CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ADVENT BLOG Friday 11th December 2020
12 RAMBLINGS OF CHRISTMAS
ONLY 14 SLEEPS TO CHRISTMAS
- A CHRISTMAS QUOTE
Christmas is taken very seriously in this household. I believe in Father Christmas, and there’s no way I’d do anything to undermine that belief. – Carol Ann Duffy
- CHRISTMAS FEATURE – 2 Features today – A. DONATE YOUR STAMPS – B. WALL CALENDARS ARE STILL POPULAR
A. Here’s how to turn old stamps back into money
10 charities accepting used postage stamps as donations this Christmas
Not sure what to do with used postage stamps from Christmas cards? Why not spread a little love this season and donate them to charities where they will be turned into much-needed donations.
Stamps are sold by weight, meaning that many charities can turn old ones into funds to help their ongoing work. Simply cut the stamp off the envelope, making sure to leave approximately 1cm of envelope bordering the stamp, and post to the correct address.
With many organisations struggling as a result of the ongoing pandemic, this festive season is set to be harder than ever before — and something as simple as a stamp could be just what they need.
“This Christmas, collect stamps and make a difference to blind and partially sighted people,” the team at RNIB say, while urging people to save their stamps. “We will recycle them into much-needed funds for our services, such as our Letter from Santa in accessible formats for children with vision impairment to help them feel included at Christmas.”
WHERE CAN YOU DONATE STAMPS?
To make a donation, simply head over to your chosen charity and you will find an address. Most charities accept all stamps including new or used, first or second class, foreign, first day covers, presentation packs or albums. Make sure you double-check before posting them.
Not sure which ones to donate to? Some of the charities accepting stamps include:
Kidney Care UK
Stamp out MND
British Hedgehog Preservation Society
Many Tears Animal Rescue
CRY The Leprosy Mission
Batten Disease Family Association
Taken from Country Living Magazine.
B.WALL CALENDARS ARE STILL POPULAR
You wouldn’t think people would buy wall calendars any more.
But in the UK, calendars remain big business. One retailer alone, Calendar Club, expects to sell four million units within the UK this year.
The breakdown of its sales figures offers a fascinating insight into the shopper’s psyche.
Of its customers’ purchases, approximately 25% are of pets and animals, with meerkats, cats, border collies, horses and West Highland terriers among the top sellers.
Around 7% are football-related, while 27% fall loosely under the entertainment category. According to Amazon.co.uk, the current top-selling celebrity calendar is of X Factor-spawned boy band One Direction. Last year’s number one, Sir Cliff, is in second place, followed by Cheryl Cole, Peter Andre and JLS.
2020 – Liverpool FC
2019 – Liverpool FC
2018 – Little Mix
2017 – Manchester United FC
2016 – Justin Bieber
2015 – One Direction
2014 – One Direction
2013 – One Direction
2012 – One Direction
2011 – Justin Bieber
2010 – Twilight: New Moon
2009 – Liverpool FC
2008 – High School Musical
2007 – Liverpool FC
2006 – Liverpool FC
2005 – Johnny Depp
2004 – Kylie Minogue
2003 – Kylie Minogue
2002 – Robbie Williams
2001 – The Far Side Desk
2000 – Charlie Dimmock
I did hear one time that Cliff Richard held the record for selling the most calendars in any one year.
But in my research, I did find this dated 2012:
“One Direction have beaten Cliff Richard’s record as the top-selling celebrity calendar.
Sir Cliff had previously topped calendar sales on Amazon.co.uk every year since the online retailer launched in 1998. However, in 2012 the boy band had doubled his sales in the space of three years.
Xavier Garambois, vice president of EU Retail at Amazon, said in a statement: “Before 2011, no one could get near Cliff Richard at the top of the calendar charts but One Direction’s unrivalled popularity has seen them shoot to the top of the all-time bestsellers list, almost doubling Cliff Richards’s all-time sales in just three years.”
