Christmas Day menu sorted

Surefire pavlova with strawberries and white chocolate cream

Looking for Christmas Day spread inspiration? Here are some recipes to make the day extra tasty as well as special.

Yes, we're flying on Christmas Day

Spying eight tiny reindeer ... some people will be flying on Christmas Day.

Tracey Spicer 'Will we see Rudolph out the window?" my daughter Grace asks, excitedly. It depends on how many G&Ts Mummy has.

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Meet the mum who cancelled Christmas

Melissa Cooke

Julie Power While parents around the world have always used Santa and Christmas as the ultimate bribe, Sydney mother of three, Melissa Cooke, finally acted on her threat two days before Christmas in 2011.

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Last minute Christmas shopping

Wondering what happened to all your Christmas shopping time?

Justine Davies How to make a plan with time running out. Here’s a suggested “Christmas Shopping Bootcamp” that can streamline your Christmas errands.

How to throw a Christmas party

Kristy Komadina shares her secrets for a stress-free Christmas party.

Kristy Komadina Often when it comes to hosting our family's Christmas lunch or dinner we pile on the pressure to deliver the perfect meal but Kristy Komadina tells us how to keep it simple and cut the stress.

Grief and loss at Christmas

When you'd rather be alone with your grief at Christmas ...

Kimberley O'Brien How to get through the festive season when you'd rather be alone with your grief at Christmas.

Antonia Kidman's untraditional Christmas plans

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Antonia Kidman Antonia Kidman shares her Christmas plans and why they will be spending the day away from family and friends without their usual traditions.

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WestJet Christmas surprise will make you believe in Santa

Canadian airline, WestJet spread the festive joy this season by making passengers Christmas wishes come true.

Neha Prakash Airports are perhaps the least jolly of locales during the holiday season but thanks to WestJet, one gaggle of weary travelers was treated to a Christmas miracle that turned an airport into Santa's workshop.

Sensitive Santa brings Christmas cheer to autistic children

Charlie, 5, (right) who has autism, and his brother Nate, 3, meet Sensitive Santa at Highpoint Shopping Centre with their parents Sue West and Scott Jackman.

Letitia Rowlands Sensitive Santa is here and ready to make sure autistic boys and girls don't miss out on an important childhood Christmas tradition.

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Avoiding Christmas weight gain

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Susie Burrell How to not overindulge this Christmas and still enjoy the season.

Gingerbread House fails and successes

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When is a house not a house? When it is a gingerbread house! Here are some amazing and not so amazing gingerbread houses from around the web.

Host the perfect Aussie Christmas

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Let Aldi help you host the perfect Aussie Christmas party with these seasonal entertaining ideas.

Christmas neighbourhood street parties require planning too

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Carolyn Boyd Some councils require at least eight weeks notice for a street closure, even for a community Christmas party.

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Top ten gifts that aren't toys

You don't have to fill their stocking with toys this Christmas.

Lisa Almond Tired of filling the kids' stockings with toys they will play with for a month and then move on? Here are the best gifts you can give that are completely plastic free.

DIY Beaded Christmas Bauble

DIY Beaded Christmas Bauble

Paging Fun Mums Here is a fun and unique way for kids to make a lovely Christmas Decoration for your tree this year.

When children grow up as givers

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Julia Cahill Families around Australia are discovering that the best way for children to value compassion and generosity is to involve them in giving from a young age.

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What exactly is the truth about Santa?

When is the right time to tell your child about Santa?

Jennifer Morton Does telling your child the truth about Santa mean the end of Christmas magic? When Jennifer Morton broke the news to her son his response was not what she was expecting.

Top 20 Christmas apps and websites

Have an appy Christmas

Anna Spargo-Ryan If you're not already in the spirit for Christmas, these top twenty apps and websites will take you there.

DIY Christmas countdown calendar

Countdown is on for Christmas Day!

Create a non-chocolate advent or Christmas countdown calendar for you and your children to engage in family activities that costs next to nothing.

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Top 5 tech toys this Christmas

Excited for presents ...

Anna Spargo-Ryan If you have a tech-lover in your family we have rounded up the five best tech toys for kids this Christmas.

Four weeks to Christmas planning success

Taking the stress out of planning Christmas ...

Victoria Birch Our four-week plan is guaranteed to get you through the festive season with ease and keep your Christmas cheer intact at the end.

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How to create new Christmas traditions with your family

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Victoria Birch Christmas is a great time for family traditions, they’re the little things that can make your festive celebrations unique.

