Best Gifts for All the Moms in Your Life

Moms are the best, aren’t they?

Alright, so that was a rhetorical question. Even if you don’t have a biological mom in your life, chances are you have mom figures. And their nurturing spirit is what’s gotten you through the best and worst times of your life. To say you’re grateful is an understatement. So for the holidays, you feel like the least you can do is get them a nice gift. You know, something indulgent like a fancy face mask or an ultra-soft robe.

With these gift ideas you’ll have presents for all your favorites—we pinky promise.

MICHAEL Michael Kors Suede Jet Set Travel Tote

BUY IT: MICHAEL Michael Kors Suede Jet Set Travel Tote, $155 at Macys

UGG Genuine Shearling Slipper

BUY IT: UGG Scuffette II Sparkle Genuine Shearling Slipper, $95 at Nordstrom

Steve Madden Super-Soft Solid Scarf & Wrap

BUY IT: Steve Madden Super-Soft Solid Scarf & Wrap, $29 at Macys

 

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First Care Activating Sheet Mask 5 Pack by SULWHASOO

BUY IT: First Care Activating Sheet Mask 5 Pack by SULWHASOO, $60 at Nordstrom

KATE SPADE NEW YORK Rustic Plaid Laptop Sleeve

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Royal Blue Ramy Brooke Sweater

BUY IT: ERIN SWEATER at Ramy Brooke, $325

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CLINIQUE Best of Clinique Set

BUY IT: CLINIQUE Best of Clinique Set, $42 at Nordstrom

3 Piece Table Vase Set

BUY IT: 3 Piece Table Vase Set, $49 at Wayfair

Lillian Mirror Picture Frame

BUY IT: Lillian Mirror Picture Frame, $34 at Wayfair

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YPRIS BEAUTY Body Elixir

BUY IT: KYPRIS BEAUTY Body Elixir at Net-a-Porter, $95

Ralph Lauren Quilted Hooded Coat

BUY IT: Ralph Lauren Quilted Hooded Coat, $112 at Macys

SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker

BUY IT: SodaStream Fizzi Sparkling Water Maker, $80 at Target

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KIEHL’S Ultra Skin Lovers Set

BUY IT: KIEHL’S Ultra Skin Lovers Set, $59 at Nordstrom

Snowflake Embossed Jar Candles

BUY IT: Dynamic Collections Snowflake Embossed Jar Candle – 3 Pack, $30 at Amazon

Cozy Faux Fur Robe

BUY IT: Women’s Cozy Faux Fur Robe – Gilligan & O’Malley, $25 at Target

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Ralph Lauren Brushed Cotton Pajama Set

BUY IT: Ralph Lauren Brushed Cotton Pajama Set, $52 at Macys

Hipster Chic Blazer

BUY IT: Hipster Chic Blazer, $44 at Nordstrom

Belted Blazer

BUY IT: Belted Blazer, $32 at Nordstrom

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TORY BURCH Eau de Parfum Set

BUY IT: TORY BURCH Eau de Parfum Set, $112 at Nordstrom

Shiseido 5-Pc. Holiday Mini Lip Set

BUY IT: Shiseido 5-Pc. Holiday Mini Lip Set, $45 at Macys

Cute, no? 

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The best Christmas jokes for kids and adults – the cracker gags that will actually make you go ho ho ho

But if you always get tongue tied when your turn comes, don't worry. Here are the best Christmas gags to make your loved ones laugh this year.

What are the best Christmas jokes for kids?

Cracker jokes

Q: What do you call an old snowman?

A: Water

Q: Who hides in the bakery at Christmas?

A: A mince spy

Q: What did the snowman say to the other snowman?

A: Can you smell carrot?

Q: What do elves do after school?

A: Their gnome work!

Q: What’s the difference between Santa’s reindeer and a knight?

A: One slays the dragon, and the other’s draggin’ the sleigh

…and a long one

Rudolph the Viking

One night a Viking named Rudolph the Red was looking out the window when he said, “It’s going to rain.”

His wife asked, “How do you know?”

“Because Rudolph the Red knows rain, dear.”

What are the best Christmas jokes for adults?

Q: What do snowmen use to make snowbabies?

A: Snowballs

Q: What do you call a kid who doesn't believe in Santa?

A: A rebel without a Claus

Q: Why is Christmas just like your job?
A: You do all the work and the fat guy with the suit gets all the credit

Q: Why did Santa send his daughter to college?
A: To keep her off the North Pole

…and a long one

Santa's snack

Santa Claus goes to the doctor with a problem.

