Christmas

Breaking tradition: Royals bypass Sandringham get-together

It's light-hearted moments where the Royals come together to play board games or exchange gifts and more formal ones dictated by extremely strict protocols developed over decades.

For those lucky enough to make the list, it means having up to seven outfits ready for Christmas Day alone - and that doesn't include a pair of stretchy pants for dinner.

But after a year plagued by coronavirus, lockdowns and scandal, it appears Christmas will be a much more toned-down affair with everyone spending the holiday apart.

Pasifika families miss out celebrating Xmas together

For many families, it's an annual tradition to travel to the islands to see their families and re-connect with their culture, and for others it is a long awaited holiday away from New Zealand.

Kaumosi Opie, aged 34, visited Tuvalu last year for the first time since she moved to New Zealand as a 9 year old.

It was at that trip where her and her sister decided they will make it a tradition to visit Tuvalu every Christmas.

Young mom wins Digicel promo

Wani, a cashier who works at Eriku in Lae, is the lucky winner of K1,000 on November 27th with Digicel’s Christmas daily cash and prize giveaways.

The excited mother of one said: “Displa mani em blo pikinini blo mi (this money will be for my son). Mi bai kisim go lo kisim wanem kain presen em laikim lo em.” (I will get him whatever present he wants.)

Meghan Markle joins royals for Christmas service

The couple arrived at a carol service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham along with the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

The Queen returned after missing last year's service due to a heavy cold.

Princes Philip and Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall also attended, along with other members of the family.

After the service, Ms Markle joined members of the family in greeting the crowds - some of whom had been waiting outside since 05:00 GMT.

Want to avoid looking like Santa this festive season? Here are some ways to avoid a holiday blowout

It's no wonder the festive season is a peak time for weight gain many of us spend the entire year ahead trying to reverse.

The Christmas Story

Long ago, about 2000 years, when King Herod ruled Judea (now part of Israel), God sent the angel Gabriel to a young woman who lived in the northern town of Nazareth. The girl's name was Mary and she was engaged to marry Joseph.

The angel Gabriel said to Mary: 'Peace be with you! God has blessed you and is pleased with you.' Mary was very surprised by this and wondered what the angel meant.

Origination of the Christmas Candy Canes

A story says that a choirmaster, in 1670, was worried about the children sitting quietly all through the long Christmas nativity service. So he gave them something to eat to keep them quiet! As he wanted to remind them of Christmas, he made them into a 'J' shape like a shepherds crook, to remind them of the shepherds that visited the baby Jesus at the first christmas. However, the earliest records of 'candy canes' comes from over 200 years later, so the story, although rather nice, probably isn't true!

The 10 worst Christmas songs of all time

We all have our favourite Christmas songs, from Mariah Carey to the one where the lady is on a drip.

But Christmas also inflicts on the listening public an annual barrage of aural abominations that could make Frosty the Snowman take a sauna. They're appalling, but Christmas wouldn't be the same without them.

Here are the definitive Ten Worst Christmas Songs of All Time.

Aussie Jingle Bells

9 ways to escape Christmas

Christmas can be a nightmare.

Logic dictates that putting these two negatives together should make a positive.

And so it proves.

Plan wisely, packing your bags while everyone else is stuffing their stockings, and you can steer clear of the orgy of soulless materialism that some say Christmas has become.

Just don't expect to get any presents.

Or be surprised when your traveling companion introduces himself as "Mr. Scrooge."

1. Go to Zealand

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'Tis the season to feel stressed

There are five more sleeps until Christmas Day, and for many people there's still a lot of preparation to get done.

Experts say often Christmas stress is self-created as people try to make the day perfect, or set unrealistic standards for themselves.

Federation of Family Budgeting Services chief executive Raewyn Fox said stress mounted in the week before Christmas as people bought last-minute items that were often more expensive than planned.