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John Lewis's The Bear and The Hare Christmas ad spreads season cheer

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Livia Gamble John Lewis department store spends £7 million (approx $12.4 million), creates ad of Disney proportions and leaves viewers warm and fuzzy.

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5 things you simply must remember this Christmas

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Anna Spargo-Ryan When you're planning your Christmas shenanigans this year please, for the love of the light in your child's eyes, take this list with you.

Should you tell your kids the Santa-less truth?

Children on Christmas Morning

Lindy Alexander This Christmas, some parents are giving the guy in the red suit the flick.

Planning a stress free Christmas

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Kristy Komadina Whether it's an informal drinks party with friends in December, or a proper lunch with the whole family on Christmas day, it pays to have a plan now to ensure smooth sailing on the day.

Managing their expectations

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Justine Davies From the moment the stores hoist the mistletoe in September right up until bedtime on Christmas Eve, the question of: "What am I getting for Christmas?" fills the minds of kids around the country. Well, the minds of my kids, at any rate.

Christmas cheer could cost you dearly

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David Sharaz Furby's, minature ride on cars, a frankenstien monster and a flying helicopter have made the list of what kids want for Christmas.

Is this the 'iPad for kids'?

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Anna Spargo-Ryan Apple's long-awaited announcement of the iPad Mini is here but is this year's Christmas 'must have' really a good choice for our Gen Zs?

Are you the real deal or do you fake it?

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Kylie Orr The Christmas tree is a tradition that holds a special place in every inner child's heart, writes Kylie Orr.

Seasonal survival guide for allergy sufferers

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Debbie Elkind Holiday food can be a minefield when your children are allergy sufferers. Here are some helpful hints and tips for getting through the festive season safely.

How to create a no-fuss Christmas light wonderland

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Brooke Tasovac Decorating the house with lights is a great way for families to get into the Christmas spirit but there is a lot of time and effort needed for parents to initially set up Christmas light displays. Here is how you can make it a success and make the most of your time.

Festive rocky road

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A Christmas gift from your own kitchen, beautifully wrapped and presented with good wishes from the heart, will make everyone sit up and take notice.

How the Grinch Stole Christmas - Family production

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Have some festive fun with this Christmas script - based on the book by Dr. Suess, How the Grinch Stole Christmas.

Gift Ideas

Gift guide: Cookbooks for Christmas

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Not sure what to give someone this Christmas? Well, everybody has to cook. We've road-tested some of 2013's best cookbook releases.

Stocking filler gift ideas

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Picking a Kris Kringle gift this year is a breeze with this under $15 gift guide. Click through and let the shopping begin.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Preschooler Kids

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What do you give a 3-5 year old for christmas? Here are some ideas for your little preschooler.

Tween to teen Christmas gift guide

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Christmas shopping is a whole lot easier with this tween to teen gift guide. Click through and let the shopping begin.

Top teacher treats for Christmas

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With your present list already a mile long it can be hard to find the time to think of a thoughtful gift for your child’s teacher. But it doesn’t have to be - not with our extensive list of ideas. From the homemade to the extravagant, Essential Kids members have recommended some fantastically festive ideas and we have thrown in a few of our own.

Top books for the Christmas season

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Staff Writers We all love a good book and Christmas time is the perfect time to dust off an old classic or break in a new one with the kids.

Perfect present ideas

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The key to a successful Christmas is preparation and if you are looking for some inspiration in the gift department to help you get organised Essential Kids has put together a number of photo galleries full of ideas for every age and every budget.

Inspiring books for girls

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Amy Gray With Christmas around the corner, there are a host of present types we all dread for our girls but there is one gift that gives more than the others.

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News archive

Pets aren't Christmas toys says RSPCA

This Christmas the RSPCA is urging people to remember that pets aren't toys - they are important members of thousands of Australian families. A pet can be a joy but they are a big responsibility.

Kids Christmas Activities

Glowing Santa wreath

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Paging Fun Mums Here's an easy inexpensive and fun wreath for Christmas!

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Christmas tree colouring activity

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Starlight Children's Foundation In conjunction with their Christmas campaign, The Starlight Children’s Foundation have made some cute activities for kids. Simply download and print this activity and start colouring.

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Super Christmas word search

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Spread some Christmas cheer with this Christmas word search activity.

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Christmas crossword

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Spread some Christmas cheer with this Christmas crossword.

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Mr & Mrs Claus finger puppets

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Starlight Children's Foundation In conjunction with their Christmas campaign, The Starlight Children's Foundation have created some cute activities for kids. Simply download and print this craft activity and make your own finger puppets.

