Brits Prefer their Pets to their In-Laws

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brits prefer their petsA new survey investigating the company that Brits keep on Christmas day has revealed that shockingly our family and in-laws aren’t a priority place setting around the dinner table, with 20% choosing to spend Christmas with just their pets.

The research by animal charity Support Adoption for Pets, which surveyed more than 2,000 UK residents found that one third of Brits prefer their pets to their in-laws, and are twice as likely to choose spending Christmas with their pet over their in-laws.

On Christmas day, it appears that we’re not the only ones who enjoy a festive dinner, with a quarter admitting they feed their pet a special meal, while the younger generation are most likely to feed their pet a Christmas dinner amongst 18-35 year olds.

While it’s the season of goodwill, many like to spoil their pets, especially at Christmas, with the average person spending up to £50 on presents for their pooch. Sadly, not all pets are so lucky and face Christmas alone in a rescue centre, so this year, Support Adoption for Pets has launched their annual Santa Paws appeal to raise money for rescue pets in need.

Commenting on the recent findings, Amy Wilson Fundraising Manager at Support Adoption for Pets commented: “We’re delighted to see the overwhelming love that owners have for their pets, in particular over the festive period. We’d also like to remind the nation to spare a thought for those pets who are unfortunate enough to find themselves without an owner this Christmas, and urge them to dig deep.

“We hope that the money raised by the Santa Paws appeal will ensure that rescue pets across the country can enjoy a Christmas dinner, and feel the love that they so very much deserve.”

Over the festive season (1st - 24th December) Support Adoption for Pets will be raising money inside Pets At Home stores nationwide, to raise enough money to fund 2.4million dinners for abandoned pets over Christmas.

For those shopping in Pets At Home throughout December, customers will be given the opportunity to support the Santa Paws appeal simply by donating 50p (enough to fund one Christmas dinner for a rescue pet) at the till point. Animal lovers can also donate £3 by texting BOWL01 to 70070, or an amount of their choosing online at

Christmas Last Posting Dates

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The Royal Mail has announced its recommended international posting dates for residents wanting to send mail overseas in time for the festive season.

Festive greetings destined for friends and family in Australia or New Zealand will need to send their post by Saturday, December 9.

The last recommended date for United States and Canada is Thursday 14th December.

Letters and parcels to Denmark, Norway, Slovakia and Switzerland should be posted by Friday, December 15.

For the Republic of Ireland and France, mail should be sent by Saturday, December 16.

The last posting dates apply to both standard international services and those which have tracking and signature.

For the UK, second class post should be sent by Tuesday 19th December and first class by Wednesday 20th December.

Royal Mail special delivery service deadline is Thursday 21st December.

Suzy Lamplugh Trust Issues Festive Season Safety

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The following information has been released by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust and it is well worth a read as we head into the peak of the festive season.

Christmas is a time to relax and have fun but it can also be very busy and stressful. You may be out and about more than usual – for that essential Christmas shopping and to festive parties and other social events – and the last thing you need is to become a victim of crime. To help avoid this, consider some of the following advice:

Christmas Parties

 Most of us like a drink or two but remember that alcohol will affect your judgment – don’t let it endanger your personal safety.

 Remember, the most common date rape drug is alcohol, with victims being given drinks with a far higher alcohol content than they think.

 Watch your drinks and food to ensure that nothing is added to them.

 Never leave your drink unattended, even if you are going to dance or to the toilet.

 If your drink has been left unattended, don't drink any more of it.

 If something tastes or looks odd, don't eat/drink any more of it. Be aware, though, that some date rape drugs are colourless and tasteless.

 If someone you don't know or trust offers to buy you a drink either decline or accompany them to the bar and watch that nothing is added.

 Know your own limit.

 If you meet someone new at a party, avoid going home with them or inviting them back to your home/accepting a lift from them. It's far safer to arrange a second date in a public place to get to know the person better. If you do find yourself alone with someone you don't know well, make sure that someone knows where you are and who you're with.

 Pay attention to your instincts. If you feel uneasy about someone, there may be a reason.

 Carry your keys, mobile phone and some money in your pocket on the way home, so you can give up your handbag or wallet and escape quickly if necessary.

Christmas Shopping

 Don’t get loaded down with too many bags. Try to keep one hand free.

 Try and avoid taking young children into busy shopping areas. If it is unavoidable make sure they know what to do if they lose you, e.g. tell the nearest counter assistant that they are lost and NEVER leave a shop without you.

 Agree a meeting point with older children in case you get separated.

 Be careful where you park your car, especially if you will be returning to it after dark.

 If parking in a multi-storey car park, choose a well-lit space as close to the exit as possible and away from pillars. Reverse into position.

 Keep car doors locked whilst driving in built-up areas, especially if you’ve got bags of presents in the car.

 Don’t leave presents on show in a parked car, as they could tempt thieves.

 Keep alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in busy shops and crowded streets where thieves and pickpockets may well be operating.

 Keep a close watch on your valuables and try not to keep them all in one place.


 The party’s over and you need to get home. You are likely to be tired and slightly the worse for wear so you need to be careful.

 The ideal plan is to book your cab or taxi in advance or call a licensed cab company from the party and arrange for them to pick you up right outside the venue.

 Never accept a lift from a minicab touting for trade on the street. They are illegal and can be very dangerous.

 Always sit in the back of a cab/taxi and if you get chatting to the driver, do not give away personal details. If you feel uneasy with the driver, ask him to stop at a busy familiar place and get out.

 If using public transport, have your ticket, pass or change ready in your hand so that your wallet or purse is out of sight.

 Always wait for the bus or train in a well-lit place near other people if possible and try and arrange for someone to meet you at the bus stop or station.

 Take note of where the emergency alarms are and try to sit near them.

 If a bus is empty or it is after dark, you may feel safer on the lower deck as near as possible to the driver.

 On trains, avoid empty compartments or compartments that have no access to corridors or other parts of the train. If you feel threatened on any public transport press the alarm and/or make as much noise as possible to attract attention of your fellow passengers or the driver or guard.

How well do you know your Christmas adverts? This Festive brainteaser will find out

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This festive image contains a truck-load of Christmas adverts – but can you identify all ten?

Sainsbury’s, Toys R Us and Starbucks are all renowned for their clever story-telling and clues from some of the most popular campaigns appear in the winter scene.

For many, seeing these Christmas marketing ploys from some of the nation’s best-loved brands mark the start of the holiday season.

And John Lewis is one of the most hotly anticipated Christmas campaigns – with ads including the likes of the ‘Man on the Moon’, ‘Monty the Penguin’ and ‘Buster’.

Other festive marketing includes Norad’s tracking of Father Christmas, British Airway’s livery and Yellow Pages’ classic puppy love romance.

The topical teaser was created by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM).

“Gemma Butler, associate director of marketing of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, said: “The best present for a professional marketer is seeing their vision come to life and capture the public imagination - today, we’re celebrating the ideas that inspire a real sense of the holiday season.

"Achieving commercial goals is important, but the truly successful campaigns strike a chord that reminds us all of the real meaning of Christmas.”


1. Toys R Us 'Magical Place'

2. Coca Cola 'Holidays are Coming'

3. Stella Artois – Christmas lager

4. BA – Rudolph red nose on jets

5. Yellow Pages’ 'Mistletoe'

6. Sainsburys 'Mog's Calamity Christmas'

7. PG Tips 'Merry Christmas Monkey'

8. John Lewis 'Man on the Moon'

9. Starbucks 'Christmas'

10. Norad – tracking Father Christmas

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