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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

older | 1 | .... | 1485 | 1486 | (Page 1487) | 1488 | 1489 | .... | 1849 | newer

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    (Picture: Getty)

    When her boyfriend cheated on her, Tiana Perea from Houston, Texas, knew what needed to be done.

    The 21-year-old decided to use her birthday party to reveal that boyfriend Santos had been sexting with another girl – and break up with him on the spot.

    In a speech in front of all their friends, Tiana told him she knew all about his antics and kicked him out of the house, sending him on his way with all his belongings.

    After drinking some tequila, Tiana turned to Santos and began her speech as her friends surrounded them, recording the whole thing.

    The video has since been uploaded on Twitter where it has been viewed over five million times.

    When the group finished doing shots around the kitchen, Tiana thanked her friends for coming to the party.

    She then said: ‘I’d like to thank Santos for making me realise I deserve so much better.

    ‘Because every single person here knows you were trying to f*ck with some girl.

    ‘All of us have seen screenshots … you were sexting her and sending her videos.’

    ‘You literally sent her the same picture you sent me today. In case you didn’t figure it out, we’re over and you can get the f*** out.’

    At this point, Tiana’s brother could be seen coming down with a duffel bag with Santos’ stuff as her friends cheered and came to console Tiana over the whole thing.

    The daring speech has been applauded and criticised all over social media with some commending her for publically calling him out while others called her cold or extra for doing it in front of everyone.

    Tiana gave a shoutout to her brother Darian – the guy who brought her ex’s bag downstairs – to thank him for taking part.

    She followed up the tweet of the video with some selfies of her asking people to hit her up as she’s single now.

    Let’s hope her future boo sees the video and knows not to mess with her (or anyone).

    MORE: We can’t deal with messaging more than seven people at once on dating sites

    MORE: Lean On Me: Should I tell my friend I think her boyfriend is wrong for her?

    MORE: Is it ok to have sex in your childhood bedroom with your whole family downstairs?


    Houston girl kicks cheating boyfriend to the curb, shares epic video with the Twitterverse Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Houston resident Tiana Perea blasted her now ex-boyfriend for cheating. And while most of us would shy away from publicly sharing such a personal moment, Perea marched to the beat of her own drummer, posting footage of the incident on Twitter Wednesday for all the world to see. In a viral video that will live on longer than the actual relationship (be forewarned, there's some graphic language), the Houston resident can be seen celebrating her birthday with friends at a private residence before shining the spotlight on the shady situation. After throwing back what appears to be a couple of tequila shots, Perea thanks her guests for attending the soiree, and then uses her liquid courage to express a different message of gratitude to her boyfriend.Houston girl kicks cheating boyfriend to the curb, shares epic video with the Twitterverse Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Houston resident Tiana Perea blasted her now ex-boyfriend for cheating. And while most of us would shy away from publicly sharing such a personal moment, Perea marched to the beat of her own drummer, posting footage of the incident on Twitter Wednesday for all the world to see. In a viral video that will live on longer than the actual relationship (be forewarned, there's some graphic language), the Houston resident can be seen celebrating her birthday with friends at a private residence before shining the spotlight on the shady situation. After throwing back what appears to be a couple of tequila shots, Perea thanks her guests for attending the soiree, and then uses her liquid courage to express a different message of gratitude to her boyfriend.faimabakar1Houston girl kicks cheating boyfriend to the curb, shares epic video with the Twitterverse Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Houston resident Tiana Perea blasted her now ex-boyfriend for cheating. And while most of us would shy away from publicly sharing such a personal moment, Perea marched to the beat of her own drummer, posting footage of the incident on Twitter Wednesday for all the world to see. In a viral video that will live on longer than the actual relationship (be forewarned, there's some graphic language), the Houston resident can be seen celebrating her birthday with friends at a private residence before shining the spotlight on the shady situation. After throwing back what appears to be a couple of tequila shots, Perea thanks her guests for attending the soiree, and then uses her liquid courage to express a different message of gratitude to her boyfriend.Houston girl kicks cheating boyfriend to the curb, shares epic video with the Twitterverse Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Houston resident Tiana Perea blasted her now ex-boyfriend for cheating. And while most of us would shy away from publicly sharing such a personal moment, Perea marched to the beat of her own drummer, posting footage of the incident on Twitter Wednesday for all the world to see. In a viral video that will live on longer than the actual relationship (be forewarned, there's some graphic language), the Houston resident can be seen celebrating her birthday with friends at a private residence before shining the spotlight on the shady situation. After throwing back what appears to be a couple of tequila shots, Perea thanks her guests for attending the soiree, and then uses her liquid courage to express a different message of gratitude to her boyfriend.faimabakar1

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    Picture: Twitter/ Metro Grab Taken without permission for comp #Duvetknowitschristmas returns
    (Picture: Twitter)

    Going back home for Christmas? Chances are your old room has been changed into a gym, a storage space, or worse, stands as a shrine to your teenage self.

    So that begs the question – where are you going to be sleeping?

    If you’re anything like the people on Twitter then you’re probably stuck in a (far too small) single bed with outdated decoration, forced to sleep in the smallest spaces like in the laundry room, or under a piano.

    #DuvetknowitsChristmas is the hashtag celebrating all the weird and wonderful ways people will be falling asleep as they go home for the holidays.

    The annual tradition surfaces every year after it began by writer Rhodri Marsden years ago when he asked for people to submit their worst sleeping situations.

    Without realising it would become a tradition, Rhodri tweeted about his childhood bedroom that had turned into an office. He ended up sleeping in his sister’s bedroom and wondered if anybody else had a similar fate.

    Over the years, he’s been sent pictures of people sharing rooms with terrifying dolls, washing machines, and even a shower at the foot of the ‘bed’.

    This year, Rhodri has decided to use the funny hashtag to shed light on a serious issue.

    Not everyone has a warm room or bed at this time of year so Twitter UK has partnered with homelessness charity Shelter to raise money to prevent people living on the streets.

    ‘It’s totally shocking that 320,000 people in  Britain have been swept aside by the housing crisis and now have no place to call home,’ said Greg Beales, campaigns director at Shelter.

    ‘These figures show the devastating impact homelessness  has on the lives of people right across the country – and why Shelter’s services have never been more needed.

    ‘We desperately need action now – to change tomorrow for the hundreds of thousands whose lives will be blighted by homelessness this winter.  That’s why we are so pleased to partner with Twitter who will get the message out there that now is the time to act.’

    You can see this year’s edition on Christmas Eve as people struggle to get a wink of sleep before the big day.

    Here are some submissions from previous years:

    MORE: What do you argue about with your family on Christmas day?

    MORE: How to host a vegan this Christmas – with food you’ll really want to eat

    MORE: Every Christmas I write a letter to the man that saved my life


    Duvet-9a27Duvet-9a27faimabakar1Picture: Twitter/ Metro Grab Taken without permission for comp #Duvetknowitschristmas returnsDuvet-9a27Duvet-9a27faimabakar1Picture: Twitter/ Metro Grab Taken without permission for comp #Duvetknowitschristmas returns

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    (Picture: Diana Rowland/Facebook)

    A woman who recently got told off by her neighbours for having a dragon display outside of her house has fought back by… adding more dragons.

    Diana Rowland recently shared a photo of her garden, which was filled with giant dragons surrounded by Christmas lights for her own unique festive display.

    But unfortunately, her neighbours weren’t very happy about it.

    Christmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/Facebook
    (Picture: Diana Rowland/Facebook)

    She received an anonymous letter which read: ‘Your dragon display is only marginally acceptable at Halloween.

    ‘It is totally inappropriate at Christmas.

    ‘It makes your neighbours wonder if you are involved in a demonic cult.

    ‘Please consider removing the dragons.

    Christmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/Facebook
    (Picture: Diana Rowland/Facebook)

    ‘May God bless you and help you to know the true meaning of Christmas.’

    Laughing off the letter, Diana decided to take her neighbours’ words on board by making the display a little more festive.

    She did that by adding halos to the dragons.

    Christmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/Facebook
    (Picture: Diana Rowland/Facebook)

    And then, she decided to take things a step further by adding more dragons to the display – festive ones this time.

    Diana shared both the first display, the letter and the new additions to Twitter and has so far had thousands of likes and reteeets.

    She captioned the first tweet: ‘Our dragon holiday display got fan mail! (And apparently the “true meaning of Christmas” involves judgmental bullshit?)’.

    Her second tweet read: ‘An update to yesterday’s tweet re the letter I received from an anonymous, judgy-mcjudgyface neighbor who disapproved of my dragon display and asked me to consider removing them: I have added more dragons.’

    Twitter is fully behind her and her dragon display:

    It’s safe to say, Diana and her dragons have most definitely won the internet today.

    Screw the neighbours.

    MORE: Cat wins pet survivor of the year after being shot through the mouth

    MORE: White Christmas ‘out of the question’ for most of us


    Christmas dragon displayChristmas dragon displayhattiegladwellmetroChristmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/FacebookChristmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/FacebookChristmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/FacebookChristmas dragon displayChristmas dragon displayhattiegladwellmetroChristmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/FacebookChristmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/FacebookChristmas dragon display METRO GRAB taken from: https://www.facebook.com/diana.rowland Credit: Diana Rowland/Facebook

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Turkeys are surprisingly expensive.

    Buying one big enough to feed the whole family can set you back a fair amount. And with all the other Christmas costs piling up, things can start to get out of hand.

    Luckily, budget supermarket Lidl is offering this season’s cheapest bird – at just £3.95 per kg.

    Which is great news for our hungry family and even better news for our long-suffering bank balances.

