Survival Guide to Christmas

12 Rules of Christmas

Here are party and catering suggestions, gift ideas for everyone on your list, where to get local trees, eco choices, how to stay sane, safety tips and charities to support.

Christmas Feasts and Parties

• Take a break from cooking and enjoy your Christmas Day feast at Blandy’s at Inglewood

• Book your December party at the Queens Arms in East Garston, Blandy’s at Inglewood near Kintbury, The Great Shefford in Great Shefford, The Harrow at Little Bedwyn, The Red House in Marsh Benham, The Castle and Donnington Grove in Newbury, The George in Lambourn

• Christmas deli hampers can be ordered from Wiltshire Delicatessen and Wine Merchant, Gastro Nicks, purveyors of fine foods specialising in artisan Sicilian products.


• Honesty Christmas Treats & Hampers (including Christmas puddings & cakes, mince pies, gingerbread men and lots more), can be ordered and collected any of the Honesty Coffee Shops in Greenham, Kingsclere, Inkpen, Hungerford, Overton & Houghton Lodge.


• Bored of turkey and can’t eat Christmas pud? Try slow roasted goose and healthy Christmas Compote instead. Here is lots more Christmas Meal Plan inspiration from All That I’m Eating food blogger Caroline Taylor.

• Order online to local hot smoked venison, duck, chicken & mackerel from Black Dog Smokery

Christmas Trees

• Eastbury locally grown ‘free range’ trees
• Wantage Rotary (free delivery within 10 miles of Wantage)
Newbury Christmas Tree Farm

Gift Inspiration for Everyone on Your List

Browse our Penny Post Christmas Guide for local gifts & experiences including:
pamper treatments at Natura Spa, jewellery and accessories from Bisoux in Wantage, excitement at ExCLUEsive Escape Rooms in Newbury, handmade Tilly’s Treats chocolates, gin from The Naked Grape in Hungerford, boxer shorts with a difference for all the men in your life.

Gift Fairs & Festive Events

For lots of local festive events and gift fairs see our Christmas Events calendar

Save the Planet

Check out our Green Guide to Christmas for ideas for a more sustainable Christmas.

Save Your Sanity

It’s tempting to think that everyone else except you is totally organised for Christmas and is having a perfect time but actually we’re all in the same boat and here is some helpful advice:

• Why Christmas can be stressful and how to deal with the pressure
• Top Tidy Tips for an uncluttered Christmas
• 12 Rules of Engagement with Your Family at Christmas
• How to Succeed as a Scrooge this Christmas
• You know those round-robin letters full of one-upmanship? This one might actually make you feel better! What a Year (No, really…).

• Dealing with carpet and upholstery stains by Jon Atkinson of Eclipse Cleaning.

How to Stay Safe

• Top tips from Action Fraud on how to shop safely online
• How to not attract burglars at Christmas
• Make sure your first aid kit has plenty of plasters for the vegetable chopper and remember burns need to be immersed in cold water straight away to stop you cooking as well as the turkey! And when you are making decorations, beware the glue gun as hot glue can cause serious burns. 


Get Away From It All 

Christmas Trips and Travel Tips from the experts at Fare Wise Travel in Hungerford.

Enjoy a festive  staycation at Littlecote House Hotel 20 & 21 December.

A long winter walk is a treat over Christmas. Kids can be coerced with hot jacket potatoes in their pockets to keep their hands warm and eaten on the way home.

If you can’t physically get away, why not bury your nose in our Christmas Quiz to buy yourself an hour or two of solitude…


• If you have a lantern, you are very welcome to join the parade starting at 7.15pm at Hungerford Extravaganza on Friday 13 December.
• lantern-making workshops Sat 7 & Sun 8 Dec in Newbury for the Festival of Light Sun 15 Dec


Fancy Some Company?

Please talk to older neighbours and make sure that they are not going to be alone on Christmas day, unless they want to be. 

Christmas Day lunches are being organised around the area and you can do a postcode search at Community Christmas to see what is happening near you.


Charity at Christmas

• Please think of families fleeing domestic violence – click here for how to donate gifts to them

• Food Bank – please make food donations at major supermarkets.

• Buy charity cards from Cards for Good Causes in Hungerford’s United Reformed Church, Newbury’s Barclays Bank and Marlborough’s St Peter’s Church. Open 10am – 4 pm, Mon to Sat.

• Please make financial donations to:

Ray Collins Charitable Trust which provides Christmas Hampers for families in need in Wantage
West Berkshire Food Bank
Newbury Soup Kitchen
Loose Ends drop-in centre for homeless and vulnerable in Newbury
Berkshire Womens Aid who support victims of domestic violence

• Newbury Building Society’s Wrap Up Appeal of donations of warm clothes to be dropped off at NBS branches in Newbury, Hungerford, Thatcham.

• Swift Christmas Toy Appeal 2019

• West Berkshire Homeless are asking for hamper donations of Christmas treats and household essentials to Newbury Quaker Meeting House between 6pm and 6.30pm Monday 23rd December or contact Marj on 07727 277780 to arrange collection. WBH will distribute the ‘hampers’ on Christmas Eve afternoon to our half-way houses and the many we support in our WBH community.

• Stamps are more abundant at Christmas so please keep hold of them and comment below to arrange collection by a local charity who can make money from them.

Christmas Reads

• Why Christmas Cards Matter, by Toni Kent.
• How to Succeed as a Scrooge, by Michael Quinn.
• My Best Christmas, by Roy Bailey.
• My First Christmas Party, by Brian Quinn.

• If you’re stuck for Christmas book ideas, have a flick through the Hungerford Bookshop’s Favourite Reads of 2019


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on email
Share on print

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up to the free weekly

Penny Post


for local, positive news, events, jobs, recipes, recommendations & more.

Covering: Hungerford, Marlborough, Wantage,   Lambourn, Newbury, Thatcham & Theale