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Santa colour by numbers activity

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Spread some Christmas cheer with this cute, Santa Claus colour by numbers activity.

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Reindeer colour by numbers activity

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Spread some Christmas cheer with this cute reindeer colour by numbers activity.

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Christmas angel colour by numbers activity

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Spread some Christmas cheer with this cute Christmas angel colour by numbers activity.

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Penguin colour by numbers activity

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Spread some Christmas cheer with this cute penguin colour by numbers activity.

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Bear colour by numbers activity

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Spread some Christmas cheer with this cute bear colour by numbers activity.

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Create Christmas baubles for your tree

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Starlight Children's Foundation In conjunction with their Christmas campaign, The Starlight Children's Foundation have created some cute activities for kids. Simply download and print this craft activity and make your own Christmas baubles.

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Ginger bread man decoration

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Starlight Children's Foundation In conjunction with their Christmas campaign, The Starlight Children’s Foundation have created some cute activities for kids. Simply print this craft activity and make your own ginger bread man decorations.

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Printable Christmas Gift Paper

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Download and print these Free Printable Christmas Gift Paper for the kids to use on their presents. Great idear for KrisKringle gifts and Advent Calendar goodies.

Printable Christmas Gift Tags

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Download and print these Free Printable Christmas Gift Tags for the kids to use on their presents.

Santa Claus greeting card

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Download this Santa Christmas greeting card and get the kids to draw an inspired picture or message on the front.

Elves colouring page

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Celebrate Christmas by printing off this cute colouring page featuring Santa's Elves.

Santa Claus colouring

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Entertain the kids this Christmas season with our Santa Claus colouring page.

Christmas memory game

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A fun and festive Christmas memory game to play with your child.

Make your own Christmas greeting cards

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Why not get the kids to make their own Christmas cards for the family this year? Simply print, colour and fold these cards for a thoughtful bonus the whole family will love.

Christmas colouring fun

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A Christmas nativity scene for your little one to colour!

Christmas story cut and paste

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Katie Carlin Download and print this free Christmas story cut and paste.

Santa dog dress-up

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Meet Santa's trusty dog Snowy, he is getting ready to help Santa deliver his presents. This fun printable worksheet features a cut-out Santa dog complete with a Christmas wardrobe and accessories to play dress-up with.

Christmas elf paper doll

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Cut out and dress-up this Christmas elf paper doll for some festive fun.

Make your own Christmas puzzle

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A Christmas Village puzzle that will keep the kids entertained while you get ready for Christmas day!

Christmas gingerbread house counting challenge

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Younger kids can use their counting skills and have fun at the same time with this Christmas Gingerbread House counting challenge.

Christmas poem challenge

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Can your kids guess the missing words from this famous Christmas poem? A challenge full of Christmas cheer!

Christmas angel colouring

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Help the kids get creative this Christmas with our Angel colouring page.

Colourful Christmas wreath creation

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Jennifer Hadfields This versatile burlap wreath can be a colourful addition to your Christmas decor and can even be tweaked for New Year celebrations. Get the kids involved in this colourful Christmas project!

Angel Christmas card

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Enlist the kids' help this Christmas with this fun printable Christmas card.

Jolly Santa Christmas card

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Download and print this Jolly Santa Christmas card for the kids to colour and decorate.

Merry Santa Christmas card

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Download and print this festive Christmas card for kids to enjoy cutting and writing a special message inside.

Nativity scene puzzle

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Celebrate Christmas with the kids by printing this downloadable nativity scene puzzle.

Christmas Cooking

Slow cooked shredded lamb with pomegranate and mint

Slow cooked shredded lamb with pomegranate and mint

Nicole Avery This is a great dish to make when you are serving many and may have one roast in the oven and want to cook another meat as well. The lamb cooks beautifully in this and you can even use a shoulder of lamb if you like.

Reader reviews

Panettone with rum and raisin ice-cream

Panettone with rum and raisin ice-cream

Luke Mangan If you are creating the ultimate dinner party menu, try this delicious recipe idea from Luke Mangan.

Surefire pavlova with strawberries and white chocolate cream

Surefire pavlova with strawberries and white chocolate cream

Adam Liaw There are a lot of ''never-fail'' and ''perfect'' pavlova recipes out there, but this is the only one I have found to be truly foolproof. The pavlova meringue is stabilised by vinegar and cornflour as usual, but in a thick paste form that is more easily mixed through the eggs.

Roast turkey with stuffing

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Neil Perry There's a simple reason why turkey with all the trimmings is such a hit at Christmas - it's so utterly delicious!

