- Holidays and Celebrations
Sleeps Until Christmas 2017
How Many Sleeps Until Santa
How Long Until Christmas?
Not long before we say "Santa has started his journey around the world." and boys and girls will lay out their stockings on their beds.
Father Christmas soon has to make his list so he has time to check it twice! Are you going to be on the naughty list or the nice list, take our poll below and tell Santa why you think you should be on the nice list, don't forget to tell him what you want for Christmas.
Santa is now at the North Pole, checking his list and busy preparing for Christmas Eve 2017 when he and his reindeer will set out on the annual journey delivering toys and gifts to boys and girls around the world. On this page you can also join in the countdown to Christmas Day with fun Christmas activities for everybody. Christmas facts and trivia and links to great sites including the Norad Santa Tracker where you can follow the big guy as he makes his tour around the globe.
Enjoy the Days Until Christmas and get in the Christmas Spirit with the best Holiday Songs ever, further down the page. You can start your Christmas Shopping right here with iTunes, ebay and Amazon and get your baking off to a flying start with our Christmas links. Why not take one of our quizzes to test your knowledge of everything Christmas including TV, Christmas hits and Christmas trivia. Good luck and Merry Christmas everybody. Don't forget to put your stocking on the mantle piece and go to bed early on Christmas Eve and sleep until Santa has been, no peeping.
If you have ever wondered where Christmas traditions such as stockings by the fire and the yule log come from, take a look at Christmas trivia and fun on this page. Who was number 1 in the charts in 1985? Find out all the Christmas number 1's since 1981 right here.
I still love Christmas Eve, the anticipation and excitement of what will come down the chimney and the joy on the children's faces.
Where's Santa Now?
Santa Claus is at the North Pole
Santa is busy at The North Pole at the moment, getting ready for his big night on 24 December. You can use this page to get the festive preparations underway and get in the Christmas spirit with the YouTube collection of Top Christmas Songs below. Check out your favourite Christmas number 1's since the 1980's.
Click on the Santa image here to go to Norad Santa Tracker and see what Santa Claus is up to at the moment. On Christmas Eve you can track Santa all the way around the world, make sure you are asleep, in bed before he gets to your town though! Norad tracks Santa is also on Facebook. Click the link to go to the Norad Tracks Santa Facebook page which started on 1 December when there were just 24 sleeps left until Christmas Day.
Christmas Activities, Fun and Trivia - Enjoy the Days to Christmas Eve
Here are some links to online Christmas fun and activities to get you in the Christmas spirit ready for the big day on 25th December 2017. Make the Countdown to festivities more fun with family activities and family baking.
Did you know that the Christmas Stocking has its origins in Norway and Father Christmas has his origins in Holland and the Dutch patron saint of school boys, Saint Nicholas. Christmas means Christ's Mass, from the English "Christes Masse". St Nicholas was a kind bishop who brought gifts to needy children and their families. The legend associated with the origins of the Christmas stocking is also associated with Saint Nick. It is said that he wanted to help a poor family anonymously. He threw gold coins down their chimney which landed in stocking which had been hung on the mantle piece to dry.
Candles signify the light that Jesus brought to earth and were used by the early Pagans who became Christians to decorate the sacred evergreen trees which is where the tradition of decorating the Christmas tree originates. The traditional "Yule Log" can also be traced to pagan times. They believed at the end of the year, the sun stood still for twelve days. A log was cut large enough for this time period to burn away last years evil.
Naughty or Nice List - Are you naughty or good?
Santa wants to know if you think you have been good this year. Tell everybody one reason why you should be on the nice list and one reason why you should be on the naughty list. Don't tell any lies because Santa Claus is watching! Soon he will be making his list and checking it twice to find out if you are naughty or nice.
Which list should Santa put you on, the naughty list or the nice list?
Best Christmas Songs Ever - Merry Christmas Everyone
The very best of the Christmas song that come back year after year. Slade, The Pogues and Wizard, all the festive tunes that you know and love to hear when Christmas shopping, at the office party or driving in your car. A One Poll survey for Halfords in November 2012 revealed that Christmas tunes can seriously affect your driving and attitude to other motorists.
Best Loved Christmas songs (spreading goodwill among motorists)
1. Nat King Cole “The Christmas Song – Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire”
2. Louis Armstrong “White Christmas”
3. Pogues with Kirsty MacColl “Fairytale in New York”
4. Chris Rea “Driving Home for Christmas'
5. Bobby Elms “Jingle Bell Rock”
6. John Lennon “Happy Christmas War is Over”
7. Slade “Merry Christmas Everyone”
8. Bing Crosby “White Christmas”
9. Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
10. Roy Wood’s Wizzard “I Wish it Could be Christmas Everyday”
Most Irritating (negatively affecting driver behaviour)
1. Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas”
2. Paul McCartney “A Wonderful Christmas Time”
3. Jackson 5 “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”
4. Barbara Streisand “Jingle Bells”
5. Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas”
6. Wham “Last Christmas”
7. Elmo and Patsy “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”
8. Madonna “Santa Baby” (cover version)
9. Roy Wood's Wizzard “I Wish it could be Christmas Everyday”
10. Slade “Merry Christmas Everyone”
Twas The Night Before Christmas
Account of a Visit from St. Nicholas
'Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
Favourite Christmas Song - Which Christmas song do you love the most?
Which festive song makes you feel Christmassy when you are out shopping or at home baking for Christmas? Everybody has their favourite Christmas hit that they like to hear at Christmas. Which Christmas tune is most likely to lift your Christmas spirit and fill you with Christmas cheer?
