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My partner hates Christmas, but it's my favourite time of year

The saying “opposites attract” could have been coined with my husband Dan and me in mind. He’s an accountant who knows which of the nearby garages sells the cheapest petrol. I buy $ 800 handbags. He regularly runs marathons. I often beg off a gym class to stay in and watch something good on TV (with a packet of Tim Tams to hand). Yet despite our differences, we agree on most things. Except for Christmas.  I work from home, which can be isolating, so I love hosting our whole family; for…

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Ed Sheeran set for Christmas number one

Ed Sheeran says he has a “trick up his sleeve” to boost his chances of getting the UK Christmas number one single. The star has put out a new version of his ballad Perfect, with vocals from Beyonce, sending it straight to the top of the charts on Friday. Asked if he wanted to stay there for Christmas, the 26-year-old replied: “I’d be lying if I said no. “I do have one more trick up my sleeve. It’s not like a Beyonce trick, but it’s quite a cool trick.” Without…

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How a minimalist detox could get you ready for a better Christmas

 With Christmas around the corner, Amazon’s entry into the Australian market and the Boxing Day sales on their way, it’s a shopaholic’s trifecta. But before I got click-happy with my credit card, I decided to test my ability to resist the lure of festive shopping.  Over the past month, I’ve taken on the 30-Day Minimalism Game challenge set by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn, AKA The Minimalists – who’ve spent the last five years advising people on how to live meaningfully with less stuff (and will bring their Less is Now tour…

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Christmas Gifts for Foodies

Christmas is around the corner. Have you finalised your shopping list yet? Whether you like to plan ahead or hit the shops hard on Christmas eve, it’s always useful to have an idea before setting out. We’ve put together a helpful Christmas gift guide for friends and family who love to cook, discover new restaurants and of course, eat. If you want to surprise your gourmet friends and family with original or unusual gifts we’ve collated some of the most interesting terms of fun, technology and usefulness. If mastering sous-viding…

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Gwen Stefani wants an enduring Christmas hit like Mariah Carey

Roy Wood may have wished it could be Christmas every day – but Gwen Stefani is actually putting it into practice. The No Doubt singer has spent the last 12 months surrounded by sleigh bells as she worked on her first festive album, recording classics like Let It Snow and Santa Baby in the blazing heat of summer. “Did I put up a Christmas tree in the studio?” laughs the singer. “Not really. I just did it and had fun. “I’ve gone through heartbreak and all that stuff to write…

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Clara Amfo replaces Reggie Yates on Christmas Top of the Pops

BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo is to replace Reggie Yates on BBC One’s Top of the Pops Christmas and New Year specials. Yates stepped down from the shows on Monday after making “ill-considered remarks” in a podcast. He apologised last month for using the phrase “fat Jewish guy” to refer to managers in the music industry. Yates has co-hosted the festive shows with Fearne Cotton since 2004, but his place will now be taken by Amfo, who hosts Radio 1’s mid-morning programme. “I’m so happy and honoured to be…

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