Reader reviews

5 Minute Raspberry Meringue Mess

5 Minute Raspberry Meringue Mess

Nicole Avery This is a quick throw together recipe using seasonal fresh berries to make a pretty and delicious dessert. It is perfect for Christmas entertaining when you have lots of mouths to feed.

Reader reviews

Christmas Tree Brownies

Christmas tree brownies

Kristy Komadina Simple brownies make the perfect blank canvas for budding young artists. There is nothing fussy or complicated about this recipe, just simple chocolatey brownies given a personal Christmassy touch by your own children.

Reader reviews

Christmas Lunch

BBQ Turkey with Herb Stuffing and Pan Gravy

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Kristy Komadina If you've got a coal burning or gas hooded barbecue, this is the recipe for your Christmas turkey. Completely avoid switching your oven on in hot weather and benefit with smoky, succulent roast turkey.

Glazed Christmas ham

Glazed Christmas ham

Alex Herbert, Bird Cow Fish FOR Christmas breakfast we've begun the tradition, for a couple of years now, of a beautiful glazed ham with hot sourdough bread.

Reader reviews

Christmas Lunch

Baked Green Beans with Cranberries and Walnuts

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Kristy Komadina Green beans are the perfect accompaniment to any roast or bbq meats. The craisins and walnuts are so festive and apart from tasting great, will really brighten up your Christmas table.

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Christmas Lunch

Best Roast Potatoes

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Kristy Komadina Easy, tasty, crispy and fluffy roast potatoes.

Reader reviews

Christmas roast lamb

Christmas roast lamb

Carol and Sharon Salloum, Almond Bar Fakhed rosto el Eid - We love Christmas at home and, more so, we love traditional Syrian-style roast lamb; it can cook for hours or even days.

Reader reviews

Spiced nuts

Spiced nuts

Stephanie Alexander A Christmas party staple.

Reader reviews

Individual Christmas Pudding

Individual Christmas Pudding

Angie Kelly Individual Christmas Pudding

Reader reviews

Christmas mince pies

Christmas mince pies

CAROLINE VELIK A celebrated Christmas tradition.

Reader reviews

White Christmas

White Christmas

Lynne Mullins Christmas is a joyful mix of food, festive cheer, friends and family but it's also about giving and receiving. A homemade gift is special whether it's jam, relish, sweets or biscuits. Something from your kitchen is also personal and will certainly outrate a store-bought present.

Reader reviews

Cranberry Christmas cake

Cranberry Christmas cake

Lynne Mullins Show off your cooking talents with these delicious suggestions, which can be dressed up with pretty ribbons, paper and boxes in the spirit of the season.

Reader reviews

Christmas tree ice-cream

Christmas tree ice-cream

Guillaume Brahimi, Guillaume at Bennelong restaurant We start celebrations on Christmas eve. My three girls put a carrot out for the reindeer and a beer for Santa.

Reader reviews

Italian Christmas strudel

Italian Christmas strudel

Bridgette Hafner This is my version of buccellato, the beautiful fig and spice-filled pastry ring made in Sicilian pasticcerias and homes as Christmas nears.

Reader reviews

Christmas trifle

Christmas trifle

Stephanie Alexander This is a big production, so make the sponge and the cherry compote one or two days before you intend to serve the trifle. you will have leftover sponge - perhaps make a few lamingtons.

Reader reviews

Christmas lights locations around Australia

Put on your Santa hats, check out our essential Christmas lights map and head out for a night of lights to remember with family and friends.

Christmas Activities

Keep the kids busy these Christmas holidays with our fun printable worksheets.

5 Minute Raspberry Meringue Mess

This is a quick throw together recipe using seasonal fresh berries to make a pretty and delicious dessert.

Essential Baby Christmas

See lots more gift ideas, activities and articles over on Essential Baby Christmas section.

Christmas Forums

Discuss all your Christmas concerns and excitement with our members on the Forums.

Preschool Activities

Essential Kids Activities and Worksheets for preschoolers, including colouring-in, cutting activities, recipes, trace letters and numbers, shape activities and puzzles.

Younger Kids Activities

Essential Kids Activities and Worksheets for younger kids, including dot-to-dots, cut-out activities, sudoku, mazes, spelling and maths worksheets.

Older Kids Activities

Essential Kids Activities and Worksheets for Kids, Year 4-6, including crossword puzzles, word searches, sudoku for kids, science challenges, history quizzes, unscramble puzzles, spelling and maths worksheets and more.