How a Christmas baby grew into the Grinch

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Lesley Picking I've always hated Christmas, but I'm getting better at hiding it as the years go on. I'm a 'Christmas baby', born on December 25.

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What Christmas means to us after the loss of our baby

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Sally Heppleston We had a very happy Christmas Day in 2007, when we excitedly announced to our family we were pregnant. Then our baby was born stillborn and our lives changed forever.

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Best Christmas romantic comedies of all time

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Grab your partner, bestie or a tub of Ben & Jerry's and snuggle up for these Christmas classics.

Low act: Christmas display stolen from yard

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It has to be one of the lowest, most pointless acts a criminal could do: steal a simple set of Christmas decorations from a young family's front yard.

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Dear Santa: What the EB/EK team would like for Christmas

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What would the Essential Baby/Essential Kids team members like to find under the tree this December 25? Here's a sneak peek at their wish-lists (where no item was too big or too small!).

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A guide to going booze-free over Christmas

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Duncan Buchanan Pregnant, thinking of giving alcohol a miss for a while, or doing the Pregnant Pause over the silly season? Here are some tried and true tactics that can help you handle the hardest social situations without giving into pressure to have a drink.

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A 10-month-old's letter to Santa

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Raquel D'Apice I am a 10-month-old baby and I write because my mother has been sending out my "Christmas List" to people, and her list does not in any way represent the things I really want. Here is a comprehensive list of the things I want for Christmas.

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The fun of inventing new Christmas traditions

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Cal Wilson One of the things Cal Wilson has loved most about having a family is starting their very own Christmas traditions.

All mums want for Christmas is ...

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KIRAN CHUG Once upon a time, some luxury makeup and something sparkly in a jewellery box would have made me very happy on Christmas morning. Then I had two children and my wish list changed.

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Dealing with the holiday season when you're newly separated

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KERRI SACKVILLE As the holiday season approaches, I face my first ever Christmas as a single parent. Interestingly, though, it’s not with the emotions you might anticipate.

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Real trees a hit but popularity of fakes still growing

Triple A Christmas Tree Farm.

Alexia Attwood Artificial tree sales may be getting stronger, but real trees still have a big appeal too.

'All celebrated out': a Christmas poem

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KYLIE ORR A never ending shopping list, non-stop festivities with family and friends, plans to do it all differently next year ... yep, that's Christmas in Kylie Orr's house.

Editor's picks: Christmas gifts for babies and toddlers

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AMBER ROBINSON There's never been more choice when it comes to stylish basics and ingenious playthings for babies and toddlers. Here are EB editor Amber's selections for wonderful Christmas gifts.

Gifts for the mum-to-be or new mother who has everything

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Jo Hartley In order to be a little bit different and think somewhat outside the usual gift box, why not give one of these to the pregnant woman or new mum who seemingly has it all?

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The magic of believing

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AMITY DRY I’m not ready for my son to stop believing in Santa yet. But should I treat him like the intelligent and sensible boy that he is and tell the truth, or should I lie, with the good intentions of keeping the magic alive for just a little longer?

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Pregnancy Christmas gift guide

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Pregnancy Christmas gift guide

Visit Babyology for more stylish modern finds for hip kids & parents.

10 homemade Christmas gifts even your toddler can make

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CATHERINE RODIE Everyone loves a personalised Christmas present - especially those which have been lovingly created by little hands. These Christmas gifts are so easy that even your toddler will be able to make them.

10 tips for getting a good photo with Santa

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LETITIA ROWLANDS Guaranteeing your child will smile sweetly for the camera when they sit on Santa's lap is impossible, but these tips will give you the best chance of success.

Aussie family smashes Christmas lights world record

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A Canberra family has decorated their home with more than half a million Christmas lights, reclaiming a Guinness world record they first held in 2011, to raise money for SIDS and Kids.

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Baby gift guide: Christmas 2013

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We've taken the hard work out of shopping by finding the most gorgeous Christmas gifts - both fun and practical - for your littlest family members.

The best gifts for our children

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PINKY MCKAY The most precious gifts we can give our children are those that will last long beyond the festive season.

'Tis the season to be stressed

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PINKY MCKAY At Christmas, it’s easy to feel pressure to make this time special, often at the expense of your own well-being. Pinky McKay shares advice on how to stay calm during the frantic festive season.

No more plastic: give experiences this Christmas

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KYLIE ORR This Christmas, toss away the idea of giving people stuff, and give special experiences instead.

The pregnant woman's guide to Christmas eating

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Livia Gamble Christmas turkey, seafood or ham; however you decide to dine this Christmas, if you’re pregnant there are a few things to keep in the back of your mind.

Getting through Christmas pregnant

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Livia Gamble Follow our tips to be a healthy and happy mum-to-be this festive season.

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Kid-proofing the Christmas tree

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If this is your first Christmas with a toddler, you may be wondering how you'll keep your Christmas treasures out of curious little hands. Here are some ideas to keep your child safe - and your festive decorations in place.

How to have a green Christmas

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EB member Dixiebelle This is a great time of year to make a difference by planning a green Christmas and holiday season.

ATM warnings for Christmas shoppers

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Shoppers are being warned to be vigilant about their financial safety during the festive season, traditionally a busy time for criminal gangs targeting ATMs.

Making a Christmas budget – and sticking to it

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JUSTINE DAVIES Christmas is such a wonderful time of the year, but it can be very expensive. Here are some tips on how to budget - and how to stick to it.

Make your own pompom garlands

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Francesca Newby Less garish than tinsel, yet pretty enough to pack a visual punch, these sweet pompom garlands are quick, simple and easy to make. Best of all, they’re the perfect festive project for crafty kids.

Shortbread Christmas stars

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A Christmas gift from your own kitchen, shortbread is a great gift idea for teacher or neighbour.

