Christmas Day 2021 – Last minute shopping, TV schedules, and tree & jumper ideas with big day less than 2 weeks away

CHRISTMAS is coming and the goose is getting fat – so let's get in the spirit of the season!

It only comes round once a year, but the holiday season will see many of us unite with family, open presents together and eat and drink all we can before falling asleep in front of a blockbuster.

And that's where The Sun comes in to help!

Wondering where to get that last minute gift online? Check. Want to know the best gossip and schedules for Christmas specials on the TV? Double check. And are you looking for more festive cheer than a box of jumping reindeer? Of course you are!

Read our Christmas Day live blog for all the latest Yuletide festivities and info…

  • Joseph Gamp

    What is a manger?

    A manger is common place in a nativity play, being the make-shift crib the baby Jesus was laid in after he was born.

    But a manger is actually a long wooden trough from which animals drink.

    “When the child Jesus was born, his mother Mary laid him in a manger” (Luke 2:7).

    Mangers were found wherever livestock were kept – in this case the stable Mary and Joseph slept in for the night.

    Having no facilities available in the stable, Mary would have had to make do with the tools she had, laying the baby Jesus in a manger with a soft bed of hay rather than the cold floor of a stable.

    The manger has now become a major spiritual symbol.

    Animals go to the manger for physical food, but with Jesus lying on the hay, we can go to the manger for spiritual food.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Where is Bethlehem?

    Bethlehem is the birthplace of Jesus, and therefore a holy site to Christians all around the world, but where exactly is this sacred city?

    The Palestine city is located just five miles south of Jerusalem in Israel.

    The Bible cites that about 2,000 years ago an angel named Gabriel approached a young Jewish woman called Mary and told her she would give birth to the son of God.

    Mary and her husband-to-be, Joseph, lived in a town called Nazareth but had to travel to Bethlehem to register for a census ordered by the Roman emperor, Caesar Augustus.

    The pair took several days to walk the 65 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Why is Christmas Day on December 25?

    Christmas Day is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, but there is actually no official date of the birth recorded in the Bible.

    By the early-to-mid fourth century the Western Christian Church placed Christmas Day on December 25.

    It is thought that date was chosen as it is exactly nine months after the Christians believe Jesus was immaculately conceived, on March 25.

    December 25 might have also been chosen because of the winter solstice – the shortest day of the year.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Hyde Park Winter Wonderland revellers demand refunds

    FESTIVE revellers at London's Winter Wonderland have been left fuming after skating on an ice rink that was "more like a swimming pool".

    Scores of visitors who forked out more than £15 each for a go have been demanding refunds following severe flooding at the Christmas attraction.

    One disappointed guest even claimed to have been forced to "wade through water" by the end of their 50-minute slot.

    They wrote on social media: "Just been ice skating at Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland and the only way I can describe it is that I went swimming.

    "Was wading through the water at the end."

    Another shared footage of huge pools of water building up on the dirty ice, summing up her experience as "swim don't skate".

    Aysha Alice added: "We could feel the ridges on the bottom. Obviously wasn't being kept cold."

    A third agreed, commenting: "I went to skate not swim," while a fourth said: "It's called water skating."

  • Joseph Gamp

    12 Best alcohol Christmas gifts 2021

    CHRISTMAS is known for its festive tipples, from mulled wine to eggnog.

    It's also the time of year to surprise a special person with one of the best alcohol Christmas gifts, no matter what spirit or drinks they enjoy.

    One cheerful – and affordable – way to give an alcohol Christmas gift this season is with an alcohol-filled bauble.

    These are especially popular with gin, but you can also find whisky-filled baubles, too.

    Another festive way to cleverly give the gift of alcohol is with a snow globe bottle, or alcohol-filled Christmas crackers.

    For a gift to treasure, think about a collector's bottle of wine, fizz or another preferred spirit.

    These are not only limited-edition – often designed exclusively in collaboration with artists – but have the added bonus of being bottles the recipient will want to hold onto and display, long after the drink inside is gone.

    Read more here.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Santa can FaceTime your kids this Xmas

    Virgin Media will be providing a free virtual grotto experience on the three weekends running up to Christmas day.

    Unfortunately, the ballot to join one of those free calls is closed so if you didn't enter or didn't win a place you may want to consider other options. is one such website that allows you to set up a private video call with the man himself. The 10-minute calls start at £24.99 and the price depends on when you want the call to be.

    Wonder Adventures is another company hosting live 'Santa comes to tea' virtual experiences for £12.99. These take place via Facebook private groups and can involve other families you may not know.

    Santa's Lapland, which usually arranges trips to meet Santa in a snowy setting, is also 10-minute video calls to Lapland. Prices start from a fairly expensive £85.

  • Joseph Gamp

    Byron launches the Jingle Bun Burger with Guinness

    WE all love a Christmas sandwich, but what about a Christmas burger? And Byron's looks incredible.

    A must for Guiness fans, this year's festive burger looks delicious – and there's Bailey's milkshakes too!

    This year, Byron's festive burger is a must try for foodies, and to get the party started it's all about boozy burgers and merry milkshakes.

    Available to eat in, and order through Deliveroo here, the Byron X Guiness Jingle Buns Burger is available for a month from November 25, so don't miss out.

    Guinness have partnered with Byron to create the one of a kind burger, the Byron X Guinness Jingle Buns Burger.

    The special festive burger consists of a"6oz patty, consisting of a blend of four 100% prime Aberdeen Angus cuts – flank, chuck, brisket and short rib", which is "then topped with a Guinness paste, deep fried onion ring, bacon, crisp lettuce, blue cheese…and for the pièce de résistance a sweet and tangy Christmas caramelised onion chutney, all encased in a glazed brioche bun!"

    • Order Byron on Deliveroo – click here

    UK ODDS-ON for White Christmas

    THE UK IS ODDS-ON FOR A White Christmas, according to the latest odds from Ladbrokes.

    The bookies now make it just a 1/3 shot for snow to fall anywhere in the UK on Christmas Day, with 5/1 on offer for Londoners to see the white stuff.

    Elsewhere, Edinburgh remains the most likely city to see snow at 5/2, with Birmingham and Newcastle being 3/1 apiece in the betting.

    Alex Apati of Ladbrokes said: "It looks as though White Christmas punters look set to get their wish this year, with plenty of cities up and down the UK bracing themselves for a battering of the white stuff."

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