Santa: I think I have a mince pie stuck up my bottom

Doctor: Ok Mr Claus, bend over please

*examination*

Doctor: Yes indeed, you do have a mince pie stuck up your bottom, but you're in luck. Because I've got some cream for that.

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The heart attack symptoms EVERY woman needs to know – as woman's tweet about signs goes viral

One woman is warning all others to be aware of what a heart attack feels like after she almost died earlier this month.

Posting on Twitter under the name gwheezie the nurse told of how she had a 95 per cent blockage in her heart, but never had chest pains.

"The pain ran across my upper back, shoulder blades and equally down both arms," she wrote.

"It felt like burning and aching.

"I actually thought it was muscle strain. It wasn’t until I broke into drenching sweat and started vomiting that I called 911."

She said she had spent the week helping her neighbour clean out her barn, so assumed the pain was down to a muscle strain and nothing more.

She decided to take pain killers and put a heat pack on her shoulder to ease the pain – but she could have died because she didn't recognise it was actually chest pain.

"The day before my heart attack I drove six hours to help my mother who lives in another state," she continued.

"I thought I should go to a doctor but I had to help my mom who is 90 and I’d just tough it out because it wasn’t real bad.

"I was lucky, I had no idea what hospital to go to, the female medics who picked me up took me to a hospital that does cardiac catheters, I had four stents placed an hour after I got to the ER that was Sunday."

She was discharged four days later.


FIND OUT MORE What are heart attack symptoms in women and men? Signs and causes of myocardial infarction


It comes as a timely reminder that heart attack symptoms can be different in women, compared to the symptoms we are always warned about.

According to the British Heart Foundation (BHF) heart attacks kill more women than breast cancer each year – yet heart disease is still considered a "man's disease".

There are over 900,000 women in the UK living with coronary heart disease, the main cause of heart attacks.

Some 68,000 women go to hospital following a heart attack each year in the UK – an average of 186 women per day, or 8 per hour.

Yet many women think heart disease isn't something that will happen to them.

Women are also likely to wait longer before calling 999, most likely because they don't recognise their symptoms, BHF says.

The symptoms of heart attack in women:

These are the signs every woman needs to know.

  • Chest pain or discomfort – the most recognised  symptom of a heart attack though not always present
  • Pain radiating to the arms, neck, jaw, stomach and back can all be symptoms of a heart attack
  • You may experience pain in just one or all of these places; for some people the pain is severe but for others just uncomfortable
  • A feeling of indigestion or reflux type pain – this is often ignored in the hope that it will pass
  • Feeling sick, sweaty, breathless or lightheaded with associated chest pain or discomfort
  • A general feeling of being unwell or lethargic can also be an indicator of a heart attack when accompanied by chest pain or discomfort

If you are having any of these symptoms it's vital you seek emergency help straight away.

How can you prevent a heart attack?

The most important thing a person can do to ward off a heart attack is to live a healthy lifestyle.

Here are five steps you should take to reduce the risk:

  • Quitting smoking is the single best thing you can do to boost your heart health as smokers are twice as likely to die from a heart attack, compared to non-smokers
  • Take regular exercise (at least two hours 30 minutes a week for adults)
  • Eat a healthy diet which is high-fibre and low fat with at least five portions of fruit and veg a day
  • Limiting alcohol consumption can also reduce your heart attack risk
  • Lose weight if you are overweight or obese


 

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Roger the muscle-bound kangaroo dies in Australia aged 12

The animal, who was 6ft 7in and weighed 14 stone (89 kilos), became famous in 2015 when a photo of him crushing the bucket went viral.

The Kangaroo Sanctuary in Alice Springs, Australia, where Roger was cared for, said it was a “very sad day”.

“We have lost out beautiful boy, Roger,” said sanctuary manager Chris Barnes.

Mr Barnes found Roger as a joey in 2006 after the kangaroo’s mother had been killed by a passing car.

In a video tribute on Facebook, he said he built the sanctuary to house Roger and “a couple of his wives, Ella and Abigail”.

He added: “Roger was our alpha male for many years, and he grew up to be a kangaroo that people from all over the world have grown to love as much as we love him too.

“He will always be here – we’ve laid him to rest out here, so he can be with his family.”

The centre thanked people for their “beautiful messages about Roger”.

