• Fraser Urquhart Media

SO THIS IS CHRISTMAS…🎀 FU LOVES BIRMINGHAM #39

Ok, so we now officially have an idea about what we can do at Christmas. Sort of. As with everything else, the outlined plans for the festive period leave many of us with more questions than answers. One thing that has been constant throughout the pandemic has been the ease at which we have all been able to poke holes through policy, discover flawed logic, inconsistencies and unexpected implications. Right now, I am working out how to ‘do’ Christmas and see both Mums safely.

Christmas, for us, is more complicated than for many having lost both of our Fathers to cancer on Christmas and Boxing Day. It makes the need to visit family much more urgent but, in an odd way, it does rationalise the disappointment that many of us are feeling about the restrictions being put on this year’s festivities- this will definitely not be the worst Christmas ever.


So, all we can do is try our hardest to make it the best that it can be.


Leicester’s Christmas Light Switch On video this year is a case in point. Created by LCC and Curve, a rather svelte Santa is seen leaping around an empty city switching on lights despite business very much not being as normal. You can watch it above. It did leave me feeling a little melancholy, but it is good to see that the city will be bright and alight for when we can get back out and prepare for the festivities ahead. Please do try and make the most of our wonderful independent retailers, bars and restaurants – they really are the lifeblood of our urban landscape and help to make our cities unique.


As for the practicalities, logistics and safety implications of Christmas, we’ll just have to keep our thinking caps on for a little longer. We’ll all work it out; we always do.


Right, I’m off to get my Christmas Tree.


Jon, Kevin and the #FUFighters


OBLIGATORY BAD JOKE


How many clickbait journalists does it take to change a lightbulb?


The answer will shock you…


DISHOOM BRINGS BRAND-NEW VEGAN SAUSAGE NAAN ROLL KITS TO DOORS

One of our favourite new places of 2020, Dishoom have launched the brand-new Vegan Sausage Naan Roll Kit. Designed to bring a little joy direct to your doorstep, the plant-based kit contains everything required to enjoy two first-class Vegan Sausage Naan Rolls with Masala Chai at home for the modest price of £16 plus delivery. A limited number of kits are available each day, so forward planning is encouraged. Kits can be dishoomed to most doors across the UK mainland, and orders are now being taken via www.dishoom.com/store.


IT’S ALL SO CHRISTMASSY!

Selfridges have released their diary of events for the coming weeks and it is all just so festive! From Reindeer Hunts to Santa meet and greets, table decoration workshops, crafting and wrapping you’re sure to find something to spark a little Christmas magic in you! See the full list of virtual and instore events here.


CAN’T AFFORD THE BIG CHRISTMAS GIFT? DON’T PANIC, CHRISTMAS ISN’T CANCELLED


As families struggle financially as a result of furlough and redundancies, many will be tightening the purse strings this Christmas, while fighting the guilt of letting their little ones down. Dr. Amanda Gummer, Founder of the Good Toy Guide and research psychologist offers her advice on managing children’s expectations when you’re on a tight budget without dampening any seasonal sparkle- read it here.


FESTIVE AFTERNOON TEA LAUNCHED AT THE LAURA ASHLEY TEAROOM


Celebrate the season with Laura Ashley The Tea Room’s festive afternoon tea, ideal to enjoy post-lockdown with family or friends this Christmas- find out how to book yours here.


IT’S A BRUM JOB! HOW BIRMINGHAM’S JOBS MARKET CHANGED IN 150 YEARS


Birmingham’s employment landscape has been transformed in the last 150 years, with the majority of adverts once for housekeepers and domestic servants now replaced with calls for general managers, reveals research by online CV builder Resume.io that shows how the world of work has changed since 1870- find out more here


CHOKKY WOKKY HOO HAR! TOP 5 ALTERNATIVE FESTIVE SWEET TREATS


Chuck out the chocolate orange and call quits on the Quality Street, it’s time to try something different this Christmas. Read our choice on unusual treats to keep your sweet tooth in check here.

IT’S TIME TO GET THE FLU JAB, BAB! HELP KEEP YOURSELF AND YOUR LOVED ONES SAFE THIS WINTER


Flu jab season is upon us, and the NHS Birmingham & Solihull Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is calling on everyone who is eligible to take up their free flu vaccination this season- find out who needs to get one and how to get it here.


