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Entertainment From The Editors

Prince George and Princess Charlotte Attend the First Christmas Day Church Service

Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Catherine, in a conspicuous shift from tradition, decided to spend Christmas with Catherine’s family, the Middletons, and together attended the Christmas Day church service at St Mark’s Church in Englefield, Berkshire.

The Cambridge family arriving for Christma service in Berkshire s
The Cambridge family arriving for Christmas service in Berkshire

Meanwhile, as usual, other members of the Royal family attended the Christmas Day church service at Sandringham and the absence of the Queen of England did not go unnoticed – she was rather unwell to attend the traditional church service according to Buckingham Palace sources.

“Her Majesty the Queen will not attend church at Sandringham this morning.

“The Queen continues to recover from a heavy cold and will stay indoors to assist with her recovery. Her Majesty will participate in the royal family Christmas celebrations during the day,” a Buckingham Palace spokesperson said.

Kate Middleton & her adorable daughter Princess Charlotte on the way to church service.
Kate Middleton & her adorable daughter Princess Charlotte on the way to church service.

Coming back to the St. Mark’ church service, the young Prince George, his sister Princess Charlotte accompanied by parents, William and Catherine, maternal grandparents, Michael and Carol Middleton, and other members of the Middleton family including Kate’s brother James Middleton, her sister Pippa Middleton and her fiancé James Matthews were a delight for photograph hunters.

In one such picture, which demands a second look, the three-year-old prince is seen sucking on a lollipop holding his father’s hand – rather cute!

This happened to be the first time Prince William and Kate took their children to a Christmas Day church service, which one hopes, continues for many more Christmases.

The service was led by Reverend Nick Wynne-Jones who opened with a rendition “Joy of the World” after which the congregation went through the Holy Communion ritual. The service lasted for an hour, or thereabouts.

Christmas Day at the Middleton House is believed to be a less formal fun day when compared to the highly traditional Sandringham Christmas day where almost everything is done according to preset timetables.

The Royals love candy canes just like the rest of us!
The Royals love candy canes just like the rest of us!

As far as questions about style and attire of the St Mark’s Church gathering are concerned, the pictures we have included are pretty much self-explanatory.

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From The Editors

Plymouth’s Poundland Bumper Offer for Christmas Eve – 50% off on Thousands of Amazing Christmas Products

Sales like the one announced by Plymouth’s Poundland is a win-win opportunity for consumers as well as the retail house.

While the consumer gets to buy products at substantially reduced prices, the business avails the opportunity to get rid of the seasonally overstocked goods and slow moving items, and yet end up making a profit.

Poundland is a British variety store offering most of its items, if not all, for just one pound. The last minute offer of 50% off on hundreds of 1 pound items, means great savings for shoppers who buy stuff like decorations, gift bags, toys, presents, gift wrapping paper, and greeting cards for just 50p.

Also included in the 50p items are the Home Alone DVDs, colored LED lights, and crackers.

The good part is that Poundland’s Christmas Eve sale is not just restricted to 1 pound items which can be bought for just 50p – great discounts are on offer on a wide range of multi-priced items, as well, including deluxe crackers, Santa get-ups, and tree toppers.

Here’s a list of some of the 1 pound items to be sold at half price:

* Frozen money tin
* Dog dress-up bowtie
* Elf hat
* Simpsons Mug
* 10m Christmas Wrap
* Santa baby bib
* Polar Bear tealight

As mentioned earlier, a wide variety of multi-priced items are also on offer at reduced prices (50% off) – given below are few examples of such items with their original prices and the discounted prices alongside to give you an idea of the kind of savings you can make on them:

* 6 deluxe Christmas crackers – was £5.00, now £2.50
* 30 Christmas tree baubles – was £3.00, now £1.50
* Light up tree topper – was £3.00, now 1.50
* Pearl light up wreath – was £8.00, now £4.00
* Deluxe Santa outfit – was £8.00, now £4.00
* Deluxe plush stocking – was £4.00, now £2.00
* Gingerbread house – was £5.00, now 2.50
* Cookie collection – was £5.00, now £2.50
* Pet knitted jumper – was £3.00, now £1.50
* Kids Christmas PJs – was £5.00, now £2.50

While last minute offers like Poundland’s have the potential to benefit both consumer and retailer, the disadvantage, however, to both sides is the mayhem and chaos that are part and parcel of these bumper sales offers.

It would, therefore, be worth your while to spend some time making a list of items to be purchased in order of priority.

Happy Shopping, Merry Christmas and a Happy 2017 ahead to all our readers.

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From The Editors

Five Year Old Terminally Ill Boy Dies in Santa’s Arms

Now, what could be more heart wrenching a story than a terminally ill boy dying in the arms of Santa Claus less than two weeks before Christmas?

It was the boy’s wish to meet Santa and the wish did come true; however, the boy dying in the arms of Santa will bring tears to the eyes of even the most hardhearted. Spare a thought for the family and their ordeal in this festive season.

A nurse who works at Knoxville, Tennessee, hospital made an urgent and desperate call to the sixty-year-old Eric Schmitt-Matzen, a professional and trained Santa Claus and personally known to her, to come immediately to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital and meet the dying boy who had very little time left.

Eric, who is not only a pro-Father Christmas but also a mechanical engineer and the president of Packing Seals and Engineering, spoke to the Knoxville News Sentinel:

“I’d just gotten home from work that day. “The telephone rang. It was a nurse I know who works at the hospital. She said there was a very sick five-year-old boy who wanted to see Santa Claus.”

