Supermarket smoked salmon: the best and worst – taste test

If you’re serving salmon this Christmas, should you play it safe with traditional oak-smoked or take a gamble on maple syrup, seaweed or even whisky and ‘gold’ varieties? We put this year’s supermarket offerings to the test. Smoked salmon: a Christmas cracker or a slippery customer? Photograph: NightAndDayImages/Getty Images Be it in a roulade, with blinis, partnering scrambled eggs or ... Read More »

13 times a trip to visit Father Christmas went horribly wrong – and the photos are adorable

That’s an actual scream Christmas is fast approaching and Santa Claus is busy meeting and greeting in shopping centres across the UK to find out what his elves will be making this year. But while many kids can’t contain their excitement about visiting the old guy for a quick chin wag, it can be quite a terrifying experience for babies ... Read More »

Christmas crafts: 13 mums’ top tips for festive decorations and gifts to make with the kids

On a budget this Christmas? Try making your own decorations – it’s much more fun! The countdown to Christmas has begun and we’re all searching for ways to get into the festive spirit. If you’ve got little ones then making your own Christmas decs or gifts can be a really lovely way to spend an afternoon And if you’re feeling ... Read More »

Modern tribes: the Christmas cook

Your turn to cook? Christmas dinner looks daunting but relax, people exaggerate. Simply follow my stress-free festive countdown and rediscover the true meaning of Christmas! Christmas Eve 9pm Pop turkey in barrel of treacle. 9.15pm Bring in lobsters and use this quiet time to kill. 9.43pm Curate stockings. 10.15pm Assemble stuffings, one trad, one contemporary – this year I’m loving ... Read More »

Christmas isn’t baby friendly – though I see an upside to the festivities

‘Taking our son to see the shopping-centre Father Christmas was a disaster.’ Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images They say Christmas is a time for children, but I wouldn’t know about that. Because I don’t have children. I have a 10-and-a-half-month-old boy. And Christmas is absolutely not a time for 10-and-a-half-month-old boys. We’re slowly coming to realise that Christmas – and its ... Read More »

Festive fan has celebrated Christmas EVERY DAY for the last 22 years at a cost of £2MILLION

Festive fanatic: Andy Parks aka Mr Christmas Festive nut Andy Park has ­celebrated Christmas EVERY DAY for the past 22 years and it’s finally driven him crackers. He stuffs himself daily with 25 mince pies and a full turkey, watches the Queen’s Speech religiously at 3pm every afternoon, then opens prezzies he has sent himself after pulling crackers. Forty of ... Read More »

Last minute Christmas stocking fillers for her under £20

Last minute gift ideas to put a smile on their face this year Looking for last-minute stocking fillers for the special lady in your life? Here are a few festive favourites, which won’t blow your budget and still put a smile on her face. 1. Festive token, from a £1, Poundland Do your bit and pop this charitable token into ... Read More »

Rich pickings: Yotam Ottolenghi’s recipes for an indulgent Christmas

Yotam Ottolenghi’s French onion soup gratin. Photograph: Louise Hagger for the Guardian. Food styling: Emily Kydd. Acouple of weeks ago, in Weekend’s winter food special, I argued that this Christmas we should let vegetables rule the roost. But if you’d rather have a bit of everything on the table, it’s fun to set those virtuous plates alongside others that are ... Read More »

Wines to treat yourself with over Christmas

Mistletoe and wine: pour yourself something memorable this Christmas? Photograph: Paul Harding/PA David Williams Sunday 20 December 2015 05.59 GMT Corney & Barrow Côtes du Rhône, France 2011(£9.50, Corney & Barrow) After last week’s bargain festive bottles, I’m setting my sights a little higher, with Christmas dinner wines from around £10 right up to serious splash-out territory. At £10, posh independent ... Read More »

Here’s a really easy way to make sure you don’t pile on the pounds this Christmas

Dr Miriam: Try bite counting to lose weight at Christmas No one wants to start counting calories with the festive season upon us. Counting calories is boring, right? Well, how about counting bites instead. No, I’m serious. It could work – and especially over Christmas and New Year. It’s scientifically accepted that to lose weight , we must consume fewer ... Read More »