Sunday, 18 February 2018
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Christmas & New Year 2016

Hot topics for school gate chat this Christmas...

All they want for Christmas

Royal Mail has revealed this year’s top ten most wanted presents by children in their special letters to Santa. For 53 years, Royal Mail has had the privilege of managing Santa’s mailbag, giving them a unique insight into what children really want for Christmas. The most popular wish is for Lego, which has retained its top spot in 2016. Scooters have made a new entry as the second most popular Christmas wish this year, followed by bikes which have dropped into third position. The special letters also reveal the range of questions children ask Santa including; “How many mince pies do you eat around the world?” and “Do you like being Santa?”

Top ten most requested toys for Christmas 2016 are:
Mobile phone
Paw Patrol Air Patroller
Nerf Gun
Pie Face Showdown
Star Wars Spin Action Lightsabre
Barbie 3 Storey Townhouse
Furby Connect

Post your letter to Santa to:
Santa/Father Christmas
Santa’s Grotto

NB – Santa gets very busy at this time of year so if you would like a reply, please post your letter by December 9 and don’t forget to include your child’s name and full address.

Watching your Waste

UK families throw away one fifth of their food purchases each year – an average of £676 worth of food – despite more than three quarters of parents expressing concern about food wastage. New research suggests that teaching kids to cook could help solve the issue, as children leaving food is one of the top five causes of food wastage. Six in 10 of the parents surveyed (63%) noted that fussy eating and leaving food on the plate is a major issue with their children, particularly in their younger years. The Samsung Family Hub™ Study of 2,000 parents also highlights that children’s culinary skills are in sharp decline due to the rise of ready meals. Spaghetti bolognese, scrambled eggs on toast and pancakes are among the suggested dishes that children should be able to cook (with adult supervision) by the age of 11. Simple recipes for the top 25 dishes all feature in a free recipe book, which has been specially created with MasterChef finalist Emma Spitzer to aid and promote cooking with children and is free to download at Some things remain a constant though – the humble Brussels sprout remains the top ‘food foe’ for children.

Christmas Present Appeals

One of Northern Ireland’s largest and longest running Christmas present appeals is now underway. The Salvation Army and Society of St Vincent de Paul (SVP) have teamed up once more for their joint Family Appeal – which brings festive cheer to thousands of underprivileged children and families. Last year’s appeal distributed 50,000 gifts to children across Northern Ireland – all of which was made possible by the generosity of local people and organisations. Major Elwyn Harries, leader of The Salvation Army’s Ireland Division, thanked the public for their generosity and called on people to keep thinking about others at Christmas. He said: “For many families, Christmas is one of the most stressful times of the year. Budgets are already stretched as parents deal with everyday essentials, without an added burden of providing presents as well. We are honoured to play a part in ensuring no child in Northern Ireland goes without a gift on Christmas morning.” Gift donations for children aged from newborn to 16 years can be made at any branch of The Salvation Army or SVP. Gifts can also be left in any Tesco, Gordons Chemist and First Trust Bank. All gifts must be new and unwrapped, and the appeal would especially welcome donations for older boys and girls such as gift vouchers, board games, selection boxes, and toiletries. For more information go to or visit

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