The nurse did not even allow him to put on his Santa costume as there was no time for that; so he made a hurried exit in his Father Christmas braces and was at the Intensive Care within fifteen minutes of the emotional plea from the nurse where he was met by the dying boy’s mother.

“She’d bought a toy from (the TV show) PAW Patrol and wanted me to give it to him,” Eric explained.

Eric Schmitt-Matzen, who has been playing Santa Claus for years, was reduced to tears while recalling the encounter. (Screenshot from video by Knoxville News Sentinel)
Eric Schmitt-Matzen, burst into tears while recalling the encounter.

“I sized up the situation and told everyone, ‘If you think you’re going to lose it, please leave the room. If I see you crying, I’ll break down and can’t do my job.’” Eric said and entered the room unaccompanied.

According to Eric, the boy looked so weak lying there on the hospital bed as if he would fall off to sleep any moment.

“I sat down on his bed and asked, ‘Say, what’s this I hear about you’re gonna miss Christmas? There’s no way you can miss Christmas! Why you’re my Number One elf!” Eric said to the boy. The boy looked up at Eric and said, “I am?” to which Eric said “Sure.”

Now here is what will bring tears to many eyes – after Eric had helped him unpack the present the boy said:

“They say I’m gonna die. How can I tell when I get to where I’m going?’’

‘I said, ‘Can you do me a big favor? When you get there, you tell ’em you’re Santa’s Number One elf, and I know they’ll let you in.

“I wrapped my arms around him. Before I could say anything, he died right there. I let him stay, just kept hugging and holding on to him.”

The emotional encounter between the boy and Santa was being witnessed by the family through a window.

“No, no, not yet!” the boy’s mother screamed as she ran in as soon as the youngster breathed his last in Santa’s arms – his last wish coming true.

“I cried all the way home. I was crying so hard, I had a tough time seeing good enough to drive,” Eric said. He doubts if he will ever be able to play Santa again after this emotional encounter – which would take a lifetime for anyone to forget.

The name and illness of the boy have not been identified.

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From The Editors Top 5 Travel

Top 5 Best Christmas Holiday Destinations in Europe

Christmas is coming! The most awaited holiday season in the world. It’s a magical time of year and every European destination is dressed with its finest decorations, with all kinds of peculiar customs and shining lights adorning their old, snowy streets. The fairy-tale cities of Europe put on their festive faces and welcome visitors into a magical winter wonderland. If you are ready for a great Christmas escape, try one of these cities in Europe.

Prague, The Czech Republic

Old town square, Prague
Old town square, Prague

Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic and one of the most historical cities of Europe. A city of stunning Gothic architecture and quirky folkloric traditions, Prague during Christmas is unlike any other, a truly dramatic backdrop for savoring scented mulled wine, taking leisurely walks, or getting lost in the Christmas shopping frenzy. Even the city’s renowned Christmas markets bring a touch of local traditions, with giant hams spit-roasting in the town square, choirs singing carols by candlelight. Wenceslas Square, Bethlehem Chapel, Old Town Square are good indicators of how festive a Prague Christmas is.

London, England

London City
Christmas lights at the London Eye

London is one of the most popular Christmas destinations in Europe and has no shortage of festive traditions to keep visitors entertained over the holidays. London will be decorated like a newlywed bride, which will have beautiful Christmas lights, carol concerts, festival lights as well as special markets for the Christmas shopping. Skaters glide across ice rinks on the spot-lighted grounds of the London Eye, the Natural History Museum and the Tower of London. Vibrant Christmas markets stretching along the Thames River and Hyde Park, magical Santa’s grottos, and ice rinks popping up below the city’s landmark buildings. London is the perfect destination to celebrate Christmas.

Vienna, Austria

vienna during christmas
Vienna during Christmas

One of the most beautiful cities of Europe. Vienna is widely known for its magnificent Christmas markets, which attracts thousands of tourists every year. It’s hard to find a city that celebrates Christmas with such grace and elegance like Vienna. Austria’s handcrafted Christmas decorations are just one of the reasons to visit its celebrated Christmas markets. The café culture, and the old-world charm of the streets, Its imperial architecture – basked in twinkling lights give the city a magical appeal. So, why to miss the opportunity to visit this beautiful city in Christmas?

Paris, France

Christmas Lights in Paris
Christmas Lights in Paris

The French capital dazzles at Christmas. Spend Christmas in the world’s most romantic city, Paris, where the city lives up to its nickname, the City of Light, with a glittering display of Christmas lights. Go ice skating or shop for gifts beneath the iconic Eiffel Tower. Visit one of the many Christmas-themed markets, or take a ride on the giant Ferris wheel at Place de la Concorde. Enjoy a moving midnight mass with organ and choral music in Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris becomes the popular tourist destination during the Christmas season. Tourists will find the best deals in markets, hotels, restaurants and the shopping malls.

Zurich, Switzerland

Grand Christmas in Zurich
Grand Christmas in Zurich

Zurich is the most beautiful city in Switzerland and the most popular city for Christmas in Europe. Switzerland’s largest city transforms into an enchanting winter wonderland filled with Christmas markets, lights and music. Check out Zurich’s five Christmas markets, where you can pick up boxes of freshly made Nidelzältli toffees to munch on beneath the famous Singing Christmas Tree on Werdmühleplatz. Thousands of light bulbs suddenly illuminate one of the world’s most famous shopping streets to loud cheers from the excited crowds, and the winter’s first snow starts falling. In the Old Town, artists and traders from around the world sell their goods at the most traditional and oldest Christmas market in the city, on Hirschenplatz, Niederdorfstrasse and Rosenhof.