Every year, for the past few years, I’ve invested a lot of time and thought into my son Freddy’s ‘Elf on the shelf’. I’ve prided myself on my creative ideas, leaving the elf in a mess of toilet roll, or toothpaste. But being creative is getting tougher, especially when all the ideas are my own. This year, however, I can’t seem to find the little rascal in the loft. It’s literally vanished. After concluding that it really must be magic, I ask my mum to drive over so I can take a late-night dash to Tesco to pick up a new house intruder – and it is rubbed in flour and ‘baking some cookies’ before 7am. The Christmas magic is just about maintained.
Freddy wants a real Christmas tree, an experience that promptly reminds me of my lack of spatial awareness. First, I have to ram it in the car (my little Suzuki Ignis), which is like trying to cram a turkey into a microwave, before I realise it’s even bigger out of the car and fills the best half of the lounge. Of course, lugging a Christmas tree around would be much easier with the help of a partner, but I manage and Freddy is chuffed. He calls our hulk of a tree ‘Bruce the Spruce’. I fear Bruce is already dropping his needles and won’t be great friends with the Hoover in a few weeks!
I make great plans every year to start my Christmas shopping early – in September, in fact. Instead, I do nothing and, now, with weeks to go, the shops are busy and bargains have already been snapped up. I make my way to the high street and throw myself into the hustle and bustle of shoppers. After just an hour, I’m stressed, and with no purchases to show for it.
Continue reading your story on the app
Continue reading your story in the magazine
3 easy ways to...change your attitude towards managing money
Financial psychologist Kim Stephenson has worked with Mortgage Advice Bureau to give his tips on how to improve how you feel about your finances
‘IT'S LIKE HE DISAPPEARS'
She’s had the toughest few years of her life, and although her career continues to flourish, Kate Garraway admits the pain is ever-present
‘I THOUGHT MY CAREER WOULD BE OVER BY NOW!'
After 30 years on our screens, Davina McCall is busier than ever
THE MOMENT THAT MADE ME SLIM
Humiliation and terrifying truths led Claire Kelly, 48, to make a big decision
WHEN FRIENDS BECOME FAMILY
Fifi Donnison, 44, got through the toughest times thanks to some very special people
WE GOT MARRIED ON ZOOM!
Thousands of miles and a pandemic couldn’t stop Verné Bingham, 39, from saying ‘I do’
COULD YOU GO BOOZE FREE FOR A MONTH?
Jennifer Packer, 38, noticed the impact her nightly glass of red wine and weekend G&Ts were having on her skin. So she went teetotal for 28 days
I WAS TOLD DIET OR DIE
A terrifying warning pushed Sarah Priddice, 36, to undergo a 23st transformation
A HOLLYWOOD WAX? NEVER AGAIN!
When Anna Fallows, 42, decided to try something new, she was in for a mortifying surprise
Should inmates be given phones?
Offenders who maintain family ties are nearly 40 per cent less likely to turn back to crime, according to the Ministry of Justice. With secure mobiles being rolled out in prisons, we ask...
CAIT'S HATE FOR ELLEN!
Wanted K-clan to boycott show
SENDING UP A FLARE
Sedulous tone maverick explains how simply recording big, hairy, gnarly guitar riffs into his iPhone became his “life raft for sanity,” getting him out of his bunker, forging new connections and birthing a creative oasis amid the chaos
How I Wrote…“Keith Don't Go”
Nils Lofgren reveals the roots of his 1975 ode to Keef.
Awe and Wonder
As a child living in central Illinois, Bruce Cascia was given a Brownie camera by his father. The simple cameras were barely more than a box with a lens and a shutter release. They held film—“Two and-quarter by two-and-a-quarter,” Cascia recalls—but there was little room for bells and whistles.
Inside Their Worlds
Lawes was the Grand Prize award winner in International Artist magazine’s Challenge No. 123, Wildlife.
BRUCE PUSHES DEMI INTO TRAVOLTA'S ARMS!
Old crushes reignite for celeb singles
THE BEST ONLINE MARKETPLACES FOR SELLING YOUR USED DEVICES
THESE DAYS YOU’RE NOT LIMITED TO ONLY EBAY OR CRAIGSLIST THOUGH THOSE ARE STILL RIGHTFULLY POPULAR.
FREDDY BARRON'S FREEWHEELER TRIKE
John “Freddy” Barron of Unadilla, Georgia, has always loved Harley- Davidson motorcycles. Now at over 80 years of age, this former paratrooper with the famous 82nd Airborne Division decided to let Tifton Harley in Tifton, Georgia, customize his Harley Freewheeler trike. Freddy purchased the trike new from the dealership back in 2018.
model/actor/Taekwondo World Gold Medallist - Silvio Simac
It’s always up to you to decide who you want to be, and set out with determinations and plans to achieve your goals. Silvio doesn’t just know how to build the strength, the intelligence, and the important connections with those in the business, he also knows how to use those abilities to help others.
LIFE ON MARS?
NASA’S PERSEVERANCE HAS BREATHED NEW LIFE INTO THE IDEA OF HUMAN LIFE ON THE RED PLANET