Wildlife on your doorstep - December. Show us what’s changing for wildlife where you live. Have you got red-breasted robins, or are temperatures rising? Submit your photos via GuardianWitness

Credit: Gwyn Lockett / GuardianWitness

3. Celebrate ‘bring your tree to work’ day

Take your old Christmas tree into the office. Tell everyone you’re taking it to the recycling centre in the afternoon. Surreptitiously decorate it during your tea break.

4. Make a fresh start

It’s time to set aside all your old work-avoidance routines, and come up with some brand new ones. You need something you can continually check up on while you’re supposed to be getting stuff done. Try putting a webcam on your cat.


2nd January 2011, Shoreditch

Morning Tumblr! We love this new Tumblr from Emily Webber - remember to recycle your Christmas trees people!

Counting the cost of Christmas

Being a divorced gay parent makes the festive season frantic – and expensive…

Illustration: Rob Biddulph for the Observer

The Long Winter (1940)
Laura Ingalls Wilder’s novel – the sixth of the Little House series – is set in South Dakota in 1880, when Laura and her family are stranded for seven months in blizzards. When Christmas day comes round – with no trains getting through – the children have to make do with threadbare presents and watery soup. But the family make up for it when the snow thaws and they re-stage Christmas in May. This time there’s freshly made bread, cranberries, mashed potatoes and a huge turkey. Plates are piled up once, then again. “Lord, we thank Thee for all Thy bounty,” says Pa, before starting to play the fiddle

I wish it could be Boxing Day every day

Boxing Day had always been special for Peter Jones and his wife, Kate, and after tragedy struck he decided he needed that sense of freedom a little more often… Read on

Christmas dinners – in pictures

From the Ritz to a homeless shelter, from a Manchester hospital to a BA plane, Christmas dinner (or a version of it) can be found wherever you are

Photograph: Katherine Rose for the Guardian

Guests coming over? Run out of gift paper? Overloaded with cards? Some of the most creative interiors minds around (plus a couple of chefs) have the solution. So, for a stress-free Christmas, here’s what to do if…

Photograph: Sarah Morris for the Guardian