Among more than 2,000 comments on the sanctuary’s Facebook page, Debbie Radde said there would be “many tears shed in Australia”.

“From an orphaned joey to the world’s most famous kangaroo, it’s amazing what love can do,” said Erin Tewksbury.

And Kevin Cotton said: “I loved watching him going from an aggressive, territorial alpha to a gentle old soul just lounging and munching corn.”

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Kids pooing in the grotto, dads strangling Santa and mums getting flirty – what it’s really like to be a Christmas elf

Although it seems full of Christmas cheer, being an elf isn't all fun and games, as these three tell Sun Online…

'One dad grabbed Santa by the throat and threatened to kill him'

Amy Irwin, 24, lives in South East London and was an elf for four years.

Amy says: "The garden centre I worked at was really popular and tickets for Santa’s grotto sold out within two hours.

We’d get parents forging tickets and feigning sickness so they could come and see Father Christmas.

If parents didn’t join in and sing during our performance, we made them sing Jingle Bells on their own.

One dad did a solo and knew every word – leaving the other 29 parents and kids in the group gobsmacked.

One time a kid was playing up and Father Christmas said: "Are you being naughty or nice? They’ll be no presents for you if keep up that behaviour!" At that point his dad ran over.

He grabbed Father Christmas by the throat and slammed him against the wall while saying:"I'll kill you if you speak to my son like that again – and I’ll come back and do the same to your elf!"

The whole group was scared and in shock. Luckily management intervened before things escalated."

'One kid pooed in the corner of Santa's grotto'

Communications manager Hollie Jackson, 24, lives in Bexley and was an elf for two years

Hollie says: "One day I opened the door to welcome the next group of families in and said to what I thought was a young girl:

'Are you excited to see Father Christmas?'

She looked at me blankly.

It turns out it wasn't a child, it was the mum of a girl – she just happened to be very short.

As the grotto was cold we had heaters in there.

One day we were singing when we noticed the the room smelled of poo.

Turning round we saw one kid pooing next to the heater and the room stunk for the rest of the day.

It was absolutely awful."

Father Christmas confesses

Children’s entertainer Nigel Durrant, 58, is married and lives in Hemel Hempstead.
He says: "I’ve been working for the man in the North Pole for the last three years. I’ve got a bespoke Santa outfit and a proper stick on beard.

"I do a lot of staff parties. When there is drink involved that's when the mums get flirty. It is very common for women to want to sit on my knee and make saucy comments!

"One little girl told me her friends parents had split up and she'd got a puppy. So she asked me if I could make her parents split up so she'd get the same."

'Parents often turn up hungover – and so do the elves'

Thom Whyte, 24, from Swansea, has been in the elf industry for eight years

Thom says: "Kids often offer alcohol to Santa – we have to take it off them, and explain he can’t be drunk in charge of the reindeer.

Kids always have a go for me not being a 'real elf' – they say I’m too tall. I tell them only 'Hollywood elves' are small.

They also get us to do the latest dance moves – I had to find out what dabbing was when the kids kept asking me to do it.

I looked like a right t*t, but my Santa told me it was just a part of the job.

Thom has worked as Christmas elf every year since he was 16

Saturday mornings are always busy. Parents turn up hungover with their kids – and normally us elves are hungover too.

Last year I got ready for work after a big night out and my mates woke up before I left and started taking pictures of me all dressed up.


Everyone is tactile with an elf – and we get no personal space.

I get used to being hugged. My hat gets swatted all the time, I've had to replace and repair it loads.

My boots have got pom-poms on and they are always getting yanked off too, and I get asked for an 'elfie' all the time.

It's draining. Santa’s job might be hard, but it’s harder for us elves."

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Playoffs? Colts could be the team no one wants to play

HOUSTON – They have still yet to utter the p-word in the locker room, and that’s by design. Frank Reich wants it that way. He demands it.

Playoffs? Playoffs?!? Raise even the possibility with an Indianapolis Colt and you’ll garner one of three reactions: A shrug of the shoulders, a shake of the head, a timely pivot to a cliché they’re starting to really like this time of year. “All that matters is going 1-0 every week…” says one after another after another. Reich, the fearless first-year coach, doesn’t want his team daydreaming about its postseason potential.

Maybe it’s time the rest of us should.

Especially after that, a performance Sunday that was both calculating and complete, and rather surprising considering how bad this team (read: the offense) looked the last time they took the field, seven days ago in Jacksonville. Reich’s Colts beat up the hottest team in football, in their place, 24-21 in Week 14, with an AFC South crown awaiting the surging Texans if they were able to sweep their division rival in 2018 and push their winning streak to 10.