As I enjoy the greeting card industry and really appreciate the art of greeting cards, I also appreciate (although its not mindblowing, the art of wall calendars. No, not the Cliff Richard, One Direction and glamour boy type. But I do appreciate the appeal they have and therefore the profits they make. I like the creativity of putting a calendar together too.
And Christmas is a time of year for calendars.
3. CHRISTMAS MOVIE
4. CHRISTMAS SONG
- Jingle Bell Rock Bobby Helms 2:11
5. CHRISTMAS CHILDREN’S BOOK
THetty Feather’s Christmas (World of Hetty Feather) by Jacqueline Wilson (Author), Nick Sharratt (Illustrator, Designer)
Paperback : 240 pages
Reading level : 9 – 12 years
Publisher : Corgi Childrens
Are you longing for Christmas? Can’t wait to warm yourself by the fireplace, drinking hot cocoa and toasting marshmallows?
Hetty Feather’s festive story is bound to get you in the Christmassy mood!
An unexpected gift leads to trouble for Hetty on Christmas Day at the Foundling Hospital, and the dreaded Matron Bottomly is delighted to have an excuse to exclude Hetty from the festive celebrations.
Poor Hetty is distraught – but just when it seems that all is lost, a dear friend arrives to whisk her away for a Christmas unlike any other . . .
Jacqueline Wilson Annual 2021 (Annuals) by D.C.Thomson & Co Ltd (Author)
The Jacqueline Wilson Annual is back for 2021! This brand-new exclusive activity annual from the best-selling author Jacqueline Wilson contains exclusive interviews and tips from inspirational heroes Jacqueline Wilson and artist Nick Sharratt. With puzzles, flowcharts and quizzes, it’s the perfect buy for children who love to read, write, create and dream!
6. CHRISTMAS CAROL
7. IT’S A CRACKER (CHRISTMAS CRACKER JOKE)
I got a Christmas card full of rice in the post today… I think it was from my Uncle Ben
8. EVERY CHRISTMAS TV TIMES COVER
9. A FAMOUS SCROOGE
10. SOMETHING TO LAUGH ABOUT – A TOP TV CHRISTMAS SPECIAL FROM THE PAST
The League of Gentleman – Yule Never Leave!
UK/Special/2000Aired on BBC
27/12/2000 · Yule Never Leave! Yule Never Leave (or The League of Gentlemen Christmas Special) was the only seasonal special done for TV, it was broadcasted on the 27th of December 2000. The special began a trend of darker stories and no laughter track which carried on into Series 3. Director: Steve Bendelack.
11. NICE LITTLE CHRISTMAS NUMBER (Sorry, these are interesting Christmas facts without Numbers – Who needs Numbers?)
101 Astronomers believe the Star Of Bethlehem, which guided the wisemen to Jesus, may have been a comet or the planet Uranus
102 Boxing Day gets its name from all the money collected in church alms-boxes for the poor.
103 In Greece, Italy, Spain and Germany, workers get a Christmas bonus of one month’s salary by law.
104 Santa Claus’s sleigh is led by nine reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen and Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer. Norwegian scientists have hypothesized that Rudolph’s red nose may be the result of a parasitic infection of his respiratory system.
105 The earliest known Christmas tree decorations were apples.
106 Today, wassail is hot apple cider with honey and spices, but the drink came from the Middle Ages, when it was originally made with wine, ale, or hard cider topped with stale bread or beaten eggs. Neighbors would visit on Christmas Eve and drink to each other’s health (ves heill meant “in good health” in Old Norse).
107 Rudolph the Reindeer was created by the U.S. department store Montgomery Ward to get children to buy Christmas coloring books, however, his nose was not red as they did not want him to appear as a chronic alcoholic.
108 Clement Moore’s poem “Twas the Night Before Christmas” introduced Santa’s eight reindeer named Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, and Cupid, plus Duner and Blixem (German words for thunder and lightning which later evolved into Donner and Blitzen). Although most of the names sound male, they were probably female, as male reindeer shed antlers in winter.
109 1980 – The Rubik Cube, the largest selling Christmas toy in 1980
110 People used to tell scary ghost stories on Christmas Eve a century ago.
12. CHRISTMAS TV ADVERT