    Picture: Lidl Lidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for Christmas
    (Picture: Lidl)

    The whole fresh British turkey will be available to buy from 19 December, and will be the perfect centrepiece for your festive feast this year.

    When you compare it to other supermarkets, you can see just how much of a bargain you’ll be getting.

    Waitrose appear to be selling their turkey for £5 per kg, while Tesco’s are just behind Lidl at £4 per kg and Morrison are marketing theirs at £4.92 per kg.

    So for seasonal savers, the choice couldn’t be clearer.

    The German grocers are also offering an exclusive, free range Deluxe Silver Slate Turkey – a rare breed of bird reared on RSPCA assured farms.

    Picture: Lidl Lidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for Christmas
    (Picture: Lidl)

    It’s more than double the price, at £8.99 per kg, but it’s claimed to boast a rich and succulent flavour – perfect for the more discerning turkey lover.

    MORE: Eggnog ingredients, how to make it and why we drink it at Christmas

    MORE: Aldi is selling dupes of your favourite perfumes for £6.99

    MORE: The ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas gift guide


    Lidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for ChristmasLidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for Christmasnataliemorris88Picture: Lidl Lidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for ChristmasPicture: Lidl Lidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for ChristmasLidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for ChristmasLidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for Christmasnataliemorris88Picture: Lidl Lidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for ChristmasPicture: Lidl Lidl is selling the cheapest Turkey for Christmas

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    Heathcote Care Home eresident Robin Tungate age 77 with little elf Millie Lock age 9 months. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.
    (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS.com)

    An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up like little elves and visited elderly people at a care home to get them into the festive spirit.

    The babies were taken to the care home in a bid to tackle isolation and loneliness in OAPs.

    The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the ‘Little Elves Events’ to bring children in their best festive outfits for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.

    Heathcote Care Home eresident Robin Tungate age 77 with little elf Millie Lock age 9 months. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.
    (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS.com)

    The charity, which holds these community projects in a number of care homes across Norfolk, says it aims to create friendship across generations.

    Kelly Lindsay, who founded Friend in Deed, said: ‘It’s vital that we find better ways to look after older people in our communities.

    ‘Loneliness is a massive issue and it can affect people of any age but it can easily be overcome by teaching people to be kind, empathetic and more connected from a young age.

    Heathcote care home resident Phyllis Wallace age 79 with Millie Lock age 9 months Soraya Scott age 3 and sister Cameron Scott age 6. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.
    (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS.com)

    ‘The babies have that heartfelt reaction and the older people don’t often get that.

    ‘By bringing different age groups together, we can solve so many social issues at once.

    ‘Friend in Deed and our little elves would like to wish everyone a very merry Christmas.’

    Iris Paterson age 89 with little elfs Poppy Brooks and Daisy Brooks at the Heathcote care home in Norwich. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.
    (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS.com)

    One resident at Heathcote care home, in Norfolk, Robin Tungate, 77, said he looks forward to the occasion every week.

    The 77-year-old granddad adds: ‘I see the little visitors every week, they are very good and they help all of us.

    ‘It makes you feel like you want to turn the clock back.

    ‘It makes the days more entertaining, we are ever so pleased to see them when they come.

    ‘You look forward to these events.’

    Heathcote care home resident Elise Crisp age 96 receiving a Christmas present from baby elf Jaxon Walker 10 weeks old and mum Katie Walker age 28. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.
    (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS.com)

    Katy Walker, mum to little elf Jaxon, who is two months old, said: ‘It is really lovely, it gets us out of the house and all the other mums who would just be at home alone with their baby.

    ‘It works in both favours.

    ‘Jaxon just cuddles everyone, it is a good day out for him as well, he definitely a nap after.

    ‘This is actually my first visit, but I used to work in the care home so I am aware of the programme.’

    Friend In Deed says there are benefits to interactions between young and older people including improvements in mood, mobility and grip strength while the children develop their empathy and communication skills.

    Cameron Scott age 6 gives care home resident Robin Tungate age 77 a Christmas present. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.
    (Picture: James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS.com)

    Rachel Brooks, mother to 15-month-old twin girls, Poppy and Daisy, dresses the little girls up as elves and brings them to the care home on a weekly basis.

    She said: ‘We try and do it as often as we can.

    ‘They love it, they are quite nosey so they love to be able to walk around and see everyone picking up everything – usually with me just chasing them behind them.

    ‘It is lovely to see I get quite emotional about it, and I love being with the elderly as well.’

    The little elves are aged between two months old and six years old and visit ten care homes in Norfolk and one in Suffolk.

    Kelly adds: ‘We want to make it when people have children they think we need to go to the care home to spend time with the elderly.

    ‘It helps everybody, it helps mums and babies to interact and gives company to the older generation – it can do quite magical things.’

    MORE: 38 best last-minute Christmas gifts for your her to suit every budget

    MORE: Throw your Christmas tree away if you spot one of these clusters on its branches


    SEI_44719289-13d1SEI_44719289-13d1hattiegladwellmetroHeathcote Care Home eresident Robin Tungate age 77 with little elf Millie Lock age 9 months. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Heathcote Care Home eresident Robin Tungate age 77 with little elf Millie Lock age 9 months. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Heathcote care home resident Phyllis Wallace age 79 with Millie Lock age 9 months Soraya Scott age 3 and sister Cameron Scott age 6. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Iris Paterson age 89 with little elfs Poppy Brooks and Daisy Brooks at the Heathcote care home in Norwich. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Heathcote care home resident Elise Crisp age 96 receiving a Christmas present from baby elf Jaxon Walker 10 weeks old and mum Katie Walker age 28. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Cameron Scott age 6 gives care home resident Robin Tungate age 77 a Christmas present. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.SEI_44719289-13d1SEI_44719289-13d1hattiegladwellmetroHeathcote Care Home eresident Robin Tungate age 77 with little elf Millie Lock age 9 months. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Heathcote Care Home eresident Robin Tungate age 77 with little elf Millie Lock age 9 months. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Heathcote care home resident Phyllis Wallace age 79 with Millie Lock age 9 months Soraya Scott age 3 and sister Cameron Scott age 6. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Iris Paterson age 89 with little elfs Poppy Brooks and Daisy Brooks at the Heathcote care home in Norwich. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Heathcote care home resident Elise Crisp age 96 receiving a Christmas present from baby elf Jaxon Walker 10 weeks old and mum Katie Walker age 28. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.Cameron Scott age 6 gives care home resident Robin Tungate age 77 a Christmas present. See SWNS Cambridge SWCAbaby:An adorable group of babies and toddlers dressed up as 'little elves' have helped OAP???s at a care home get into the festive spirit.The youngsters are spreading festive cheer by visiting elderly residents in a bid to try and tackle isolation and loneliness. The charity Friend In Deed helped set up the 'Little Elves Events' to bring children in their best festive get-ups for an afternoon of carols, gifts and Christmas joy.

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    (Picture: @Asaf Kliger)

    Sweden’s iconic Icehotel is opening for it’s 29th annual winter season – and we desperately want to stay there.

    Featuring 15 uniquely designed suites, the hotel is the perfect festive getaway destination for you to live out your Ice Queen fantasies.

    This year’s structure has been made from 30,000 cubic meters of ice and snow. If you don’t mind getting a little chilly, it could be the ideal winter break to get you in the festive spirit.

    (Picture: @Asaf Kliger)

    Each suite features stunning ice sculptures – including one that boasts the front of a VW camper van, and another that resembles a giant oak tree. Each room has been designed by renowned artists.

    After 150 design submissions, a team of 34 designers were chosen to construct the final project.

    (Picture: @Asaf Kliger)
    (Picture: @Asaf Kliger)

    The chosen artists included father-daughter duo Jonathan Paul and Marnie Green, who designed the ‘Living Ocean Suite’ room which aims to highlight the negative effects of climate change and overfishing.

    (Picture: @Asaf Kliger)

    The ‘Haven’ room, created by Jonan Johansson, Jordi Claramunt and Lukas Petko from Sweden, Spain and Slovenia, depicts a magical portal of ice guarded by a fox and a phoenix.

    The incredible ‘Flock’ room features intricate carvings of a flock of tiny birds behind the bed – it doesn’t get much more soothing than that.

    (Picture: @Asaf Kliger)
    (Picture: @Asaf Kliger)

    If you get tired of staring in awe at the stunning art work, there are plenty of other things to keep you entertained at the Icehotel.

    Guests can enjoy Arctic yoga, winter running, Nordic skiing, Aufguss saunas and workshops on exercising in an Arctic climate.

    Or you can spend your time swanning about in fur, wearing blue lipstick and clutching a frosty cocktail – because that probably wouldn’t get old.

    MORE: Art in Amsterdam: A guide to the galleries, museums and exhibitions in the Dutch capital

    MORE: The ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly Christmas gift guide

    MORE: 5 new things to try in New York City


    Lollipop, Mathieu Brison & Luc Voisin  ;Photo : Asaf Kliger; ICELollipop, Mathieu Brison & Luc Voisin  ;Photo : Asaf Kliger; ICEnataliemorris88Lollipop, Mathieu Brison & Luc Voisin ;Photo : Asaf Kliger; ICELollipop, Mathieu Brison & Luc Voisin ;Photo : Asaf Kliger; ICEnataliemorris88

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    (Picture: David Parry/PA Wire)

    You’re sat drinking with your mates, not a care in the world and then you remember that very important letter or package that needed sending.

    Do you put down your drink, run home to pick it up and then sprint to your local Post Office before it closes? Or does it become tomorrow’s problem?

    If your local is the Plough Inn in the village of Marsh Gibbon, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire then you probably don’t need to worry about all that.

