Welsh Ambulance Service staff working on Christmas Day will be able to enjoy a traditional festive lunch thanks to the generosity of pubs and restaurants across Wales.
Hospitality businesses from every corner of the country have stepped in, many free of charge, to feed more than 500 colleagues working a day shift at all our ambulance stations, contact centres and make ready depots.
The goodwill gesture brings a welcome slice of normality for those away from their families and friends on Christmas Day.
Judith Bryce, the Trust’s Assistant Director of Operations (National Operations and Support), said: “We operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year which means many of our colleagues will miss the bulk of Christmas Day at home with loved ones whilst on duty.
“We are extremely grateful to all of the businesses who have come forward once again to provide meals – especially after another challenging pandemic year where this gesture continues to mean a lot to us as a service and to individuals.”
Also this year, the Trust is preparing and delivering hampers filled with festive treats to all of its stations, premises and contact centres.
In partnership with local delivery firms, 164 baskets of favourites such as mince pies, chocolates, hot drinks and crisps will be distributed across the country, funded once again through the Trust’s Charitable Funds.
Driving home for Christmas? How about a Pigs in Blankets or Brussels Sprout car air freshener?
With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to get you into the festive mood than the smell of Christmas day every time you enter your car?
If that sounds like something that jingles your bells, Zuto have got you covered with their festive air fresheners (available while stocks last), to make driving home for Christmas feel like riding in Santa’s sleigh.
With the temperatures dropping and the de-icer making a return most mornings, there’s no better way to start your day than to be greeted by Christmas cheer before you make a journey.
Using some of the most loved ‘Christmassy’ flavours, Zuto are creating six scents to sleigh this wintertime:
Pigs in blankets
A Christmas dinner favourite for many! And with a lot of meat-free options out there, this made for the perfect in-car fragrance to get Brits excited for Christmas.
The combination of crispy bacon and sausage is enough to make anyone’s mouth water, and our pigs in blankets scented car freshener is sure to get you feeling excited for dinner as you’re driving home.
A Christmas classic, the spicy mincemeat, mixed with juicy currants and wrapped in crumbly golden pastry makes for such a tantalising smell that we think it would make for a perfect car scent.
Rest assured, the cardboard box and tinfoil wrapper smell aren’t part of the scent profile.
The main event at most Christmas dinners around the world and the star of the show, this freshener will have you dreaming of Christmas every time you get into your car.
Combined with a succulent meat gravy aroma, this scent shines bright in our collection.
Love them or hate them, Brussels sprouts are an icon of the traditional Christmas dinner and we Brits actually eat more brussels sprouts than any other European country!
Despite their infamous reputation for causing some Christmas Day wind, we know that there are some serious Brussels sprout lovers out there who would love nothing more than to carry the scent with them everywhere they drive.
A staple at every Christmas fair and market, the smell of roasted chestnuts is reminiscent of ice skating and admiring plenty of shiny trinkets.
We wanted to bottle those memories up so you can carry them with you all year round in the car.
Father Christmas (cookies and whiskey)
Last but not least, with a bit of a curveball, we present to you the Father Christmas scent; a delicious blend of freshly baked cookies and a glass of the best malt whiskey.
Harking back to simpler times, this scent is sure to remind you of the warm nights by the fire, waiting with slowly closing eyes for Santa to arrive and eat the cookies you baked for him and his reindeers. Thankfully, the smell of whiskey can’t get you drunk, so you’re still good driving your car home for Christmas with this scent.
Lucy Sherliker, Head of Customer at Zuto, says: “Christmas is an exciting time, and we’re delighted that we can help spread some festive cheer whenever people set foot in their car.
“Whether you’re out delivering Christmas presents, or behind the wheel every day for work, these car fresheners are set to help get you and any passengers into the festive spirit!”
Sylvia Pope aka Swansea’s ‘Nana Baubles’ breaks world record with 1,700 Christmas decorations
Sylvia Pope, 79, has a colossal collection of Christmas baubles.
It’s so large in fact, that she has broken the record for the world’s largest collection of Christmas bauble ornaments.
Sylvia, also known as Nana Baubles, lives in Swansea and owns a staggering 1,760 of the hanging decorations.
However, she predicts the number will go well over 2,000 in the next year or two!
Her fascinating collection spreads throughout her house, with beautiful baubles hanging from the ceilings as well as on display outside her house.
