Editor’s Letter – December Issue

Dear Neighbours,

I had good intentions to be super organised for Christmas this year…but with only weeks to go, I am far from being ready! With family scattered all over the country, the realisation of trying to see everyone this side of Christmas is proving to be a logistical nightmare. The visits which have been organised in the coming weeks, have put even more pressure on sourcing the right gift in time. I know that Christmas is the same date every year and I should have learnt my lesson by now… but weeks have once again slipped away and I find myself with lots to do, with very little time. I’m very much putting my faith in Father Christmas to deliver this year!

It’s certainly very easy to get carried away when shopping for Christmas; presents, food, alcohol…it very quickly adds up, but it is important not to start the New Year in financial difficulty because of it; Ann Haldon has financial advice on page 10.

Gifting gadgets this Christmas? Read our technology survival guide on page 14, so you’re not caught out on Christmas Day.

Kate Duggan has advice on achieving a calmer Christmas when dealing with the demands from excitable children, page 18.

If you’ve got guests staying over the festive period, read our interiors feature on creating a comfortable guest room, page 22 and we also have great guest beds on page 28.

Still looking for gift inspiration? We have book and beauty gift recommendations on pages 34 and 36 respectively.

We also have a couple of great recipes – potted smoked salmon, a perfect starter for Christmas Day lunch, page 40; and a twist on mince pies – Christmas Mincemeat Slice, page 52. However, if you’re trying to avoid starting the New Year a few pounds heavier, read our healthier festive food swaps on page 42.

Finally, we have two tickets to see The Full Monty to give away, courtesy of Royal & Derngate Theatre; competition details on page 50.

Wishing you a wonderful Christmas…