Christmas Links

Christmas is a family time of year, and across the Internet there is a rather large family of websites loving a bit of Christmas. I thought it’d be worthwhile bringing together my favourite places online into one place. So here goes:

Christmas UK – http://www.christmasuk.org/
Pretty sure this is the best of them all, comes alive from September really and gets a lot of the good stuff first. A great resource for Christmas.

Digital Spy Christmas Radio Times Thread – https://forums.digitalspy.com/discussion/2192068/the-official-christmas-radio-times-countdown-and-christmas-tv-thread-2017
Opens fresh every year and is a great way to keep up to date with the new things happening. There are quizzes and stuff. Also, how else do we find out when Radio Times is coming out.

UK Christmas TV – http://ukchristmastv.weebly.com/
This amazing resource keeps copies of the TV listings and covers of the Radio Times and TV Times from years gone past.

NORAD Santa – http://www.noradsanta.org/
Surely everyone knows this one by now. If you have kids, get on here from December 1st and follow what happens. On Christmas Eve, you can literally track Santa as he flies around the world.

UK Christmas Reddit – https://www.reddit.com/r/ukchristmas/
Just another Reddit really…but still…

Under the Christmas Tree – http://www.underthechristmastree.co.uk/
Fairly new on me this one for this year, but looks like a very good website, lots of food news and toy news.

The Premier League, Christmas and the incredible disappearing amount of good faith

So it’s looking likely that Arsenal v Liverpool may well be played on Christmas Eve. With a 4pm kick-off. Live on Sky Sports. People who know me will testify that I’m a very big football fan, yet even so, I think this is a disgrace.

Let’s start at the reasons it’s happened.

This year Christmas Day is on a Monday. The Saturday before Christmas has been declared by the Premier League as a ‘normal’ game week. As a normal week, this means Sky and BT get to play spin the bottle to choose which games they show. It’s fair to say Arsenal v Liverpool is the game of the week.

Now, Sky have looked objectively at this, subscribers want to watch the games, advertisers want to pay Sky, so Sky asked to have the big game to show. The best audience figures are the Sunday games. Sky asked to move the game to the Sunday. Except this year, the Sunday is Christmas Eve. Sky are obviously betting that they’ll get a huge audience on Christmas eve, with everyone crowded around the TV. I’m not so sure though.

So, what are my objections?

To begin with, Sunday’s are bad enough for public transport, this being the only way to get to Arsenal’s stadium realistically, but you’d get through that normally. But on Christmas Eve…it doesn’t bare thinking about.

I’ve worked in retail on Christmas Eve, it’s generally done and all over by lunch time.

I’ve travelled on public transport on Christmas Eve. It’s done and all over by lunch time too.

Why?

Because people want to be at home or with their family, going to see Grandma in her bungalow, starting the bottle of Christmas Mint Baileys or Port, nibbling on a mince pie or some Quality Street, watching Polar Express with their kids…they really don’t want to be battling the crowds after dark, in London, at St Pancras or Euston, desperate for a train, trying to get 200 miles north to be home for the morning. Forget any chance of Midnight Mass by the way if that’s your jam.

And watching it on TV, really, is that what we want on Christmas Eve? Like I say, I’m a big football person, and I’m not sure I want it. I want to be helping prep the dinner, I want to be wrapping the last presents, I want Christmas music on the radio, I want to sit with a glass of wine with my feet up feeling warm and fuzzy, I want to have a few bits of cheese and crackers…I can’t think of anything worse than ignoring the wife and kids and watching two hours of football on this day. Boxing Day is fine, I’ve had enough of the family by then.

What about the players too? They are obviously paid vast sums to just get on with it, but they are still human, have families and this is hitting them. I doubt they’ll be fully at it.

What about the staff and the stewards at the ground? They will mostly have families too. I gather that the availability of Stewards is perhaps the main thing placing the game in any doubt right now.

There is a fixture programme on Boxing Day remember, this is a traditional football day. Moving the Arsenal Liverpool game though means their Boxing Day game will be moved to the Wednesday. So, Arsenal and Liverpool fans are losing their Boxing Day game because of this. I hope the fans take the opportunity to go and see some non-League on Boxing Day instead, or just maybe go for a nice walk with the family.

The point here is I’m just not sure people want it on Christmas Eve. Already TV audiences are down on football, I genuinely hope the stadium is half full and the game gets shocking viewing figures on TV, it’s the only way to stop this happening again. Actually, it’d be really funny if the game was snowed off, but it would have been fine for the Saturday…that’d teach them!

Time off from work this Christmas

So, yes, I know it’s July.

I also know that I started this blog as an October to December blog…but you know what, this is a public information service right here, so I’m breaking my rules. I’ve also changed some colours and some fonts to jazz this place up a bit.

Anyway, the real reason we’re here…this post serves as your reminder to get your time booked off at work for Christmas, ten days off for the price of booking three days off. Get in there before somebody else does, if you can.

The Telegraph have helpfully explained all here:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/05/get-10-days-row-using-just-three-days-annual-leave/

Of course, you could be dead lucky and have a full office shutdown over Christmas and not get a choice in the matter.

Alternatively, if you work in retail, this post probably isn’t for you, sorry. Long time ago, I did a few years working in supermarkets through Christmas, never seen anything like it. What is the fascination with fresh double and single cream?!?!