Christmas Gift Ideas For Sun Worshippers

For some people, a perfect Christmas is one spent a thousand miles away from the cold, crisp winter. Their idea of Christmas is basking on a beach in the scorching sun, recharging the batteries and the Vitamin D levels with heat, relaxation and blissful contentment.

My late mother-in-law was one of those people, usually jetting off around December 23rd to her favourite hotel in Fuerteventura, for a Christmas break that involved topping up the tan, eatiing fine food and drinking cocktails, with palm trees rather than Christmas trees the order of the day. This did make Rita a hard person to buy for, in the days before widespread online shopping it wasn’t that easy to get a Tankini in winter, let alone pick up a cool beach bag or a sundress. Thankfully today that is no longer the case, so you can get your sun worshipping friends and family the gifts they will truly appreciate.

Swimwear

New swimwear is always a must when you are going on holiday, and for a Christmas holiday I think it is the equivalent of wearing new PJs on Christmas Eve. Brands like Simply Beach sell swimwear all year around so you can pick something that really suits, rather than making do with what your local sports shop has left.

Hand Luggage Only?

If you know someone who likes to avoid all those airport baggage queues by traveling light, a gift from Cabin Zero could be a great and much appreciated option. Cabin Zero are almost like the Mary Poppins bags of the travel world, very lightweight, the right size for the overhead locker, and able to carry pretty much all of your beach needs. You can read my review here.

Travel Suntan Kits

Christmas is actually the perfect time of the year to get some luxurious suntan lotion sets which make a lovely, thoughtful Christmas present for someone about to take a sunshine break. Clarins may not be a brand that they usually use, but well worth splashing out on as a Christmas gift.

Sundresses

You’d think these would be the Holy Grail of a Christmas gift, but thanks to many online stores have permanent sales sections, you can often find sun dresses, shorts and kaftans and cover ups all year around. Check out stores like House of Fraser, Dorothy Perkins and ASOS that have sales and outlet sections pretty much all year around. In addition, eBAY allows you to pick up out of season clothing and accessories.

These are just a few ideas for gifts for those who like to escape Christmas altogether, but still like to find a little something in their stocking on December 25th.

 

 

Jack And The Beanstalk Is Brilliant Fun At Wolverhampton Grand

What are the ingredients of the perfect panto? A handsome lead man and a beautiful leading lady? A fabulous dame with a series of eye popping costumes? A comedy sidekick who has all the best lines but doesn’t get the girl? A fairy who holds the show together with her magical narration? A baddie who makes the audience boo and hiss? And Doreen Tipton? If the answer to all the above is yes, then you are in for a total treat at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this Christmas, as Jack and the Beanstalk have reunited last year’s dream team of Lisa Riley, Ian Adams, Adam C Booth and Doreen Tipton, and have added Gareth Gates, Graham Cole and Sarah Vaughan to this cast and have created a dream of a panto. It is seriously good fun.

The traditional story of Jack and the Beanstalk is one of the best known (and in my opinion) the best of all pantos, with it’s beanstalk, giants and goose that lays the golden egg. It is also ripe for hilarity, with Daisy the Cow taking centre stage for so many of the jokes. And you will never see anything as funny as the scene stealing Doreen Tipton (Gill Jordan) attempting to milk the said cow along with Dame Trott (Ian Adams also on hilarious form). That said, this is a panto that is full of side splittingly funny scenes and songs, ones that leave you still having a little chuckle long after you have left the theatre.

The whole cast is gloriously funny, all with their tongues firmly in cheek in the best of panto traditions. Gareth Gates as Jack still sings like an angel and his performance of Unchained Melody had many in the audience fondly remembering his performances on Pop Idol, whilst he has good stage presence to play the handsome hero. He is well teamed with Sarah Vaughan as Jill, who shows that she can also handle slapstick in her hilarious love scene with Gareth that is interrupted by Simple Simon with manically chaotic results. Screen Veteran Graham Cole is a super baddie as Fleshcreep, totally hamming up his wickedness, you can see how much he is enjoying himself, which totally adds to the fun and mayhem. Lisa Riley is again brilliant in her role, holding everything together with her Mother Nature, and very funny flinging toilet rolls into the audience during the crazy version of ‘The 12 Days of Christmas.’

 

But once again it is the side characters who steal this panto. Ian Adams is a fantastic dame, he has all the rude lines and brings the house down with them, as well as showcasing some of the funniest costumes seen on the Grand stage. His knowing asides to the audience about the quality of the jokes are super funny and raise laughs throughout. Adam C Booth makes a welcome return to the Grand after his super funny performance as Wishy Washy last year, and, at this rate will become the Grand’s Matt Slack, he is such a crowd pleaser. His scene with the market store where he tells a story with all the products his brilliant, as is his poo, boo, moo rhyming scene. But once again it is Doreen Tipton who absolutely brings the house down with her hilarious lines and deadpan delivery. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything as funny as Doreen dancing, I didn’t think a dancer could be referred to as idle, but Doreen has this honour, and that is a total compliment.

The songs, the scenery, the direction is all admirable, making this another triumphant panto for the Grand.

Great Fun – Go see.

Wed 13 Dec – Sun 14 Jan

JACK AND THE BEANSTALK

Click here for ticket information

Kids Presents Gifted By A Wicked Uncle

Question: How can you amaze and impress your children when it comes to present choices this Christmas?

Answer: By thinking outside the box when it comes to presents, avoiding the Barbies and Star Wars that are found on every supermarket shelf, and instead looking for something creative, funny, brain expanding and different. The sort of present that a cool, wicked uncle might chose for their favourite niece or nephew. The sorts of presents you can find at Wicked Uncle, who have recently taken on Uncle Christmas to help make 2017 super special for the young and young at heart.

We have lots of interesting, fun and unusual presents and we have teams of elves under the leadership of Uncle Christmas who can write Xmas and birthday cards and even gift wrap for you.

Wicked Uncle has a wide range of toys that are suitable for boys and girls of all ages. They also arrange their website by age groups, so if you are looking for a gift idea but aren’t really sure what to get, they will give you some ideas to choose from.

Here are a few of my key picks from a brilliant website.

Fluffimals – Bring a Bear to Life

If your little one is obsessed with the Build a Bear factory, but you are not quite as obsessed with the price, then the Fluffimals Bring a bear to life is the perfect gift this Christmas. It is your own bear factory where you can stuff your bear, give it a heart and basically allow your child to get creative. It’s a fantastic Christmas gift idea that will give your child something to do once the Turkey is eaten on Christmas afternoon.


Fluffimals – Bring a Bear to Life
£19.95 Click to visit Wicked Uncle

 

Football Brainbox

The perfect game for the whole family to play on Christmas Day, or over the Christmas period. Football Brainbox allows you to study facts and figures about teams from the English Football League for just 10 seconds and then looks to see what you can remember. This ranges from questions such as when was the team formed, to what colour socks do they wear? You can find out who is the football brainbox in your family.


Football – BrainBox
£10.95 Click to visit Wicked Uncle

Sticky The Poo – Splat!

Based on everyone’s favourite poo emoji, Sticky the Poo – Splat! Is a brilliant stocking filler that is sure to raise lots of giggles on Christmas morning. It is tactile and squashy and can be thrown and will stick to any number of surfaces. Lots of fun for everyone.


Sticky the Poo – Splat!
£6.95 Click to visit Wicked Uncle

How will you think outside the box when it comes to Christmas Gifts this year.