The procrastinator’s Christmas gift guide that protects the planet in no time flat

Never too late for a present… Photograph: Alamy It’s 22 December, and if you are among a select group of individuals who like to live dangerously, you have not finished – or even started – your Christmas shopping. Why? I’m willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps you haven’t heard the incessant barrage of pop-revival Christmas carols ... Read More »

Four festive recipes to make your Christmas dinner awesome

FROM colourful salad party cups to traditional Christmas pavlova, cracking out the eggs this festive season can ensure a budget friendly, versatile Christmas Day menu that is sure to please friends and family. Sunny Queen Australia spokesperson Julie Proctor says providing an impressive Christmas feast doesn’t have to break the budget, with every day ingredients like eggs an affordable, healthy ... Read More »

American Items Spread Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa Joy

From artisans across America, you can find decorations and other items that will help celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. Wendell August Forge of Mercer, Pennsylvania, has Christmas covered with hand-wrought metal ornaments and gifts. In operation since 1923, Wendell August is America’s oldest and largest forge. Hampshire Pewter of Somersworth, New Hampshire, is America’s sole manufacturer of hand-cast pewter hollowware. ... Read More »

8 Secrets to Being a Great Regifter (Without Getting Caught)

While a broke midlife college student, I was given a book about great movies of the 20th century. I knew instantly that I’d regift the tome to a close friend who’d reviewed movies for years, because I couldn’t afford to buy her a birthday present. Later my pal gently pointed out something I’d missed: The original giver had inscribed it ... Read More »

How to Make the Most of After-Christmas Clearance Sales

The day after Christmas is a great time to shop, and not just for half-price wrapping paper. Savvy shoppers will be picking up items to use all year long: paper products, candles, non-holiday décor, storage containers, even sheets. This is also a good opportunity to score great deals for your evergreen gift closet. Many of these items are holiday-themed, but ... Read More »

Brunei bans Christmas celebrations in public, including wearing Santa hats

Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, one of the world’s richest men, ordered the introduction of sharia in Brunei last year. Photo: Rohan Thomson Oil-rich Brunei has banned public celebrations of Christmas, including sending festive greetings and the wearing of Santa Claus hats. Muslims seen celebrating Christmas and non-Muslims found to be organising celebrations could face up to five years jail. However the ... Read More »

Commuters Host Epic Christmas Party On The Train To Work

Commuters in Wales staged an awesome Christmas party on a busy rush-hour train ride into work last week. On Friday morning, the group of six travelers hung paper chains across the windows, laid cloths on the tables and tucked into smoked salmon and sausages. The group, which boards the 8:08 a.m. from Abergavenny to Cardiff every week day, also pulled ... Read More » says it can’t guarantee Christmas delivery

Amazon rival’s first holiday sales season has become tangled in shipping delays. The start-up that launched over the summer and aims to undercut giant discounters including Amazon and Walmart has found itself telling customers their orders may not arrive in time for Christmas. A banner placed at the top of Jet’s website last week delivers the blow, alerting customers that Jet, “can no ... Read More »

‘It sucks the joy out of everything’: School bans ‘Hello Kitty’ Christmas tree

Catherine Gordon has had a Christmas tree in her classroom at Bangor High School for 30 years. On Friday, the principal sent her an email ordering her to take down her tiny pink tree. “I cried,” she told me in a telephone interview. “It was awful. It was so sad.” Ms. Gordon said she was told her Hello Kitty-themed Christmas ... Read More »

Warmest Christmas Eve on record to unfold across eastern US

Any hopes of a white Christmas that the weekend chill brought will be dashed in the eastern United States, with this Christmas Eve shaping up to be the warmest on record in many communities. “There is a high probability for record-setting warmth up and down the entire Eastern Seaboard from Florida to Maine [on Christmas Eve],” AccuWeather Meteorologist Rob Englund ... Read More »