CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN BLOG Friday 11th December 2020

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN ADVENT BLOG Friday 11th December 2020

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12 RAMBLINGS OF CHRISTMAS

 

ONLY 14 SLEEPS TO CHRISTMAS

 

  1. 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     

  1. 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:

 

Amnesty

Oxfam

RNIB

Parkinson’s UK

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

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) Budget $25m Box Office $71.3m

4.   CHRISTMAS SONG

  1. 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

Silent Night

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

IRN Brew 2007 Christmas TV Advert