What is your favourite Christmas song?
List of Christmas number 1 singles - Christmas Top of the Pops
Festive hits of times gone by!! from Michael Jackson, The Spice Girls and Whitney Houston to Mr Blobby and Bob the Builder. All have secured their place in history as having a festive number 1. See this List of Christmas Number 1's to see a list of all Christmas Number 1's since 1952.
- 2016: Clean Bandit- Rockabye
- 2015: NHS Choir- A bridge over you
- 2014: Ben Haenow- Something I need
- 2013: Sam Bailey- Skyscraper
- 2012: The Justice Collective- He ain't heavy, He's my brother
- 2011: Military Wives with Gareth Malone- Wherever You Are
- 2010: Matt Cardle- When We Collide
- 2009: Rage Against The Machine- Killing In The Name
- 2008: Alexandra Burke- Hallelujah
- 2007: Leon Jackson- When You Believe
- 2006: Leona Lewis- A Moment Like This
- 2005: Shayne Ward- That's My Goal
- 2004: Band Aid 20- Do They Know It's Christmas
- 2003: Michael Andrews and Gary Jules- Mad World
- 2002: Girls Aloud- Sound of the Underground
- 2001: Robbie Williams and Nicole Kidman- Somethin' Stupid
- 2000: Bob The Builder- Can We Fix It?
- 1999: Westlife- I Have a Dream / Seasons in the Sun
- 1998: Spice Girls- Goodbye
- 1997: Spice Girls- Too Much
- 1996: Spice Girls- 2 Become 1
- 1995: Michael Jackson- Earth Song
- 1994: East 17- Stay Another Day
- 1993: Mr Blobby- Mr Blobby
- 1992: Whitney Houston- I Will Always Love You
- 1991: Queen- Bohemian Rhapsody These Are The Days of Our Lives
- 1990: Cliff Richard- Saviours' Day
- 1989: Band Aid II- Do They Know It's Christmas
- 1988: Cliff Richard- Mistletoe and Wine
- 1987: The Pet Shop Boys- Always on my Mind
- 1986: Jackie Wilson- Reet Petite
- 1985: Shakin' Stevens- Merry Christmas Everyone
- 1984: Band Aid- Do They Know It's Christmas
- 1983: The Flying Pickets- only You
- 1982: Renee and Renato- Save Your Love
- 1981: The Human League- Don't You Want Me
Treats for Santa
It's a long standing tradition in Great Britain for Santa to have a sherry and a mince pie at every house. Girls and boys also leave carrots and milk for Sana's reindeer. On Christmas Day curious boys and girls check to see if Santa has had a bite of the mince pie and if Rudolf or one of Santa Claus's other reindeer has had a nibble on the carrot.
Santa's Mince Pie Recipe
4oz plain flour
2 oz caster sugar
2 egg yolks
The easiest way to make the pastry is to use a food processor and pulse all of the ingredients until they form a loose ball. The next step is to chill the mixture for about 30 minutes and then roll out onto a floured surface. Use a pastry cutter to cut rounds for the mince pies.
Grease a 12 hole bun tin with oil or butter and line each hole with a pastry round. Place a teaspoon of mincemeat into each. Brush the edges with water and place a pastry round on top of each pie. Bake for around 16 minutes at 190`C.
When the pies are ready, cool on a wire tray, dust with icing sugar and enjoy!!!!! Don't forget to save a mince pie for Father Christmas.
What's on TV this Christmas?
What day is it on?
When is Christmas Day this year, on what day was Christmas last year. Here are the dates for Christmas Day until 2016.
Saturday, December 25
Sunday, December 25
Tuesday, December 25
Wednesday, December 25
Thursday, December 25
Friday, December 25
Sunday, December 25
Monday 25th December
Tuesday 25th December
Wednesday, December 25
Friday, December 25
Write your letter to Santa as soon as you can
Write to Santa and get a reply
You can write to Santa at the address below. According to the Royal Mail you may get a reply from Santa if you write to him before the 14 December. Click on the image to go to the Royal Mail website for full details. Don't forget, Santa is very busy so write to him on time, including your name and address. See this free letter template here.
If you know a blind or partially sighted child, you can also get a letter from Santa in braille, courtesy of Santa's elves at the RNIB. Full details are available at the RNIB site. Children need to write to:
PO Box 173
The letter needs to arrive by 3rd December and you need to specify whether the reply from Santa should be in contracted braille, uncontracted braille, large print or audio CD. Replies from Santa are also available in Welsh. There is also an e-mail address, which gives you until 17 December to write to Santa.
At the Portable North Pole you can create a personalised video from Father Christmas which is also free of charge.
Sleeps until Christmas App
How Many Sleeps Until Christmas
If you are excited about Christmas you can download this App to your iPhone, iPod or iPad to keep track of how many days are left until Christmas.
Check out the Christmas Countdown Android App from google.
Will it be a White Christmas?
2016 was not a white Christmas
Officially a White Christmas is defined as 1 single flake of snow falling at a specified location anytime during the 24 hours of December 25th. Based on historical information, (a single snowflake has fallen on 38 out of the last 52 Christmases) the probability of a "White Christmas" is greater than 50%. Widespread coverage of snow, where 40% of stations report snow on the ground at 9.00am, is less frequent, only happening 4 times in the last 51 years.
Christmas 2010 was the last white Christmas with 83% of weather stations reporting snow on the ground, the highest ever. Snow or sleet was also reported as falling on Christmas Day at 19% of stations. The UK also saw a white Christmas in 2009 with snow on the ground reported at 57% of stations.
Previous white Christmases