Problem was: Indy wasn’t having it. Lousy calls, sputtering offense early, fourth-quarter surge by the Texans late, no matter. The Colts knew the Texans were anxious to celebrate. They made certain it didn’t happen on their watch.

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Arrowverse Crossover: 5 Best Moments From 'Elseworlds' Part 1 — Plus: How Will Oliver's Darkness Affect Barry?

“Oh, Barry, what have you done this time?”

The Arrowverse’s “Elseworlds” crossover kicked off with a body swap/quantum leap on Sunday night’s The Flash, and Oliver Queen couldn’t help but think that the scarlet speedster was behind the switcheroo. (With the amount of timeline-tampering Barry has done, it is the obvious first guess.)

The eventful first hour offered up plenty of hijinks and heartwarming exchanges. Here, we highlight five moments that made us laugh, cheer, awww or, in one case, left us concerned about a certain couple:

A QUEEN OUT OF WATER | It’s not often that the broody vigilante gets to lighten up, so seeing Oliver adjust to his strange new surroundings and speedy powers is a comedic treat. From his awkward exchanges with his “wife” Iris — “I did not get enough sleep” is one way to explain things — to his horror at learning he can’t get drunk as a speedster (“This day cannot get any worse!”), Oliver’s confusion and uneasiness is delightfully entertaining. If this is what happens when the hero is out of his element, we’re all for it!

SOMEBODY SAVE ME | After surmising that their situation might be an Earth-1 thing, Oliver and Barry visit their pal Kara on Earth-38, where she’s hanging with her cousin Clark Kent and his girlfriend Lois Lane on the Smallville farm. And what better way to introduce the setting than with the unexpected sounds of Remy Zero’s “Save Me,” aka the Smallville theme song!

PAYBACK IS A… | Remember when Oliver shot Barry with arrows during a training session in the very first crossover event? Well, Barry finally gets his revenge on the Kent farm. Oliver suspects that his friend has remote control arrows hidden in the field, but Barry reassures him that he does not. Then, when Oliver’s defenses are down, he’s struck by two arrows as Barry gleefully announces that he’s been waiting four years for that. (It was totally worth the wait!)

LIGHTNING ROD | Initially, Team Flash is not on board with Barry and Oliver’s story that they’ve somehow swapped lives. But then amid the crazy shenanigans is an incredibly tender moment between Iris and Barry, in which he tries to convince her that he’s the real deal by recounting the night that he first moved in with her and Joe after his mom’s murder. “You’re my lightning rod,” he tells Iris, and those are the words she needs to be convinced of what her heart, not her brain, is telling her is true. Speaking of “WestAllen”…

FIGHT THE DARKNESS | After seeing how embracing Oliver’s personality and abilities affects Barry — he even growls, “You have failed this city!” — Iris is concerned that the man she loves might be changing. “Promise you’ll come back to me,” she says, urging him not to become Oliver Queen. Is that request a hint of ominous things to come? Will Oliver’s darkness seep into the speedster? “There is an episode a little bit down the line where Barry deals a little bit with that,” Flash executive producer Todd Helbing told reporters at a press screening.

The exchange between Barry and Iris “just speaks to everything that they’ve experienced this year as parents for the first time, in that it really speaks to their relationship, how much they’re in love,” the EP explained. “Barry says, ‘Whatever mask I’m wearing, I’ll always reveal my true face.’ I just think it really speaks to who they are as a couple, and it sets up what they’re going to have to go through in the back half of our season.”

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The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Ore Oduba

The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Ore Oduba says without risk there’s no reward

  • Ore Oduba, 33, is a TV presenter for The One Show and This Morning
  • He shared how taking a gamble helped him to achieve two of his life ambitions
  • He recalls opportunities opening up after he moved to London from Manchester

Ore Oduba, 33, is a TV and radio broadcaster, presenting The One Show and This Morning, and is a regular voice on Radio 2. He won Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 and will host the tour when it goes on the road in the New Year. He lives in London with his wife, Portia, and their toddler son, Roman. 

Ten years ago, I had two ambitions in life. One was to find the woman with whom I wanted to spend the rest of my days. The second was to be a contestant on Strictly. I’ve achieved both, but neither came easily. Each was something of a gamble.