    That’s because they’ve opened a Post Office branch inside so you can tend to important matters all the while living your best life at the pub.

    EDITORIAL USE ONLY A general view of The Plough Inn in the village of Marsh Gibbon, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire. The pub contains a Post Office branch which is open from noon to 11pm between Tuesday and Sunday, making it the perfect stop for those who wish to send cards and gifts and enjoy some Christmas spirit at the same time. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire
    (Picture: David Parry/PA)

    While most Post Offices close super early, between 5:30pm and 7pm, before most of us get home from work, the Plough Inn’s Post Office services will be open till late.

    It is open from noon to 11pm between Tuesday and Sunday, making it the perfect stop for those who wish to send cards and gifts and enjoy some Christmas spirit at the same time.

    If you were in the Marsh Gibbon area then you might want to check it out, especially as it’s received four out of five stars on Tripadvisor.

    If you like the idea of drinking and being useful at the same time, then don’t worry there are other multipurpose pubs in the country.

    In fact, the Plough Inn is not the first pub to open a Post Office inside. In 2015, a postmaster in Eaton, Norfolk told the community that the Post Office would be closing as there was no one to handle the running of it.

    So they rallied together, along with Pub is the Hub – a non-profit organisation which helps communities, licensees, pub owners, breweries and the private sector to work together to match community priority needs – and moved inside the Cellar House pub.

    It was a win-win move too as the pub was usually dead in the mornings but saw a revival of customers after opening the Post Office.

    The Plough Inn might see a similar result.

    MORE: Birthday girl breaks up with cheating boyfriend with a speech in front of all their friends

    MORE: What do you argue about with your family on Christmas day?

    MORE: Proposing on Christmas is a manipulative act of pure evil


    Pub x Post OfficePub x Post Officefaimabakar1EDITORIAL USE ONLY A general view of The Plough Inn in the village of Marsh Gibbon, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire. The pub contains a Post Office branch which is open from noon to 11pm between Tuesday and Sunday, making it the perfect stop for those who wish to send cards and gifts and enjoy some Christmas spirit at the same time. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA WirePub x Post OfficePub x Post Officefaimabakar1EDITORIAL USE ONLY A general view of The Plough Inn in the village of Marsh Gibbon, Aylesbury Vale, Buckinghamshire. The pub contains a Post Office branch which is open from noon to 11pm between Tuesday and Sunday, making it the perfect stop for those who wish to send cards and gifts and enjoy some Christmas spirit at the same time. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday December 18, 2018. Photo credit should read: David Parry/PA Wire

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    (Picture: Caters News)

    A mum says she has been left with deformed boobs after her £28,000 breast implants nearly killed her.

    34-year-old Andrea King decided to have breast implants in 2014 to improve her confidence. However she says she was left ‘slowly dying’ after the implants poisoned her body.

    The mum-of-two from Chicago, US, spent weeks in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of four years.

    But it wasn’t until Andrea found out about ‘breast implant illness’ online that she finally realised the cause of all her problems.

    Four weeks later, in August this year, Andrea decided to have her implants removed – which cost almost £8,000 – and despite being left with ‘deformed’ breasts by the surgery, she couldn’t be happier that she’s no longer in pain and suffering.

    Andrea, a personal trainer, said: ‘I had no idea breast implants could be so toxic and cause your body to react so badly. The rejection caused issues to spread throughout my whole body.

    ‘I’ve had the worst four years of my life trying to figure out what was wrong with me. Getting no where with conventional medicine. I eventually had no option but to watch my symptoms worsen.

    ‘I had my first breast implants in 2014 replaced less than two years later as they’d gone hard as my scar tissue around the silicone had contracted. This is called capsular contracture.

    ‘I saw eight different plastic surgeons. They all advised me to replace them from above muscle to under the muscle. They said capsular contracture was much more unlikely under the muscle.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, holding the implants that were removed) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘No one advised me to take them out for good. So I decided to follow advice and went from a B cup to a C cup.

    ‘I was thrilled with the results but my health rapidly declined.

    ‘I had awful pains in my shoulders and neck. I had three shoulder and clavicle separations within months of that surgery.

    ‘For the next two years I was battling breathlessness, dizziness, insomnia, joint and muscle pain, chronic bacterial infections, circulation problems, brain fog, chronic diarrhea, anxiety and night sweats just to name a few, I had over 54 symptoms with no diagnosis.

    ‘Five months ago I was diagnosed with four autoimmune diseases such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, lupus, sjogrens syndrome and celiac. Not to mention IBS.’

    Andrea says her immune system was so low that she was tested for HIV and several types of cancer.

    She continued: ‘I tried my best to continue as normal but it was almost impossible to train and further my career as a professional bodybuilder. I couldn’t even walk up the stairs without being short of breath.

    ‘I missed out on so many things with my kids, Louie, eight, Tori, five, I was always sleeping. Or didn’t feel good enough to go anywhere.

    ‘As soon as I read other women’s experiences online about getting sick from their breast implants, I knew I discovered what was wrong with me. A light bulb went off. There was no question that I needed them removed.

    ‘It was an easy decision to make, even though I knew I’d be left with little to no breast tissue afterwards. I was preparing to be deformed as well, knowing that I had to have a double capsulectomy.

    ‘As soon as I woke up from surgery, my body had instant relief. You can see it in my face.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, after her second implants) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    ‘There’s no doubt my breast implants were the cause of my declining health, despite doing everything with my diet to be healthier. If I had not had them removed, I believe that they would have been the cause to something that would have eventually killed me.’

    Andrea has since shared her story on Instagram to raise awareness of breast implant illness and to warn other women of the potential side effects.

    She added: ‘I’m not against breast implants but I want people to know what can happen.

    ‘If I’d have known this could’ve happened to me I would never have taken the risk.

    ‘I would much rather have had my small size A boobs than what I have now. I’m worse now than where I started. Implants ruined my breasts.

    ‘The final surgery has left my chest deformed. I’ve been emotionally having to deal with this. However, I’m no longer dying. My health is ultimately what matters.

    ‘I’ve opted to wearing padded bras and do the best I can to hide my deformities. I’ll never have breast surgery again.

    PIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, now) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: Caters News)

    Nicole Daruda, the founder of Healing Breast Implant Illness – which offers advice and raises money for further research, said: ‘Breast implant illness is a period of illness caused by foreign body immune responses to breast implants and to silicone chemicals and heavy metals which are endocrine disruptors, cytotoxic, neurotoxic and inflammatory to healthy cells.

    ‘In 2006, the FDA re-approved silicone breast implants for sale due to pressure from manufacturers and without long term safety studies and this coupled with the ever present over-sexualisation of women in popular culture and social media created a trend of women getting breast implants.

    ‘As the negative health affects of breast implants are being fully realised by women worldwide an epic health crisis is occurring which we call breast implant illness for lack of an officially recognised medical term as yet.’

    MORE: Demented dolls, bouncy castles, and horrifying turkey pies: a weird and wonderful guide to Vlogmas on YouTube

    MORE: Aldi is selling dupes of your favourite perfumes for £6.99


    Botched boobsBotched boobshattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, holding the implants that were removed) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, after her second implants) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, now) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPYBotched boobsBotched boobshattiegladwellmetroPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, holding the implants that were removed) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, after her second implants) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPYPIC FROM Caters News - (PICTURED: Andrea King, 34, from Chicago, US, now) - A mum has been left with deformed boobs after spending 28,000 to remove her silicone implants after claiming theyd almost killed her.After opting for breast implants in 2014to improve her confidence, Andrea King, 34, claims she was left slowly dying after the implants poisoned her body.The mum-of-two from Chicago,US, spent months in hospital battling blood poisoning, bacterial infections and extreme fatigue over the course of two years.SEE CATERS COPY

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    (Picture: Getty/ Ella Byworth)

    Sussing out when a date is going a well and when you’re about to get ghosted is tricky.

    But handily enough, new research shares another way to check if someone’s into you.

    It turns out women deepen their voices when they fancy someone, just as we know men do.

    Researchers tracked 30 straight single 20 to 40 year olds taking part in two speed dating events, using portable recorders and discreet headphones to analyse behaviour.

    They found that women put on a deeper tone of voice when talking to men they were attracted to, and in turn, men were more attracted to women with deeper voices.

    Women spoke in a higher-pitched and less monotone voices only with men who were preferred by fewer than half of their peers.

    This adds weight to the idea that all genders alter the tone of their voice when flirting with someone they’re interested in, both to signal sexual interest and attract potential matches.

    So essentially, if you’re on a date and your pal deepens their voice, you’re in there. If they’re higher pitched and monotone, it’s not looking great.

    Psychologist Dr Katarzyna Pisanski, of the University of Sussex, said: ‘Men lowered the minimum pitch of their voices when interacting with women who were overall highly desired by other men.

    ‘Men also lowered their voice pitch on dates with women they selected as potential mates, particularly matches who indicated a mutual preference.’

    Previous studies suggest women prefer men with deep voices because pitch is associated with larger animals that can cause a bigger threat – so those with lower voices show more physical dominance.

    It’s been assumed that men preferred higher pitched women, but this research points to the opposite.

    The study also found that women tend to be pickier than men, as the women taking part in the speed-dating said they were interested in just 30% of their dates, while men liked 51% of theirs.

    Only 14% of matches liked each other mutually. Which is a bit bleak.

    MORE: Birthday girl breaks up with cheating boyfriend with a speech in front of all their friends

    MORE: We can’t deal with messaging more than seven people at once on dating sites

    MORE: Why do women lie about their age on dating apps?