JOIN THE JEWELLERY QUARTER CHRISTMAS WINDOW TRAIL


With over 50 participating businesses, this year’s Christmas Window Trail can be enjoyed on the street or online. Browse all the window displays from the comfort of your home and vote for your favourite for a chance to win a JQ Prize Bundle which includes artisanal chocolates, silver earrings, a whisky testing set, vouchers to use in local businesses & more! Find out how to get involved here.


KIDS HAVE BEEN DRAWING WHAT THEY THINK COVID-19 LOOKS LIKE AND IT’S A STRONG MOOD

Children across the UK have been drawing what they think COVID-19 looks like and we couldn’t agree more with some of them. From drawings of monsters to sheer chaos, it’s what we’re all feeling- see them here.


THE MOST CHRISMASSY FILMS EVER REVEALED

With so many of us are watching festive films to escape the realities of everyday at the moment, interested in finding the films that fill us with the most festive spirit, the experts at OnBuy.com created a Christmas film Index. They set a points-based system where each festive element in the movies, such as the number of Christmas trees and how many times Santa appears, would earn a point (from 1 to 3) based on how Christmassy they are. Using this points-based system, at the end of the study, OnBuy.com were able to crown the most Christmassy film of all time…


LAUGHTER AND MUSIC TO FILL BIRMINGHAM TOWN HALL NEXT MONTH


Birmingham’s historic Town Hall will stage a run of socially distanced performances next month. Award-winning comedian, writer and television host, Joe Lycett is set to host three consecutive nights of comedy and, for one night only, Kerry Ellis and Jamie Lambert will take to the stage for an evening of stories, laughter and festivity. Find out how to book your tickets here.

KEMP INVITES COMMUNITY TO LIGHT UP A LIFE ‘VIRTUALLY’ IN MEMORY OF LOVED ONES


Kemp Hospice is inviting the Wyre Forest community to join its annual Light Up a Life celebrations and dedicate a light in remembrance and celebration of family and friends this Christmas- find out how you can get involved here.


SMALL BUSINESSES TO BE RECOGNISED AS BUSINESS CHAMPIONS


Small community-based businesses will be given the opportunity to be crowned champion of their town or the whole of the midlands in 2021 as part of the Town & County Business Champions 2021 awards- find out how you can get involved here.


WHAT’S THE BEST WAY TO COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS?


With all of us focused on good things to come, the FUFighters have turned a critical eye to some of this Christmas’s most popular and unusual advent calendars with each of us producing a mini review to see just how good they really are! We’ve looked at everything from popcorn to bathbombs with one or two chocolate treats thrown in along the way – see them here.


WIN A CHRISTMAS FROM SOLIHULL CENTRE


Solihull BID is offering one lucky winner the chance to shake off the 2020 blues and win a huge Christmas haul for them and their family to enjoy with a host of festive goodies sourced from local businesses. Inside their magical Christmas window – located on Drury Arcade in Mell Square, near to the entrance to House of Fraser – is everything you need to enjoy a luxurious Yuletide.


If you’re in the town centre to pick up essentials or enjoying a winter walk, take a look down Drury Arcade to see the festive display in all its glory. To win the goodies, all you must do is guess the total value of everything inside the window and enter your guess on the Solihull BID website – solihullbid.co.uk/winchristmas.


HIPPODROME AIM TO RAISE £20K TO DELIVER WORK TO DISADVANTAGED


Birmingham Hippodrome has launched a festive fundraising campaign, aiming to raise £20,000 in just one week to bring confidence and creativity back to young people after the impact of COVID-19.


To achieve this ambitious target, the theatre has joined The Big Give’s Christmas Challenge 2020 campaign, which will see all donations doubled for just seven days from midday on Tuesday 1 December- see how you can be a part of it here.


DON’T FORGET THE KITTIES THIS CHRISTMAS


Are you a massive cat lover?! We can’t blame you… there’s really nothing we don’t love about cats! They’re magical! Well ok, that’s not entirely true. There is one teeny tiny thing about them that’s rather…CLAW-ful! They scratch everything!


Well, if your kitty has its claws, it’s time for you to PAWS and check out these amazing alternatives to Cat Scratching Posts from Redcandy. Made from corrugated card, the rainbow and skateboard are just the thing you need to stop your cat from scratching your sofa into oblivion- there’s even a set of turntables – purrfect if your pussy is all set to be the next Catboy Slim. Grab yours for just £25 at redcandy.co.uk



INSPIRATIONAL QUOTE


“Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.”


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