Not so long ago, I heard someone say: ‘Without risk, there’s no reward.’ That’s such a powerful approach to life. Without realising it, it had probably been my mantra for some while.

Ore Oduba, 33, (pictured) revealed how taking a gamble helped him to progress in his career and find the woman he wants to spend his life with 


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Last year, Portia and I made the decision to move down to London from Manchester, where we’d lived for more than six years. I’d won Strictly the previous December and a whole load of new possibilities were opening up. But should I play it safe, or should I try punching above my weight?

I was embarking on a journey into the unknown. There was no guaranteed job on the horizon. To be honest, I was a little bit terrified. I was driving us and all our worldly goods in a van headed for London. I didn’t know what lay ahead, but I had that quote about risk and reward ricocheting round my head.

As it turned out, my career gradually became a sort of patchwork quilt of amazing opportunities.

There was the unbelievable honour of hosting the One Love TV special following the Manchester bombing. I was also offered the chance of hosting the Strictly tour which begins in January. Now I’m keeping Sara Cox’s seat warm before she inherits Radio 2’s Drivetime slot.

There have been quiz shows, game shows and the privilege of being involved in the coverage of Harry and Meghan’s wedding in May.

Now I have my sights set on appearing in a West End musical. It’s all been about taking those risks, realising those dreams when they come your way.

Strictly Come Dancing Live UK tour runs from January 18 until February 10. For venues and tickets, visit strictlycomedancinglive.com

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Who is Simon Callow? Meet the Celebrity Carry On Barging and Four Weddings and a Funeral actor

The BAFTA Film Award-nominated star has impressed with his writing and directing abilities during his career.

Who is Simon Callow?

The 69-year-old was born in Streatham, London.

Following his studies at the London Oratory School, he got a place at Queen’s University Belfast.

Simon decided to give up his degree course in favour of further studies at Drama Centre London.

Remarkably, Callow’s career took off after he wrote a fan letter to Sir Laurence Olivier.

After his message reached the Golden Globe Award-winner, he was invited to join the National Theatre’s team of box office staff.

Watching the actors perform inspired Simon, who landed his first stage role in 1973.

What theatre shows has Simon Callow appeared in?

Callow’s prolific theatre career has seen him star in both comedies and dramas.

After appearing in Martin Sherman’s critically acclaimed Passing By, he’s also starred in As You Like It, My Fair Lady and one-man play Shakespeare: the Man from Stratford.

In 1999, he was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) for his services to acting.

What else is Simon Callow famous for?

Even though Simon’s career began at the theatre, he has won over the hearts of the British public with his many on-screen appearances.

He made his film debut in 1984, when he featured in period drama Amadeus.

As well as this, Callow is known for his roles in Four Weddings and a Funeral, Doctor Who, Little Britain and Little Napoleons.

The multi-talented celebrity has also penned biographies of Oscar Wilde, Charles Laughton and Orson Welles.

His latest venture is in TV, as he was one of four celebrities appearing on Channel 5’s Celebrities Carry On Barging.

 

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When is the winter solstice 2018 and how is the shortest day celebrated?

It is also when the Sun is at its lowest point in the sky, in the northern hemisphere.

When is the winter solstice 2018?

This year’s winter solstice, which is also known as midwinter, is on December 21 at 10.23pm.

The world "solstice" comes from the Latin solstitium meaning "Sun stands still" because the apparent movement of the Sun's path north or south stops before changing direction.

It is the shortest day of the year.

Across Europe it is known as Yule, from the Norse word Jul (or juul), meaning wheel.

In the northern hemisphere it is when the North Pole is pointing away from the Sun.

How is it celebrated?

The day has been celebrated by various cultures around the world for thousands of years and is generally a recognition of rebirth.

Most notably it is associated with the druids who mark the start of the solar year with a celebration of light and the rebirth of the Sun.

The Feast of Jul was observed in Scandinavian countries around the solstice.

The feast was seen as the last celebration before the winter began, making food scarce.

Fires would be lit to symbolise the heat and light of the returning Sun and a Yule log was gathered and burnt in the hearth as a tribute to the Norse god Thor.

 

Pagan homes are often decorated with supposedly sacred herbs and red, green and white colours.

Holly, ivy, evergreen boughs and pine cones are usually put around the home, especially in places where socialising takes place.

A sprig of mistletoe is put up above a threshold and is meant to be left there until the next Yule.

Pagans see it as a charm for good luck throughout the year but has now taken on a symbolic meaning for kissing beneath it and the opportunity for romance.

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