    Banning men from approaching women isn't the answer to our sexual harassment problemBanning men from approaching women isn't the answer to our sexual harassment problemellencscottBanning men from approaching women isn't the answer to our sexual harassment problemBanning men from approaching women isn't the answer to our sexual harassment problemellencscott

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    (Picture: Marvel; Forever 21)

    Forever 21 has apologised for using a white model to advertise a Black Panther themed Christmas jumper.

    The brand had been called out all over Twitter for profiting off a film with a majority black cast by slapping ‘Wakanda Forever’ on a jumper and putting it on a white model with blonde hair and blue eyes.

    On Tuesday, Forever 21 tweeted out a photo of the model wearing the jumper with: ‘Wakanda Forever. Get the sweater here.’

    Naturally that sparked some piss-taking.

    Following backlash, Forever 21 deleted the tweet and appeared to have temporarily removed the jumper from their online store.

    Now the jumper is shown on a plain white background with no model wearing it.

    That hasn’t stopped the piss-taking, though, as in the reviews section, which asks ‘why did you choose this?’, someone’s written: ‘Because I am a colonizer’.

    Forever 21 told TMZ: ‘Forever 21 takes feedback on our products and marketing extremely seriously. We celebrate all superheroes with many different models of various ethnicities and apologize if the photo in question was offensive in any way.’

    MORE: How to deal with non-PC relatives this Christmas

    MORE: Our banknotes must feature ethnic minorities if we are to reflect modern Britain


    Black Panther sweaterBlack Panther sweaterellencscottBlack Panther sweaterBlack Panther sweaterellencscott

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    Welcome to Mixed Up, a series looking at the highs, lows and unique experiences of being mixed-race.

    Mixed-race is the fastest-growing ethnic group in the UK. It means your parents hail from two (or more) different ethnicities, leaving you somewhere in the middle.

    In 2001, when the ‘mixed’ categories were first introduced to the national census, mixed-race people made up 1.3% of the population. Fast-forward 10 years, and that figure almost doubles to 2.3%.

    It’s a trajectory that’s unlikely to slow down.

    Alongside the unique pleasures and benefits of being exposed to multiple cultures, being mixed comes with complexities, conflicts and innate contradictions.

    For many, it’s about occupying two identities simultaneously, reconciling the differences and trying to carve out a space to exist between the two.

    The mainstream understanding of being mixed-race most often refers to people who are white and black Caribbean, or white and black African. But the voices of the mixed-race diaspora extend far beyond this.

    Mixed Up aims to elevate those voices, look deeper at the nuanced realities of being mixed-race and provide an insight into the inner workings of this rapidly growing ethnic group.

    Bilal Khan is a mix of Jamaican, Kenyan and Asian. His mum is also mixed-race, adding another element to the generational mash-up of different cultures.

    Mixed Race People Pictured: Bilal (Picture: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)
    (Picture: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘I’m quite mixed up. My Mum is mixed herself, so she’s black Jamaican and east Asian Jamaican as well,’ Bilal tells Metro.co.uk

    ‘My Dad was born in Kenya, but he’s of south Asian decent – going way back.

    ‘My mix is who I am. I can’t get away from it – I’m a mixed-race person.

    ‘I feel quite lucky and proud to be of mixed heritage, because it means that I’ve got more of the world inside me, more of the world to learn, more of the world to feel a part of, more stories to hear from my grandparents and their parents.’

    Bilal has huge appreciation for his ethnic make-up, but that doesn’t mean it has always been entirely simple. There has been a particular problem with language barriers. Being unable to communicate with parts of your family inevitably leads to some feelings of isolation.

    ‘I’ve been thinking about my heritage a lot recently – I have been wondering if there’s an element of my mix that I relate to more than the others,’ explains Bilal.

    ‘My Dad’s family, I knew them – but I didn’t really have a relationship with them for a long time, because they didn’t speak English fluently, so I couldn’t really talk to them and I couldn’t really find out that much.

    ‘I always felt like a bit of an outsider from my Dad’s side of the family because of this.’

    Bilal and his Dad looking very 90s (Picture: Bilal Khan/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘I also lived with my Mum’s Auntie when I was growing up, so I very much brought up by my Mum’s side of the family – so in that way I would relate more to that side.

    ‘I would visit my Dad’s family, but I really do want to learn more about that part of me. But that’s still a work-in-progress.’

    Bilal is particularly interested in the concept of identification – an unsurprisingly muddy area for people who are mixed. For mixed-race people, so much about identity is dependent on how they are externally perceived. But can you identify as both mixed-race and black?

    ‘I think you can. I don’t. But I think people do,’ Bilal tells us.

    ‘I feel like I have always just been “mixed” – that’s how I’ve always identified – I don’t want to change that. Also, if I said I was black – why don’t I say I’m Asian? Why am I just picking one element of who I am? For me, “mixed” is the word that describes everything that I am.

    ‘I think it’s cool if people want to do that, identify as both, but for me I would feel like I was erasing part of my identity.

    ‘For mixed people like Barack Obama and Meghan Markle – they’re seen, in the most part, as black people, despite the fact that they are partially white. They’re not allowed to be mixed people. They’re not allowed to be white people if they have black in them.

    ‘It has a lot to do with perception. Especially when you’re mixed-race – it often comes down to what do other people call you? If the world’s going to treat you like a black person, or a brown person, I guess that says a lot for how you can choose to identify.’

    Little Bilal with his parents (Picture: Bilal Khan/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘I find that people tend to affiliate blackness with struggle and oppression. A lot of people think that if you’ve experienced racism on the grounds of being black, then you can therefore identify as being black.

    ‘But that school of thought is forgetting a whole side of blackness that isn’t about struggle or oppression.’

    Bilal sparked a lively conversation when he Tweeted about this very issue.

    The responses shed light on the vastly differing opinions on this topic, and how confusing it can be – even within mixed-race communities.

    ‘Depends what room I’m in tbh’, tweeted one responder. Another added: ‘I would say yes. I’m black (others tend to disagree) but I’m a mixed race woman.’

    But Bilal says the conversation quickly veered off topic – as is often the case with conversations about race.

    ‘Every conversation around the question – what does it mean to be black? – ends up being about: what does it mean to experience racism?’ he explains.

    ‘And that’s where that thread went. That wasn’t the conversation that I had started, so I just had to switch off the notifications.’

    In Bilal’s family there have been feuds and long-lasting divisions started by the issue of race. Not everyone was happy with his Mum and Dad getting together.

    ‘There’s a lot of anti-blackness in Asian communities, and my Dad’s family didn’t want to come to their wedding, because he was marrying a black woman.

    ‘So just one of his brothers came, but that was it – no one else came. So there were a lot of problems when I was a baby.

    ‘When I was growing up that was starting to change a bit, my Mum was really trying her hardest to get into the family, but it wasn’t nice for a long time.

    ‘When I was really little, one of my cousins on my Dad’s side called me the N-word.

    ‘I remember it clearly. I was, like, eight-years-old, and I just started strangling him.

    ‘When I think about being called the N-word by someone in my own family – it was just really frustrating. We are family. I’m obviously different, I don’t speak the language, I don’t understand the culture, but there was just no need to be called something like that.

    ‘I did feel incredibly alienated from them, in that moment. I didn’t gel well with that side of the family for a while because of that. It did change as I got older. My grandparents were around, but still we had that barrier.

    ‘But, that being said, that was one incident that happened – and nothing like that happened again within the family.’

    Bilal felt close to his Mum’s side of the family when he was young (Picture: Bilal Khan/Metro.co.uk)

    ‘But for the most part there weren’t many issues. On my mum’s side – she’s Jamaican, and we all have mixed backgrounds there anyway, so there were no problems at all.’

    Despite the rare moments of conflict and disharmony, Bilal has always had a pretty strong, coherent idea about who he is. And he attributes that clarity to his parents.

    ‘I never really struggled with my identity when it came to being mixed-race,’ explains Bilal.

    ‘I never had the whole, “who am I?” kind of questions. My parents did a great job of really teaching me that.

    ‘They taught me exactly who I was, every element. They would say to me – even though I might not look black or east Asian, know that you are those things. So I knew those parts of me, and I knew my history quite well.

    ‘I think that was really important for me – having a connection to something else, other than just my Mum and Dad.’

    There are certain conversations about the mixed-race experience that really get under Bilal’s skin.

    ‘I hate people who make being mixed-race into a problem. And I hate people who fetishize mixed people,’ he explains.

    ‘People who assume that I must be confused, or that it must be so weird – I don’t like that at all.

    ‘I wish people could just get that you’re a person. And that you can identify as all of the cultures that you are – even when there’s more than one culture involved.

    ‘I don’t think being mixed is a “new race” or anything like that, I don’t like when people make those kinds of assertions. I just want people to appreciate it for what it is.

    ‘What’s cool is that we’re the fastest-growing population. That’s wicked. It means people are going to have to start taking notice.’

    Ultimately, Bilal wants more mixed-race narratives to be told. In order to normalise the lived experiences of mixed-race people, we need to hear about them, we need more of them on mainstream platforms.

    ‘What I would really love is more mixed-race stories.

    ‘Other than Noughts and Crosses, what else is there? That’s basically the literature about mixedness in this country, and it would be cool to get some new stories, that speak about being mixed specifically, rather than centering around whiteness.

    Mixed Up is a weekly series focused on telling the stories of mixed-race people. Next week we speak to Giulia, who’s half Indian and half British and hates the idea of ‘purity’.

