or production

Catch the latest Christmas movie at the cinema or go to the theatres to watch a Christmas production – gather friends and family together for a Christmas outing.

Christmas day

Christmas day is incredibly exciting for children of any age. Ensure the children are attended to, even when the extended family arrive. Christmas dinner is an important tradition of Christmas; however, it is important not to focus too much on the details that you forget to enjoy the day.

Make the children feel important on Christmas day with simple tasks:

•Helping with Christmas dinner

•Arranging the table

•Greeting guests

Time to relax

The Christmas holiday is a time where people reflect on their good fortune, health and family connections. Many of us are so busy with our professional lives, running to and from various activities, that we cannot spend quality time with the family.

Taking an extended Christmas break allows you to relax with the family, especially if children are home from a boarding school England based or elsewhere. The school holidays are important times for children to feel comfortable, at home and connected to the family. Preparation for boarding school includes ensuring the holidays are special, homely and memorable.


_ Resource Box:

Service Parents’ Guide to Boarding Schools

Useful information about starting boarding school, fees and choosing the right boarding school

Boarding Schools Association

Information for parents, students and teachers of boarding schools

Ofsted

Independent and impartial Office for Standards in Education