Santa

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The best way to explore the north of Lanzarote is by bike, which you can borrow from the club. Pack a picnic and some sun cream and let the meandering roads dotted with small villages charm you

Friends react oddly when you explain that your much-anticipated getaway entails four days in an activity and fitness resort on an island. The island p(...)

Workers pick orders at the PC World and Carphone Warehouse distribution centre in Newark, Britain. Parent company Dixons Carphone has outlined plans to keep its shelves stocked in the event of a no-deal Brexit. Photograph: Reuters/Darren Staples

Barely a day goes by now without at least one large UK retailer or manufacturer assuring customers – and the City – that it will have sufficient suppl(...)

It’s time to clear out and tidy up.

This weekend heralds the busiest time in the clutter-clearing calendar, when homeowners who didn’t get their act together to do a pre-Christmas clear-(...)

Mavis Ramazani and her daughter (7) have just spent their third Christmas in direct provision. Photograph: Alan Betson

This week Mavis Ramazani and her daughter spent their third Christmas in direct provision. In previous years they visited friends outside the centre o(...)

Smoke rises near the city of Catania during an eruption of the Mount Etna, one of the most active volcanoes in the world on December 24th, 2018. Photograph: Getty

An earthquake with a magnitude of 4.8 hit an area north of Catania on the slopes of Mount Etna in Sicily early on Wednesday, damaging buildings and in(...)

Christmas morning swim at the Forty Foot, Sandycove, Dublin. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill / The Irish Times

Thousands of festive swimmers have taken the plunge at Christmas Day dips all over the island of Ireland. The increasingly popular seasonal tradition(...)

Serene Ibraheem (4) and her mother Raneem, from Syria, in St Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dublin. They have been living in Ireland since 2015. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill/The Irish Times

On November 10th, 2018, Serene Ibraheem was sitting in the back seat of the family car when she heard a familiar language on the radio. The vehicle wa(...)

Nathan Slattery (10 months) from Blackhall Place, Dublin 7,  gets to grips with a toy Santa while shopping on Henry Street. Photograph: Frank Miller

The worst of it, surely, is over. The weeks – or was it months? – of frenzied shops and crazy traffic. The braindeadening cheesy muzak and the nerve-(...)

Children pose for photos as a diver dressed as Santa Claus performs at COEX aquarium in Seoul. Photograph: Ed Jones/AFP/Getty Images
In a Word . . . Unseen

“Dear Editor, “I am 8 years old. Some of my friends say there is no Santa Claus. Please tell me the honest truth, is there a Santa Claus?” Virginia O’(...)

Tanya Sweeney: “I might get away with a non-Christmas or two in the coming years, but after that, I’ve been assured that the festive season becomes hard work.” Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

Of the jumble of memories from childhood, it’s the tinsel-covered ones that seem to stand out. There was the time I nearly broke my back when I cart-w(...)

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