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘There are certain elements of English life that Iranian culture would deem totally disgusting’

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    Mixed Race People - BilalMixed Race People - Bilalnataliemorris88Mixed Race People Pictured: Bilal (Picture: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)Mixed Race People - BilalMixed Race People - Bilalnataliemorris88Mixed Race People Pictured: Bilal (Picture: Jerry Syder for Metro.co.uk)

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    (Illustration: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)
    (Picture: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

    It’s 10pm and I’m the only person wearing lingerie in a crowd otherwise filled with extremely well-dressed swingers in suits and sequinned dresses.

    This is my second adventure at Le Boudoir, the members’ only sex club in east London, but this time around my visit includes a festive theme. It’s the annual Christmas party, where mistletoe is replaced with sex toys and Santa comes all over your face, instead of through the chimney.

    The venue is hosting Christmas parties on three consecutive Saturdays this month, with the last one coming up this weekend on 22 December, and each new member needs to register on the website with a photo. But not all applications are accepted – there are currently 5,000 people on a waiting list.

    Things are just getting started, and I am stood awkwardly in a corner eyeing up the crowd along with Luke* (the attractive Northern friend that I have brought along for the occasion), which consists mainly of middle-aged couples, and the odd millennial pair thrown in for good measure.

    I notice a familiar face; Harry, a Le Boudoir regular who frequently tells me about his adventurous escapades for saucier articles. He’s known for his unusual sexual proclivities, including ‘cleaning’ – he’ll happily ‘clean up’ male or female sperm-covered genitals with his mouth, post-orgasm.

    With his greying beard and kind demeanour, he actually reminds me of Santa Claus a bit. You know, if Santa Claus confessed to having a sex addiction, kept asking to kiss me and made not-so-subtle moves on my male friend at the same time.

    We both decline the offer.

    Much like your average festive bash, there are decorations, a large Christmas tree and twinkling lights, as well as an overflow of booze and people in festive clothing.

    Like Betty*, who has changed into a red latex Santa outfit with white faux fur, and tells me she’d like to f**k Harry tonight. Or Ellie*, who is wearing a tight green corset and is ‘only allowed to play with women’.

    Her husband George* is here too; a particularly horny man who tries to fondle my breasts several times. I swat him away.

    Jess*, 30 and Ken*, 32 from Wales have driven five hours to get here and are after a female companion. Spoiler alert: I find them sneaking into a private room with an older blonde at 2am to have – what I can only assume from the very loud moans – a salacious threesome.

    But I’m getting ahead of myself.

    'I felt like I was in a bubble': Why men pay to see a dominatrix Dominatrix sex man woman domination kink whip tease fetish Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk
    (Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)

    First, the basics. There are three floors – a dungeon, circular bed and glory holes in the basement, the ground floor social space with its changing room, stripper pole, private bedrooms and smoking area and finally, the top floor – where all the action happens (on one of four large beds).

    Luke is very popular with the ladies, and he’s just confessed that he split up with his girlfriend just days earlier. Friendly tip for newbies – never bring a male, extremely good-looking friend to a sex club full of couples.

    It blurs friendship lines.

    You could also end up catching him in a room along with five other men, wanking himself off to a steamy session of couple getting freaky, doggy style. It’s an odd scene that reminds me of live sex shows abroad, but everyone seems to be enjoying themselves, so who am I to judge.

    That’s one of the best things about having a Christmas party at a sex club – no judgement or follow-up gossip in the office. And given how much people like cheating on their partners during the festive season, an open attitude towards sharing seems healthy in comparison.

    Alice* from Yorkshire and Paul* from Denmark especially appreciate this; they’ve been engaged for years and have just bought a house together. They’re both ‘very sexual people’, and tell me about an excellent sex club called Tucan Club in Kolding, Denmark that I ‘have to try’.

    In fact, I’m inundated with recommendations of where to go; AbFab parties, Killing Kittens, Torture Garden.

    But not everyone is so experienced. Later in the dungeon, I meet Emmeline* and Peter*, first-timers at Le Boudoir. Still fully dressed, they both appear shy and tell me that they came to watch, rather than to take part.

    Luckily for us, there’s a private session taking place in the room as we speak.

    The club’s host, Master Boudoir, has taken out his box of goodies and is rolling what looks like a silvery ball with pegs over a woman leaning over a leather chair, as the crowd watch on.

    The woman is Jess from Wales, but she can’t see me; her eyes are tightly shut under a sturdy piece of tape. She has been getting a lot of action this evening – just 30 minutes earlier she was sat in a sex swing with three other sets of hands, tongues and lips taking their turn with her.

    But instead of getting turned on by the erotic display, I’m more concerned about how painful it’ll be once the tape comes off – and whether her eyelashes will stay in place.

    That’s the thing about erotica – sometimes, when it’s staring you right in the face (like Jess’s vagina) – it just stops being sexy and becomes, well, a bit dull.

    On the top floor, things have escalated. There are couples everywhere, in all sorts of positions, and the familiar sound of balls slapping against body parts, along with women and men huffing, puffing and moaning as they climax.

    Perhaps it’s because we’re not actively taking part in the fun, but Luke and I decide to return to the social area, where he downs another vodka along with a viagra pill.

    He’s nervous, and his d**k doesn’t want to comply.

    As I’m sat on the sofa, nibbling peanuts and watching a woman ride her lover, I contemplate the evening’s events.

    Although there’s definitely something to be said for spending a Christmas party with open-minded sexual fiends in a safe, private space, I just can’t picture it as next year’s Metro.co.uk venue.

    A few hours later, I sneak out of the club while Luke is chatting up a sexy lady in black lingerie. I’m guessing the viagra has kicked in, but I’ve seen enough penises to last me until Boxing Day.

    Leaving him to his escapades, I hop into a taxi and head home (with a small vibrating Christmas present from Master Boudoir tucked into my handbag).

    *Names have been changed, because how else would I get people to tell me such juicy stuff.

    MORE: I went to a sex club – and here’s what happened

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    Sex club Christmas partySex club Christmas partyallieabgarian(Illustration: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)'I felt like I was in a bubble': Why men pay to see a dominatrix Dominatrix sex man woman domination kink whip tease fetish Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.ukSex club Christmas partySex club Christmas partyallieabgarian(Illustration: Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk)'I felt like I was in a bubble': Why men pay to see a dominatrix Dominatrix sex man woman domination kink whip tease fetish Liberty Antonia Sadler for Metro.co.uk

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    Fertility Series
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Being a parent is tough.

    You’re responsible for guiding a human from babyhood all the way to being an adult. That’s a lot of responsibility, and there’s a lot that can go wrong.

    Rather than striving for perfection (which is entirely unattainable, let’s be clear), it’s best to prioritise the things you care most about getting right.

    But what should those things be?

    According to a survey of 2,000 parents, commissioned by the YMCA and conducted by OnePoll, the most important life lesson they’d like to impart on their children is pretty simple: Be respectful.

    Other things they’d like their children to learn including the importance of being thankful, honesty, and learning from mistakes.

    If you’re nailing those things, you’re doing a great job, basically.

    The top 10 life lessons parents would like to teach their children:

    1. Be respectful
    2. Be thankful for what you have
    3. Honesty is the best policy
    4. Never give up
    5. Learn from your mistakes
    6. Don’t be quick to judge people
    7. Admit mistakes
    8. Take care of your physical health
    9. Listen before you speak
    10. Spend time with the people you love

    Of course, it’s not just about those big meaningful concepts and approaches to life – parents are also tasked with teaching their children the basic skills of survival.

    They have to be taught how to cook, how to keep themselves clean, and how money works – so they can keep themselves fed and safe.

    Parents say the skills they’d most like their children to develop are basic cooking, good hygiene practices, and driving a car (sorry, mum and dad, I’m sticking to public transport).

    The top life skills parents want their children to learn:

    1. Basic cooking
    2. Good hygiene practices
    3. Drive a car
    4. Do laundry
    5. Money management
    6. Be aware of your surroundings
    7. Basic housekeeping skills
    8. Time management
    9. Reading and comprehension
    10. Make healthy food choices

    Don’t panic if you haven’t ticked off all of those, mind you. Loads of parents don’t manage to impart their wisdom.

    For many, finances and time get in the way. 33% of parents said that working more than 40 hours a week had prevented them from teaching their children everything they’d like, 23% blamed the need to focus on providing necessities, and 23% said they aren’t able to spend enough time with their children.

    Single parents reported struggling to teach their children life lessons the most, followed by those with a lack of finances and those working more than one job.

    The research notes that these lessons can be learned in other ways, too, such as at school or with the help of other family members.

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘Can you identify as both mixed-race and black?’

    MORE: Cat wins pet survivor of the year after being shot through the mouth

    MORE: What do you argue about with your family on Christmas day?


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    (Picture: Tesco)

    Is it even Christmas without a giant tub of Quality Street on the coffee table?

    We’re all too full. We couldn’t possibly eat another thing. And yet somehow finding the space for two more toffee pennies has become a festive right of passage.

    Now Tesco has made the Christmas staple even cheaper – so you can get loads more chocolatey goodness for your money.

    Which is fantastic news if, like us, your Christmas budget is dwindling by the day.

    (Picture: Getty)

    And it’s not just any size tub that has been reduced – it’s the huge ones. The holy grail of Christmas chocolates.

    Tesco is selling its giant, gold tubs for just £5. That’s 871g of foil-wrapped fun. Enough for the whole family, and then some.

    You won’t need to worry about fighting your brother for the last green triangles – at this price, there will be plenty to go around.

    To put the savings into perspective – the 720G tubs are still priced at £5 in both Sainsbury’s and Iceland. So Tesco are offering 151G of extra chocolate for the same price.

    The supermarket giant has been reducing the price of its Quality Street chocolates all year, but they haven’t quite matched last year’s discount when tubs were being sold for just £1.25.

