5 Christmas traditions explained

by Stewart 20. November 2013 02:48

From romancing under the mistletoe to throwing tinsel onto a tree there are a lot of Christmas traditions that we take for granted.
 
Here are our five favourite traditions explained:
 
1. Kissing under the mistletoe
Mistletoe has been special for centuries and puckering up for a kiss at Christmas time is a popular tradition in many parts of the world.
 
Kissing under the mistletoe was originally believed to lead to marriage so if you’ve got your eye on someone then the festive period is the perfect time to move in for a peck.

 
2. Leaving food out for Santa
This wonderful tradition is linked to the ancient Northern European tradition of leaving a food sacrifice for protective house spirits.
 
Nowadays we leave food out to see if Santa exists and every year it disappears by Christmas morning proving that he is real!

 
3. Bringing a tree indoors
Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, brought a Christmas tree home from Germany in 1841 and when the royal family were illustrated in a newspaper standing around it they became instantly popular.

4. Serving a cake in the shape of a log
It is traditional to light a special Yule log on Christmas Eve every year and keep it burning though the twelve nights of Christmas.
 
From this the log shaped chocolate cake was born and these days most people think of dessert when someone mentions the Yule log.

5. Presents in a stocking
The story goes that the original Saint Nicholas left gold coins in the stockings of three poor sisters when they had gone to bed leaving their stockings to dry at the fireplace.
 
Since then we have continued the tradition of hanging up stockings on Christmas Eve and waking to find them filled with presents!

 
If you’d like to lay on some luxury food for Santa then have a look at our Christmas Food Hampers page. 

 

 

Christmas gifts for co-workers you don't know

by Stewart 12. October 2013 00:23

Ever been faced with the potentially awkward situation of gifting to a co-worker you don’t know very well, if at all?

Whether you’re taking part in a secret Santa or required to buy gifts on behalf of a more senior member of staff, purchasing for someone you’ve never met can be an exciting challenge.

Here are our five favourite tips to make the seemingly unachievable, achievable:

1. Consider Etiquette

Ethical, cultural and religious persuasions are worth bearing in mind when purchasing a gift.

Politically charged or potentially controversial gifts are a no-no; it pays to err on the side of caution when buying for someone you may not know.

2. Avoid a gift card or voucher

Nothing screams ‘I didn’t know what to get you’ like a gift voucher. Although it may be tempting, gift cards aren’t memorable gifts.

What’s more, your recipient will be able to put an immediate monetary amount on their Christmas gift and how much you value them as well.

3. Stay away from smellies

A handmade bar of soap or luxury body wash might be the perfect present for a friend but for someone with sensitive skin or allergies, skincare items are best avoided; unless you can speak to someone who knows the recipient and is able to recommend their favourite perfume.

In which case you’re onto a winner!

4. The gift of giving

Having something to share – such as chocolates – can be a fantastic ice breaker in a social situation.

If your recipient is opening their gifts with others, why not consider a present that can be shared with the group?

A gift bag full of foodie treats is a fail safe and memorable way to delight your recipient and their friends.

5. Homemade charm

If you have the time to do so, a homemade gift is one way of going the extra mile. 

How about buying a coffee mug, popping in a bag of artisan coffee and making your own ‘coffee spoons’ – wooden spoons dipped in chocolate and rolled in chopped nuts and sprinkles?

Still stuck for ideas? Our selection of staff Christmas hampers are a fantastic gift for recipients you have yet to meet as well as those you know well.

30 Top Christmas Cooking Tips

by Stewart 4. May 2013 01:59

From tips on making a cheap but elegant cheeseboard to turning Christmas day leftovers into a first class meal, this little gem has some of the top chefs divulging their tricks of the trade to make Christmas dinner easier and most importantly tastier.

Click here for 30 Christmas Cooking Tips from the worlds best chiefs.

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