So this is Christmas…🎀 FU Loves The Midlands #36
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…
AM I ENTITLED TO HALF OF EVERYTHING IF I AM PART OF A COHABITING COUPLE?
Stresses and strains from the last 9 months have had their effects on every relationship, but where do you stand legally if you’re part of a cohabiting couple and things aren’t going well? As more and more people choose to live together rather than marry, we thought it would be a good idea to talk to Sarah Spence, Partner at Dodds Solicitors who specialises in advising cohabiting couples about some of the questions and issues, which frequently crop up – read them here.
FREE ONLINE PRINTMAKING FESTIVAL THIS WEEKEND
Leicester Print Workshop (LPW) will be taking their Leicester Print Fair virtual for the first time this weekend with 28 artists from all over the UK coming together online to sell their work.
Leicester Print Fair presents a perfect opportunity to Christmas shop during Lockdown, to purchase something beautiful, original and unique to brighten up your home or workspace and to support a whole community of artists and printmakers. Artists will be offering high quality work, with prices suitable for everyone’s budget- sounds good, eh? Find out more here.
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.
WIN A £250 SHOPPING SPREE WITH INDEPENDENT LEICESTER RETAILERS
Now more than ever, it’s so important to support independent businesses and as Christmas is almost upon us, it’s the perfect time to shop local and bring some festive cheer to your loved ones, as well as the business owners themselves.
We’re working with the fab team at BID Leicester to not only champion these amazing businesses, but to spread a little joy too! One lucky winner will have the opportunity to get their hands on a £250 Leicester Gift Card to spend at some of the lovely independents in the city. All you have to do to enter, is visit https://independentleicester.co.uk/competition/ – good luck!
For those of you looking to get a head-start on your Christmas shopping, or simply treat yourself to something lovely, we’ve highlighted some of Leicester’s best independents here. Happy shopping!
FEMI REOPENS ITS APPOINTMENT BOOK AND CELEBRATES BLACK FRIDAY
Our favourite city centre day spa is ready to reopen next week, but in the meantime is celebrating Black Friday early with special offers including discounts and deals such as buy 12 treatments and pay for just 9- perfect to make sure you’re looking tip top throughout 2021. Visit www.femi-health-beauty.co.uk to find out more.
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
EXPIRY DATE EXTENDED ON FAB VOUCHERS
Loughborough’s Fab Clinics is extending the expiry dates on all Fab vouchers purchased in November and December 2019 by 12 months ensuring that there is plenty of time to make full use of them and still enjoy a bit of me time. And you can still get booked in before Christmas, as it reopens next week!
Get in touch with the clinic to find out more. [email protected]
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.
LEICESTER FIRM GETS READY FOR THE WEEKEND WITH DRESS UP FRIDAY!
If, like us, you’ve grown tired of swapping your suit for sweatpants, you may want to follow the lead of Leicester’s Oadby House and Sherwin Hall Kitchens who have turned the traditional concept of Dress Down Friday on its head. “We just wanted an excuse to get out our best togs and dress up again” explains Sherwin Hall’s Daniella Smith who came up with the idea whilst lamenting the lack of wear that half of her wardrobe had received in 2020. “It was lovely to get dressed up again and put everyone in the party mood for the weekend- we’re going to make it a regular thing!!” Daniella hopes that other companies will follow suit using #dressupfridays and post their pics on social media. Make sure you tag @sherwinhall in your post
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
“Look for something positive in each day, even if some days you have to look a little harder.”