Are you hoping to find a home away from home for spending a special cosy Christmas in? There are plenty of choices for an idyllic Christmas getaway without jetting off to a sunny beach on an expensive holiday abroad. Check out these options for some of the possible Christmas getaways in the UK.
Christmas is one of the busiest times for the postal service, but even the Post Office has to close over Christmas. One thing we know for sure is that there will be no deliveries or collections on Christmas Day or Boxing Day. Otherwise, the Post Office Christmas and New Year opening times can vary.
Just as benefit payment dates are affected by the bank holidays at Christmas and New Year, so are Jobcentre opening hours. Over the Christmas holidays, Jobcentre Plus offices will either be closed or have restricted operations on certain days. Check below to find out when Jobcentres will be open or closed.
Seasonal workers do not work all year round, but rather have a cycle of work in a particular season. For example, picking fruit and vegetables in summer or autumn is a popular seasonal job. Christmas is a busy time of year for lots of industries, so this is also a popular time for seasonal workers to find jobs. However, tax liability can be confusing when you are working a temporary job. Read this guide to find out whether Christmas workers have to pay tax.
Christmas came early for Costa customers when the nation’s biggest coffee shop chain introduced their 2019 festive menu on 1st November. The iconic Christmas cup designs are back, along with limited-edition premium drinks and showstopping seasonal snacks. Check out the full range of products and their prices below to find your new favourite festive treats for winter 2019.
Less than 1% of the 3 billion disposable coffee cups used every year in the UK are recycled. The single-use cups are difficult to recycle due to a lining of polyethylene, so these throw-away paper coffee cups are contributing to the high levels of waste that have a harmful effect on the environment. To cut down on waste without cutting out your daily caffeine dose, swap to a reusable coffee cup. This guide will help you to find the best reusable cup.
One of the most fun (and equally the most stressful) parts of Christmas is shopping for presents. However, people are often so busy figuring out what to buy for everyone else that they forget to think about what they actually want. Wishlists might seem presumptuous, old-fashioned, or even childish, but creating a wishlist is a great way to help people out if they’re struggling to find a gift for you. Even if people don’t get you the exact items on your list, it will give them an idea of the kind of things you’d like. This will help to avoid unpleasant surprises or the awkwardness of asking for a receipt.
How to Make a Christmas List
Most people turn to online shopping these days, so it makes sense to create your Christmas wishlist online too. This also makes it easier to circulate to your family and friends, or post on social media to give them a more passive hint. There are plenty of handy websites that you can use to make a wishlist. If you can find most of the things that you want on Amazon, you might find it easier to just make an Amazon wishlist. However, if your gift ideas range across multiple retailers, then a website that can compile all of the sources in one place is best. There are lots of free sites like Giftster, Gifthero, Things to Get Me, and Addwish. There are also sites for Secret Santa such as Elfster.
What to Ask For for Christmas 2019
Once you’ve chosen the platform to record your Christmas wishlist, you need to decide which gift ideas to add. It’s not cheeky to compile a list of things that you would actually want to receive, especially if you will use them a lot. It saves other people from wasting money and yourself from wasting valuable storage space when you get a present that you don’t want and won’t get any use out of. Christmas, like your birthday, is a chance to get a bunch of things that you’ve had your eye on for a while but couldn’t afford yet. You’re doing everyone a favour by listing what you really want.
If you need a practical item for everyday use but haven’t been able to invest in the purchase yet, let someone else treat you to it. Maybe you need a new watch or alarm clock, a new pair of headphones or a new bag. Do you need a pair of fancy shoes for special occasions? Is your kettle or toaster kaput? If there’s anything that might seem too boring to spend your own money on, let somebody else do it! It might be less exciting, but you’ll definitely use it.
Christmas is the peak occasion for novelty gift-giving, especially for Secret Santa operations. People aren’t going to find it too weird if you add a quirky item to your Christmas wishlist. If money is tight for you and there’s some shiny cool gadget that you really want but don’t actually need and you can’t justify buying, then it could make a great gift for somebody else to get you. It could be the perfect opportunity to get that silly board game, mini robot, plush cushion, underwater lights, or ice cream/popcorn/candyfloss maker.
Beauty gifts are popular at Christmas, and they are also practical in some cases. For example, if you need a literal make-up case, or if your hairdryer or styling equipment could do with a replacement or upgrade. A top-up of your favourite perfume or aftershave surely won’t go amiss, or a skincare set to fight off dry skin and chapped lips this winter. Again, you might have had your eye on something cool but too expensive, like a fancy make-up brush set or a designer brand product. If it’s in a friend’s budget, why not?