    MORE: Sweden’s incredible Icehotel opens for the winter season

    MORE: What do you argue about with your family on Christmas day?

    MORE: How to make Christmas dinner using just food from bins


    Tesco is selling ridiculously cheap tubs of Quality StreetTesco is selling ridiculously cheap tubs of Quality Streetnataliemorris88Tesco is selling ridiculously cheap tubs of Quality StreetTesco is selling ridiculously cheap tubs of Quality Streetnataliemorris88

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    (Picture: Getty)

    Doing a plank is notoriously tough.

    It requires a perfect technique for it to be effective. Done right, the plank can strengthen the core muscles, the back muscles and the shoulder muscles. It can also improve your balance and posture.

    The key is to build it up slowly. Fitness enthusiasts often like to boast about their ability to do a five-minute plank, or more. But duration isn’t everything.

    When it comes to core stability, having great form is more important than how long you can hold it. Only once you’ve nailed your technique should you start seeing if you can push past that one-minute pain barrier.

    Our expert James, Creative Director of Sweat by BXR, is on hand to teach you exactly how to execute the perfect plank.

    To do a plank you have to start on the floor, in a prone position – making sure your back is straight and your spine is neutral.

    You want your elbows on the floor, directly underneath your shoulders, and prop up the bottom half of your body on your toes.

    If you look at your body from the side it should resemble a straight plank – no dipping of the spine or lifting of the bum.

    You should be a straight line from the ankles to knees, knees to hips, hips to shoulders and through the neck.

    Start off trying to hold the plank for 30 seconds. When that becomes easy, aim for one minute. See if you can push to two minutes after a few weeks of practice.

    Top tips for planking

    Don’t drop your hips
    This creates a weird dip in your spine and means you’re not actually working your core.

    Don’t lift your hips
    Similarly, tilting your hips up robs your core of a decent workout. If you find yourself doing this when you’re tired, just reduce how long you’re planking for.

    Don’t look up at the ceiling
    You might think it feels good to stretch your neck upwards, but this stance will put massive pressure on your neck and upper spine.

    Clench your bum
    Don’t forget that a plank is also a great exercise for your glutes. If you squeeze your cheeks together you’ll get the most out of the move.

    Don’t bend your knees
    It’s a common mistake when you start to get tired. It gives your bum a break and makes the move less effective. As soon as your form starts to suffer, it’s time to stop.

    MORE: How to do crunches: The perfect technique for the abdominal muscle exercise

    MORE: Exercising at night won’t mess up your sleep

    MORE: This is why skipping is such amazing cardio


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    El with some of the cards (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    Getting a letter in the post often means bank statements or student loans payments.

    So when Christmas rolls round and you come home to find a red envelope on the doormat, it’s pretty exciting even if it is from your Aunt Julie who you’ll be seeing on Christmas day anyway.

    But for some people, the Christmas cards from their family have completely stopped as their loved ones struggle to accept their gender or sexuality.

    El Roberts-Wright realised that being turned away by those who love you can be incredibly isolating and two years ago, she established the Rainbow Cards Project.

    This year, El, from Devon, will send around 4,600 cards to people across the world.

    El is sending around 4,600 cards this year (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    The 20-year-old explained: ‘It was coming up to Christmas 2016 and I was thinking about how excited I was to write Christmas cards to all my family.

    ‘I have multiple chronic illnesses that had become severe enough the year before I had been too unwell to write any, but that year I was doing a little better and was excited about the prospect of sending some.

    ‘Earlier that year, I had also come out to my parents, and several members of my extended family, so as I was thinking about sending my family cards a horrible thought dawned on me.

    ‘I realised how it would feel if my coming out had been met with a different reaction and I had received rejection instead of acceptance.

    ‘I imagined what it would be like to have no one to write cards to, and no cards turning up in my letterbox.

    El started sending cards two Christmases ago (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    ‘I wanted to do what I could to support any LGBTQ+ people who might be in that situation, and hopefully reaffirm to them that the LGBTQ+ community is a family in itself.’

    El put out a tweet saying that if there was anyone who had stopped receiving Christmas cards since they came out, they could message her and she would send them a card herself.

    From just a few tweets, El ended up sending over 30 cards to nine different countries and discovered that other people wanted to help.

    El adds: ‘They wanted to know what charity or organisation I was doing this via, and I had to explain it was just something I’d made happen informally with a couple of tweets.

    She also sends birthday cards and other notes to people throughout the year (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    ‘But how keen everyone was to get involved, and how many people had requested cards just from a couple of tweets, made me realise that maybe this was something our community needed.

    ‘That was driven home when people told me how receiving their cards had made a difference and helped them feel less alone.

    ‘I came away from that Christmas knowing this was something I needed to turn into a real project that could cater to more recipients and allow others to write cards.’

    In the first six months of 2017, El raised funds, set up a website and planned how the project would run, before offically launching the Rainbow Cards Project on 9 July 2017.

    Although initially started at Christmas time, El also sends birthday cards and cards for other occasions throughout the year.

    El decorates the card before she sends them (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    ‘I run this project by myself. People from all over the world sign up to be recipients and provide a little description about themselves and request certain types of cards,’ El explains.

    ‘Then senders from all around the world pick recipients off our website to write to and they write a card, or 10 (or sometimes even more) and then mail those cards to our PO box.

    ‘I then check every card I receive and sort them, and then when the time comes to send them out I decorate each envelope of the cards they’ve received using washi tapes and stickers in the recipients favourite colours.

    ‘Recipients typically receive about 6 cards each for their birthday, so I put them all together into one package and then address it and pop it in the post.’

    (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    This year, El thinks she has sent between 5,000 and 6,000 cards with around 4,600 of them being sent during the festive season.

    Since launching the project, El has received messages of support from across the world.

    She explained: ‘People I’ve sent the cards to have said some incredibly touching things.

    ‘So many people have told me opening their package made them cry because they felt so overwhelmed by love and support.

    The cards are sent to El from across the world and she then sends them onto an LGBTQ person who has been rejected by their family (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    ‘I’ve even had a couple of people tell me it saved their life because it reminded them that they weren’t alone and people out there did care about them.

    ‘People tell me it was the highlight of their birthday to receive cards, because it made them feel accepted and connected to a wider, loving community.’

    The project has helped El too as she has a number of chronic illnesses including the connective tissue disorder Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), and postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS), where a sudden change from lying to sitting can cause an abnormal increase in heart rate.

    She says: ‘Running this project has given me a sense of purpose. I’ve been bedridden for the past four years and that can be pretty isolating, but thanks to this project I no longer feel cut off from the world because I get post all the time from all over the world.

    El (Picture: El Roberts-Wright)

    ‘I have something to wake up for every day, and my presence in the world actually feels like it matters because I’m helping influence the lives of others in a positive way.

    ‘It can be incredibly stressful to run a project alone at times, especially when you have multiple chronic illnesses, but it really has changed my life for the better.’

    El’s conditions mean fundraising can be hard and she relys on people donating money online to continue the project.

    She adds: ‘Because of my disabilities I can’t hold a fundraiser in person, so I rely on online donors to keep the project going.

    ‘Some kind people have organised little fundraisers for me, both online and in person, and for those people I’m incredibly grateful as funding is something I’ve really struggled with, and without them the project probably wouldn’t exist today.

    ‘Most of the funding comes from kind donors on the internet who find our GoFundMe or PayPal links.’

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

    MORE: Mixed Up: ‘Can you identify as both mixed-race and black?’

    MORE: Listen out for changes in your date’s voice to see if they fancy you


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    Why do people want to bone The Grinch? Picture: Dave Anderson Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Metro.co.uk)

    The Grinch is hot.

    Don’t try to deny it, he is.

    He has a raw sexual charisma. He’s self-assured. He hates capitalism.

    The launch of a new Grinch film, this time voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, has brought with it a flurry of thirst for our green hairy pal.

    Look on Twitter and you won’t just find people calling the Grinch a dreamboat, but daddy.

    It’s happening this Christmas. People want to f*** the Grinch.

    On Twitter people have declared that the Grinch has big dick energy, that he’s thick, and that he’d be good in bed.

    On Instagram and Tumblr (despite their new bans on sexual content), fans are creating worlds in which the old version of the Grinch impregnates the new version of the Grinch (#grinchcest) or the Grinch performs a rim job.

    When you think about it, people being horny for the Grinch makes a lot of sense.

    In the 2000 version of the film, How The Grinch Stole Christmas, in which the Grinch is played by Jim Carrey, the character is positioned as an object of forbidden lust.

    Martha May Whovier (spoiler) rejects the Mayor and declares her lust for that hunk of green fuzzy man meat. Throughout the film she drools over his muscles and the colour green, but knows her love is forbidden, denying to Cindy Lou that she had a crush on The Grinch back in the day.

    He’s meant to be repulsive – Cindy Lou describes him as ‘hairy and smelly’ with clammy hands, and at one point he sticks mistletoe up his butt and invites the Whos to kiss it. But that doesn’t make him undesirable. Instead it makes desiring him feel weird and wrong… which is kinky.

    What could be hotter than someone mean, grumpy, and disgusting? Someone who you’re not supposed to fancy, who you know is bad for you, who your parents will hate, but that you can’t help lusting after anyway?

    The Grinch taps into all our desires for f***boys and bad boys. We know full well that he’d eat with his mouth open on a date and refuse to shower, but that’s part of his appeal.

    Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Batzdorff/Imagine Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5875878b) Jim Carrey The Grinch - 2000 Director: Ron (Ronny) Howard Imagine Ent Scene Still
    (Picture: Rex Features)

    Plus, as we mentioned, his personality is exactly what we’re after. We relate to him, hard. He hates materialism and capitalist society, he hates feeling emotions, he’s committed to self-care (‘dinner with me, I can’t cancel that again’) and he eats when he’s bored. That is us. His soul is twinned with ours.

    There’s a redemption arc, too. His heart grows three sizes and he does something nice for the residents of Whoville. This is a bad boy who can actually be changed. Isn’t that the dream?

    In the new Grinch film, the character’s appeal as a boyfriend or daddy is compounded. The new release follows the Grinch trying to get with Cindy Lou’s single mum, Martha May, positioning him as the lead in his own rom-com.

    That’s handy, as some have theorised that the Grinch is Whoville’s version of an incel, locking himself away and blaming his wrongdoings on women failing to be attracted to him. In the new version, he’s actively interested in dating.

    Plus he has a cute dog and his own property on a cliff. It’s like filmmakers are trying to make us want to f*** the Grinch.

    We spoke to one Grinch stan, who for the sake of anonymity has been asked to be called Martha-May Whovier.

    Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Illumination/Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9971715n) The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) 'The Grinch' Film - 2018 A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.
    (Picture: Illumination/Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

    ‘He’s tall, he’s hairy, he gives no f***s about others’ opinions,’ she tells Metro.co.uk when asked why the Grinch is so bangable. ‘The original rebel without a cause, he stunts on the stupid mayor like it’s nobody’s business and marches to the beat of his own drum.

    ‘He just has a raw attraction I can’t explain properly, like I even find it hot when he’s wearing lederhosen and eating glass bottles?

    ‘Maybe I need psychological help or maybe I just need that big green D.’

    Martha-May Whovier’s heart belongs to the Jim Carrey version of the Grinch, because the old and new cartoon versions seem ‘childish’ while Carrey’s performance is ‘fully grown and ready to bone’.

    She has, of course, considered what the Grinch’s penis would look like.

    ‘Green, obviously. It would perhaps be a lil furry and tapered at the end? I think it would be a good size. He’s a tall bloke.’

    It’s a big topic of conversation on Twitter.

    While the previous film deceived people into believing that the Grinch has no sexual parts of any kind (he appears to only wear a Santa costume on top, while his bottom half is smoothly covered in fur), the new film shows him putting on underwear and wearing a green fuzzy suit of some sort, indicating that he is not naked and thus may indeed have a penis hiding under his clothes.

    Some believe that the Grinch has a penis that unfurls like the tendrils of his fur in the 1996 version, while others suggest that the growth of his heart at the end of the book and film suggests his peen may be an impressive grower, not a shower.

    A search in the dark corners of the internet reveals illustrations of potential Grinch penises, which we won’t share here in a half-hearted attempt to not entirely destroy Christmas for the innocent minded.

    Some show his penis as a candy cane-esque hook, others a Christmas tree shape, a few a long twirling thing that cascades to the ground.

    The Grinch’s penis isn’t usually discussed in Wattpad fan fics, which tend to be pretty PG, but one does detail the character’s ‘slapstick’ and indicates that it’s rather hefty: ‘His meat bounced around, with many a sound.’

    The general consensus is that it’s large in length (as Martha-May notes, he is a tall man and his fingers are massive), but that the girth is yet to be determined. Glad that’s settled.

    If you, too, are hot for Grinch, do not panic: You are not a freak destined to be cast out of Whoville.

    Annabelle Knight, sex expert and relationship expert at Lovehoney, tells Metro.co.uk she can ‘totally see’ why some people would find the Grinch hot, and says there’s nothing wrong if you do.

    ‘He starts out as an idiot but he learns the error of his ways and grows a heart,’ she says. ‘And he loves his dog – which is a very lovable feature.

    Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Imagine Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5875878f) Jim Carrey The Grinch - 2000 Director: Ron Howard Imagine Ent Scene Still
    (Picture: Imagine Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock)

    ‘He also champions an important message that your worth isn’t measured by your possessions. There is a lot to like about the Grinch.’

    Annabel explains that it’s normal to be attracted to fantasy and not-entirely-human characters, as they ‘take us away from the everyday and humdrum and transport us to another world’.

    ‘Having a crush on a fictional character is pretty common and there is even a fancy name for it – Schediaphilia,’ she notes.

    ‘Of course you are going to emote with a character who is well drawn and looks great.

    ‘It means that your imagination is alive and healthy and you’re open to new experiences – all great qualities which enhance sex, too.

    ‘It means you are won’t just go through the motions, doing the same things every time, but will be looking to innovate, try new things and live out your fantasies.

    ‘Just remember to develop crushes on real people, too, who may not be trying to save the world from oblivion but will have very real problems of their own. No one in a cartoon ever has to worry about a unexpected tax bill or has a runny nose.’

    So there you have it, Grinch lusters. Go forth and fantasise with wild abandon. Think of what the Grinch is hiding underneath those furry trousers.

    And if you want to take your fantasy into reality, take solace in the knowledge that there are plenty of Grinch costumes out there for your partner to throw on.

    There’s also a lot of Grinch themed porn out there, with brilliant names such as ‘the Grinch who stole clitmas’ and ‘you’re a leaker, Mr Grinch’. Merry Christmas, one and all.

    MORE: Santa outfits, a group masturbation session and multiple orgasms: Here’s what a sex club Christmas party is really like

    MORE: I won’t be buying a single present this Christmas – I don’t see the point

    MORE: How to host a vegan this Christmas – with food you’ll really want to eat


    Metro IllustrationMetro IllustrationellencscottEditorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Batzdorff/Imagine Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5875878b) Jim Carrey The Grinch - 2000 Director: Ron (Ronny) Howard Imagine Ent Scene StillEditorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Illumination/Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9971715n) The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) 'The Grinch' Film - 2018 A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Imagine Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5875878f) Jim Carrey The Grinch - 2000 Director: Ron Howard Imagine Ent Scene StillMetro IllustrationMetro IllustrationellencscottEditorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ron Batzdorff/Imagine Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5875878b) Jim Carrey The Grinch - 2000 Director: Ron (Ronny) Howard Imagine Ent Scene StillEditorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Illumination/Universal/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (9971715n) The Grinch (Benedict Cumberbatch) 'The Grinch' Film - 2018 A grumpy Grinch plots to ruin Christmas for the village of Whoville.Editorial use only. No book cover usage. Mandatory Credit: Photo by Imagine Ent/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock (5875878f) Jim Carrey The Grinch - 2000 Director: Ron Howard Imagine Ent Scene Still

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    Collect of (l-r) Lola,12, Zack,5, Madison,11, Savannah,11,Hero,3, and Moniqe,25. Matt Fiddes,39, behind. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.
    (Picture: Matt Fiddes /SWNS.COM)

    A multimillionaire who used to spend £20,000 on Christmas gifts is doing a ‘reverse Scrooge’ after seeing how the other half live – and is now spending £50 a kid.

    Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids.

    Every Christmas, they would get loads of gifts. One time he even bought his then three-year-old daughter a pony.

    But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year – and it made him change his ways.

    This year, for the first time ever, his wife Moniqe, 25, will be buying the Christmas dinner from Iceland for less than £40 – instead of their usual pricey M&S or Waitrose haul.

    They’ve also set a budget of between £50 and £100 per child for presents, with stocking fillers from Primark, Asda and Poundland.

    Matt, a former bodyguard to Michael Jackson, said: ‘We make a point of not spoiling the children now. It doesn’t matter if we can afford to.

    ‘The kids weren’t bought up very normally at first.

    ‘I used to spend thousands without even thinking about it, but it wasn’t what is important in life.

    Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, with his wife Moniqe,25. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the other half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.
    (Picture: Matt Fiddes /SWNS.COM)

    ‘I didn’t grow up particularly privileged myself, but becoming successful at 21 introduced me to a whole different world and my spending went crazy.

    ‘I used to try and compensate for working all the time by showering my children with gifts – one Christmas got far too excessive and I spent £20,000.

    ‘But I realised it isn’t how I want my kids to grow up – I don’t want them becoming obsessed with materialism and money.’

    This Christmas, Matt and his family will be eating a £3 honey glazed frozen gammon joint, a £3 frozen crackling pork leg and 60p rice puddings, all from Iceland.

    The food shopping list comes to just £39.48, with multipacks of Fanta Zero and Coke Zero being the most expensive items, with a total of £8.

    The children’s Christmas gifts will be equally humble, with sons Zack, five, and Hero, three set to get Thomas the Tank Engine toys (which range from £10-30) and Spiderman costumes (£16 from Argos), and Madison and Savannah, 11, getting trainers or cash.

    Lola, 12, asked for a £399 camera, but Matt and Moniqe decided against it and opted instead for a £100 model for the aspiring photographer.

    It’s a far cry from previous years, when the entrepreneur estimates he spent £20,000 showering his children with gifts.

    He bought firstborn Madison, now 15, a pony when she was just three years old, and was a self-confessed flashy father, driving the family around in his £130k Ferrari.

    Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, with Hero,3,Lola,12, Madison,11, Savannah ,11, and Zack,5. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.
    (Picture: Matt Fiddes /SWNS.COM)

    Matt insists he is much happier raising his children to be less materialistic.

    His new outlook on life is in part also due to Moniqe, who grew up in poverty in South Africa and wasn’t used to living a life of luxury.

    Matt and Moniqe, who have been married for six years, are expecting their third child together – Matt’s sixth – this month.

    They are both parents to Matt’s daughters from a previous marriage, Madison, Lola and Savannah, and sons Zack and Hero.

    Moniqe said: ‘When I first moved to the UK with Matt it was a bit of a culture shock.