Other than your classic Christmas decorations, Nana Baubles’ collection counts many unique and quirky items.
They all differ in shape, material and colours and come from every corner of the world.
Sylvia said: “It was back in 1999. My son, who lived in Brighton, invited us to spend New Year with him. We went to a friend’s house for a drink and, when I walked in, they had the baubles on the ceiling. It was fantastic. I thought, ‘oh my god, this is wonderful’. They were from all over the world. And then I thought, ‘I’m going to try this.’”
After that, she started buying baubles in boxes. Soon after, people started gifting her different items.
Nana Baubles took years to put together such a collection, with different pieces from everywhere in the world.
Some come from iconic shops in the UK, such as Liberty London and Harrods, while some were brought back by her loved ones during their travels abroad.
Some are unique collectables pieces, and some – like the little red bauble gifted to Nana by her great-grandson – hold a very special sentimental value.
It’s exciting to admire the variety in Nana Baubles’ decorations, which cover the ceiling and many surfaces in her home.
“They are more like a Christmas decoration than a bauble, aren’t they?” Nana Baubles says, talking about her majestic collection and its many different pieces.
Not all of her baubles necessarily stick to the classic round shape. They are not all festive-themed, either.
Among her many treasures, Nana Baubles also owns crab and lobster-shaped ornaments, food-shaped ones (like hamburgers and popcorn) and even telephone boxes and Disney characters.
One can even spot a personalised bauble with Nana Bauble’s name on it!
The oldest baubles she owns are pink and blue ones from the 2000s, which is when she first started collecting them.
The most valuable item in Nana Baubles’ collection was gifted to her by her granddaughter, a beautiful Royal Tea bauble.
This precious Royal Doulton is a special edition bauble created for the Queen’s Golden Anniversary, and it is very close to her heart.
“Christmas was always a family affair,” Nana Baubles recounts about her childhood.
It was the only time Sylvia’s family had chicken and a few presents as a special treat, although she always received one present for her birthday and Christmas combined, as her birthday falls on Boxing Day.
On Christmas morning, she would find a stocking filled with one orange and nuts. Then, she would go downstairs to open the present.
It wasn’t a lot, Nana Baubles says, but they were always happy.
“We weren’t very well off, we didn’t have a lot, and that is why today I will do what I can and afford what I can afford to have a good Christmas for the children.”
Every year, surrounded by the spectacle of her festive baubles, Nana Baubles always tries her best to give her loved ones a beautiful celebration.
“I think it’s a children’s time. I think Christmas is a wonderful time to excite the children, so I do believe you should do the best you can for them.”
Craig Glenday, Editor in Chief at Guinness World Records said: “We all need a bit of yuletide cheer right now, and records like these really put a smile on your face. Nana Baubles clearly has an infectious passion for Christmas and has created her own record-breaking winter wonderland at home. It’s wonderful to be able to share her joy of the festive season with the rest of the world.”
(Lead image: Guinness World Records)
Llannon pupil wins First Minister Christmas Card competition
First Minister Mark Drakeford has announced Taliesin Bryant, a year six pupil at Llannon Primary in Llanelli, as the winner of his annual Christmas card competition.
Hundreds of entries were received for this year’s competition, which was open to pupils from years five and six from schools across Wales.
Following the COP26 summit in Glasgow last month, the theme for this year’s Christmas card was a green Christmas.
The winning design was chosen by the First Minister and will be used as his official Christmas card for 2021.
The First Minister sends his Christmas card to thousands of people around the world, including to the Queen, the President of the United States Joe Biden and to Vice President Kamala Harris.
During a virtual meeting with Taliesin’s class, the First Minister heard about the inspiration for the design of the card.
The First Minister said: “I was very impressed with the hundreds of entries received and the quality of the designs for this year’s competition. It was difficult to choose a winner but Taliesin’s design stood out. It combined the themes of Christmas and the green future we want to create in Wales.
“I want to thank all the children who entered this year’s competition and wish them a very Merry Christmas.”
Taliesin’s card shows hands going around the world, representing how people in Wales love the world and want to help tackle climate change.
Wena Williams, a teacher at Llannon School in Llanelli: “It was fantastic to find out that Taliesin had won the Christmas card competition and I know all our pupils had great fun taking part.”
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