Christmas exemplifies some of the best things about winter: wrapping up warm and getting cosy indoors. Scarves, throws, and socks might seem like boring gift ideas, but you will always need them and they’ll always come in handy. Some fluffy slippers or your favourite scented candle will make you feel so much comfier when you’re snuggling in on a winter evening with a cup of hot chocolate and marshmallows.
Speaking of hot chocolate and marshmallows, food-related gifts are also a staple at Christmas. You don’t have to feel greedy for asking for a bulk pack of your favourite snack or sweet treat. If you regularly drink coffee or tea, or you appreciate a particular type of liquor, then ask someone to treat you to a stash of your favourite drink. If you enjoy preparing food yourself, then add a handy kitchen tool to your wishlist, such as a pastry cutter or a vegetable dicer. Or you can ask for a cookbook if you want some new recipes to try out.
Having a hobby can be very rewarding as an individual, but there are often associated costs with keeping it up. Whether you’re a serial knitter, a fitness fanatic, or always listening to music, you can ask people to buy gifts which relate to your hobby. This could be a yoga mat or fitness tracker, speakers or vinyl records, or crafting materials. You can even use Christmas as a chance to motivate yourself to start a whole new hobby. Why not ask for a gift that relates to something that you always wanted to try but never got around to?
The uncertainty surrounding Brexit has been rocking the boat for business owners and their workers across most sectors. The new deadline for Brexit is rapidly approaching, without a deal in place. Brexit is going to cause some problems regardless, but a no-deal Brexit could be truly chaotic. Whatever happens, it is important for businesses to make appropriate preparations for Brexit. Small to medium enterprises may be hit the hardest if they don’t.
Last week, Amazon made several exciting announcements about the latest updates and expansion plans for its AI personal assistant Amazon Alexa. It involves plenty of new hardware and updates to the existing devices in the Amazon Echo range. Some of them will be available in time for Christmas.
The UK headquarters of international company Whirlpool were the victims of suspected arson last week, resulting in up to £2 million worth of damage.
Who is Whirlpool and what happened at their HQ?
Whirlpool is an international group which owns many home appliance manufacturer brands. This includes Indesit and market leader Hotpoint. The UK headquarters for these brands are all at the Whirlpool head office, located in Peterborough. Unfortunately, a blaze spread across 48 trailers parked by the factory on the evening of 29th August. It took around 55 firefighters over 3 hours to tame the fire. Plumes of black smoke were visible from miles away as the lorry trailers burned. Apparently, they contained appliance parts, and despite the extensive damage on the property, nobody was injured. Ironically, Whirlpool is involved in an ongoing scandal concerning unsafe appliances which can cause fires.
What have Peterborough residents said about the Whirlpool fire?
Witnesses in the area described hearing explosions from the site and a disgusting smell as ash fell from the sky from billowing clouds of black smoke. Police established a cordon and evacuated the immediate area. Nobody was hurt, but the emergency services advised residents to keep their doors and windows closed because of the smoke and ash in the air. There were temporary road closures on the surrounding roads, but they have since re-opened. The Whirlpool offices were still open for business.
What have firefighters and police said about the Whirlpool fire?
Karl Bowden, the group commander for the Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, described the burnt lorry trailers as containing parts for fridges and washing machines and fridges. They were gutted by the fire by the time the firefighters got the blaze under control, causing millions of pounds worth of damage. Emergency services stayed at the site overnight to keep inspecting it for hotspots. The explosions that witnesses described hearing were tyres popping off the rims on the burning lorries. Following the blaze, police have arrested 5 teenagers as part of their investigation into its cause. The 15-19-year-olds have either been bailed or released subject to further inquiries.
What has Whirlpool said about the fire?
A spokesperson for Whirlpool made a statement regarding the incident. They confirmed that nobody was injured in the fire and it did not damage any of the actual buildings on the site. Operations will continue as normal for the 1,000 Whirlpool employees who work at the headquarters. Whirlpool offered their thanks to the emergency services who handled the blaze and apologies to the local residents who were inconvenienced by the disruption. They specified that 52 out of 110 of the heavy-goods vehicle trailers parked on the Whirlpool site were affected by the fire, which is almost half of them.