    ‘I had been raised very modestly, so when they brought out sacks and sacks of gifts the first Christmas I spent with them I couldn’t believe it.

    ‘You can see on a child’s face if they really appreciate something, and having so much I could tell it didn’t mean as much to them as it should.

    ‘I have gotten more used to it, but when my mum came to visit from South Africa it was a bit of a wake up call – she was upset that her other grandchildren would get one £10-20 gift and we had sackfulls of toys.

    Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, and his wife Moniqw, 25. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.
    (Picture: Matt Fiddes /SWNS.COM)

    ‘It is not how I was raised and after that I became more strict – I want to set an example. I don’t want my kids to grow up with everything handed to them.’

    Matt added: ‘The kids have taken to the changes really well, I’m so proud of them.

    ‘They’d rather spend time with me than the latest gadget and that’s important.

    ‘Listening to Moniqe’s stories growing up less fortunate has helped them to understand. Moniqe is very humble – she loves to shop at Asda and Iceland, she buys clothes for everyone at Primark.

    ‘She knows how to sniff out a good bargain and will get a few little stocking fillers for the kids from there.

    ‘She does the food shop and chooses what we have – and she never fails to surprise me.’

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    MORE: I kept my mental illness a secret from my parents for 10 years


    SEI_44790188-a1bcSEI_44790188-a1bchattiegladwellmetroCollect of (l-r) Lola,12, Zack,5, Madison,11, Savannah,11,Hero,3, and Moniqe,25. Matt Fiddes,39, behind. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, with his wife Moniqe,25. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the other half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, with Hero,3,Lola,12, Madison,11, Savannah ,11, and Zack,5. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, and his wife Moniqw, 25. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.SEI_44790188-a1bcSEI_44790188-a1bchattiegladwellmetroCollect of (l-r) Lola,12, Zack,5, Madison,11, Savannah,11,Hero,3, and Moniqe,25. Matt Fiddes,39, behind. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, with his wife Moniqe,25. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the other half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, with Hero,3,Lola,12, Madison,11, Savannah ,11, and Zack,5. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.Collect of Matt Fiddes,39, and his wife Moniqw, 25. Multimillionaire Mr.Fiddes is cutting back on his Christmas spending after seeing how the otehr half live for a TV show last year. See SWNS story SWOCbling..A multimillionaire who used to spend ?20k on Christmas gifts is doing a 'reverse Scrooge' after seeing how the other half live - and is now spending ?50 a kid.Matt Fiddes, 39, made his millions with a string of martial arts schools and admits he used to compensate for his long working hours by spoiling his five kids. They would get sackfuls of gifts each - and once he bought his then three-year-old daughter a PONY for Christmas.But the Fiddes swapped lives with the a family from a council estate for a TV show last year - and it made him change his ways.

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    Tom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.
    (Picture: Victoria Tetley / VJT Photography)

    Schizophrenia is often confused with dissociative identity disorder. But they couldn’t be more different.

    In DID, the mind creates multiple personalities to deal with trauma. Many people assume this is a symptom of schizophrenia, meshing together the idea of schizophrenia with having ‘multiple personalities’.

    The conditions are actually very different. In schizophrenia, no identities are created. Common symptoms are delusions, hearing voices, and hallucinating.

    31-year-old Tom Doolan lives with schizophrenia. He was diagnosed when he was 28.

    What is schizophrenia?

    Schizophrenia is a severe mental health condition that is often described by doctors as a type of psychosis, meaning the person suffering may not always be able to distinguish their own thoughts and ideas from reality.

    The condition causes a range of different psychological symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, muddled thoughts and changes in behaviour.

    He started having symptoms in early 2012, including hallucinations, hearing voices and having intrusive thoughts.

    In 2013, while out shopping, everything got too much for Tom and he ended up sitting on the floor in the middle of Liverpool city centre crying. An ambulance was called and he was taken to the hospital.

    Over the next two years doctors diagnosed Tom with several mental health conditions. Eventually he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.

    Tom tells Metro.co.uk: ‘I was slightly surprised. Obviously I was aware that I had something going on that shouldn’t be happening, but when I finally got the diagnosis it was like a weight off my shoulders because finally I could move forward and get the help I needed.

    ‘It was very much a relief. Not a relief to find out it was schizophrenia, more a relief that now moving forward we could put steps in place to help me manage what is going on.’

    Tom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.
    (Picture: Victoria Tetley / VJT Photography)

    Tom says that for the longest time, he let his schizophrenia control his life and ‘define’ him as a person.

    He said: ‘I felt like schizophrenia was living with me and not me living with schizophrenia.’

    When asked whether living with schizophrenia was difficult, he told us: ‘I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said it wasn’t hard.

    ‘Some days aren’t as hard as others, but the days where I am sat on the bathroom floor self harming because I can’t control the thoughts in my head are horrible, or waking up in the night because I feel like something is in the room only to see angry dogs next to me at the side of the bed.

    ‘Imagine going for a 40 mile run and how drained your body would be – that is how I feel for a couple of days after having a major episode.

    ‘But the days when I see a trigger coming on and deal with that before it progresses, those days are good – they make me feel proud at how far I have come.’

    For the past six months, Tom has been the ‘best’ he’s been in the ‘longest time’, though he says he still has his ups and downs. He has verbal hallucinations (hearing voices) and intrusive thoughts regularly, but hasn’t had any major visual hallucinations.

    He said: ‘I was very much of the mindset that I am a proud male and I didn’t want to ask for help.

    ‘The most important step for me was realising it’s okay to talk to people. Now when I notice the triggers I can text or call people and they help me get past what’s going on.’

    Tom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.
    (Picture: Victoria Tetley / VJT Photography)

    Tom feels there is a huge stigma around schizophrenia. He says this is because it’s so rarely in the public eye.

    He also thinks it’s unhelpful that words like ‘crazy’, ‘psycho’ and ‘mental’ are still passed around.

    Tom says: ‘For a while I felt ashamed about having the condition because of how people reacted. I even lied and played down what my diagnosis was because of how other people made me feel about it.

    ‘People who are struggling, I want them to know that if you push yourself, if you access the support, you can and will be fine.

    ‘People who judge me and do not know what’s going on? I’m not crazy or mental or a psycho. My journey has been a struggle, I am covered in scars and I’m broken.

    ‘I’m far from perfect but if you could live half a day with this condition you would understand why.

    ‘It’s the hardest thing I have ever had to deal with and it’s a constant mental battle, my medication helps but isn’t a cure. Don’t judge or make assumptions about things you’re not clued up on.’

    If you or a loved one are experiencing symptoms of schizophrenia, seek advice from your doctor who will be able to handle your care and put you on the right track to getting better. If you’re in a state of distress or need to talk, call Samaritans on 116 123. 

    Need support? Contact the Samaritans

    For emotional support you can call the Samaritans 24-hour helpline on 116 123, email jo@samaritans.org, visit a Samaritans branch in person or go to the Samaritans website.

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    SEI_44415479-3951SEI_44415479-3951hattiegladwellmetroTom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.Tom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.Tom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.SEI_44415479-3951SEI_44415479-3951hattiegladwellmetroTom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.Tom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.Tom Doolan, 31, of Widnes, has suffered with schizophrenia but is now getting his life back to normal.

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    Letter from Santa offers perfect solution for parents who have to work on Christmas Day
    Lovely, right? (Picture: Stephanie Lynn)

    Christmas is all about spending time with people you love… and presents.

    But that can be tricky when you have to work on Christmas Day.

    Sure, the family could wait for everyone to get home after Father Christmas has made a delivery, but who can stand looking at a pile of unwrapped presents under the tree for longer than an hour?

    Thankfully there’s a way to make it work.

    Mum Stephanie Lynn has shared an official letter from Santa Claus himself that parents can print off and fill in to rearrange their present delivery for another day.

    That way, Christmas can be moved forward or postponed to fit around parents’ work schedules. Hooray.

    Stephanie says she originally shared the letter for people working in the military and as first responders for emergency services, but has been stunned by how many people have said they’ll be using it.

    Letter from Santa offers perfect solution for parents who have to work on Christmas Day
    (Picture: Stephanie Lynn)

    ‘As all of you know, the holidays can be a rough time for families like ours – juggling shift work, on-call hours, deployments, TDYs, etc. and “normal” holiday events can get quite hectic,’ she wrote. ‘And no matter what, our amazing kids just push on through, sharing their parent(s) with us all.

    ‘This year, it’s likely Brent will be working on Christmas Day, so we’ve decided to have Christmas the morning of the 24th, when we can all be together.’

    The letter from Santa explains that Father Christmas makes ‘special trips’ for children whose parents are working over Christmas.

    ‘Christmas is about family,’ reads the letter, ‘and even though your mom or dad will be working hard on the 25th, I want your whole family to have a very special Christmas morning – together.’

    The letter invites families to tick a box for the day they’d prefer to have their special Christmas morning, then thanks children for sharing their parents with the world when we need them.

    Stephanie has shared links for versions of the letter for divorced parents, pilots and flight crew, military members and first responders, and medical professionals, as well as a generic one for anyone working over Christmas. So parents can simply pick the one that applies to them, print it off, then fill it out with their kids.

    Lovely, right?

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    SEI_44899848-9d00SEI_44899848-9d00ellencscottLetter from Santa offers perfect solution for parents who have to work on Christmas DayLetter from Santa offers perfect solution for parents who have to work on Christmas DaySEI_44899848-9d00SEI_44899848-9d00ellencscottLetter from Santa offers perfect solution for parents who have to work on Christmas DayLetter from Santa offers perfect solution for parents who have to work on Christmas Day

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