Photo Galleries

Elf on the shelf ideas

The Elf on the Shelf® is a special scout elf sent from the North Pole to help Santa Claus manage his naughty and nice lists. Each morning he appears in a new place. Here are some of the most creative we've found. Order your own elf from elfontheshelf.com.

Christmas costumes for babies and toddlers

Christmas costumes for babies have never been cuter - check out these little snowmen, reindeers, Christmas trees, elves and more!

Not so jolly?

A hilarious collection of scary, weird and sketchy Santas.

Forum chat

Christmas Forum

Chat with others about tree options, your Christmas shopping style, gift ideas, menu suggestions and your family traditions.

Baby in 2014?

Chat with other women due at the same time as you in the EB forum's 'due in groups'.

Heartwarming prank gives single mum the house she was hired to clean

Cara Simmons arrived at work to clean a large and beautiful house in time for a party planned for that evening. It was soon hers.

Why we should stop telling new parents to 'enjoy every moment'

A few weeks ago, some dear friends of mine had their first baby. As the proud dad texted me a picture I had to fight the natural instinct to say “Enjoy every moment!”

Transgender dad breastfeeds his babies

A transgender man who breastfed his first baby - despite having his breasts removed as part of his transformation from female to male - has now had a second child.

Couple face $1 million medical bill and bankruptcy after babymoon birth

A Canadian couple were slammed with a million dollar medical bill after their daughter was prematurely during their babymoon.

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia’s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Cigarettes, junk food dominate supermarket sales growth

One in every five dollars spent at supermarkets goes on cigarettes or junk food, according to industry data.

Teacher under fire for breastfeeding in class

There is no doubt mums have a right to continue breastfeeding after they have returned to work, but one teacher in the US has taken it to the extreme.

Video: Baby sniffs beardless dad to make sure it's him

She looks him up and down and then touches his chin, but baby Lindsey still isn't sure this clean-shaven man is her dad.

The tragedy of losing a favourite teddy bear

We were green and uninitiated, perhaps a little naïve when it came to the favourite toy responsibility.

It's possible to workout while pregnant

Medical experts say intense fitness routines can be done safely during pregnancy - if the mums-to-be follow some guidelines.

Baby for Asher Keddie and Vincent Fantauzzo

Fans followed every step of her on-screen pregnancy in Offspring, now Asher Keddie is going to be a mum in real life too.

What parents really want for their kids

Are our hopes, dreams and expectations for our children what they really need?

'I had a feeling something was seriously wrong': the fight for Kaden's diagnosis

Before even giving birth, Katie Myers' maternal instincts warned her something was wrong with her baby.

When your pregnancy causes a relationship rift

Some dads-to-be don't miss a beat when their partner is pregnant; others struggle with a range of issues and can become withdrawn, right when their support is needed most.

Couple uses group photo trick to announce pregnancy to loved ones

Katharine and Kris Camilli devised a clever trick to immortalise their family and friends' reaction to their exciting pregnancy news.

Why Tracey Spicer has given up make-up

"After 30 years on television, I had become what I despised: a painted doll who spent an hour a day and close to $200 a week putting on a mask."

Empowering bikini photo of 46-year-old mum goes viral

When a group of teenagers made rude remarks about her body as she walked past them in a bikini at the local beach, Julie Cross refused to cover up.

Devastated widow discovers she's pregnant the day before husband's funeral

They had been trying to conceive a baby for seven years. Tragically Kristy Kirchner found out she was pregnant the day before her husband Royce's funeral.

Win a family pass to Disney Live!

We have 4 family passes to give away to see Disney Live! presents Three Classic Fairy Tales, touring Australia this December/January.

Gabriella Goat sues Peppa Pig

Every toddler's favourite television pig is being sued by an Italian woman who shares a name with a Peppa Pig character.

Meet the Mpregs, the male pregnancy enthusiasts

"Men can't have babies - that's something only women can do! But our community is full of like-minded people who wish otherwise."

Your new motherhood survival kit

Forget about the bright, pretty baby things - while you're in survival mode, all you'll need are the essentials.

More than 100,000 cars recalled globally after death of pregnant woman

The announcement of a mass recall comes as Malaysian police investigate the death of pregnant woman in July.

I had a 'good baby' but still suffered from postnatal depression

I had a much wanted precious baby girl, a 'good baby' who slept well, self settled and was mostly content. It just seemed implausible to think I could succumb to depression.

Download now: Essential Kids Activity Finder app

Got bored kids? Quickly find the best activities for kids wherever you are in Australia with the Essential Kids app.

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What's hot on EB

Win one of 5 Little Tikes Cozy Coupe Sport

Australia’s No 1 selling car is now available in a Sports model and we have 5 to give away to some lucky Essential Baby families.

Join PADDINGTON on the red carpet!

To celebrate the release of PADDINGTON, we are giving five lucky winners the chance to win a family pass to the exclusive Australian Premiere in Sydney on December 7!

Knowing you are one of the lucky ones

I am secure, confident and strong, but the responsibility of protecting my children can almost bring me undone.

Why I am so emotional now I have kids?

There are so many ways in which parenthood changes us as women, but one of the most noticeable, for me, has been the changing state of my emotions.

Baby survives despite sharing womb with 'foreign body'

Baby Maia was conceived against the odds, only to find she was sharing a womb with an ominous "foreign body".

Video: Baby shows dog how to jump - or vice versa

They say dog is man's best friend, but this playful pooch seems to have chosen a jumping baby as her number one buddy.

10 ways to soothe a crying baby

New paernts can get frustrated when their newborn gets fussy and can't settle down. When you're feeling overwhelmed, try some of these simple tips to help soothe your baby.

20 baby names that are becoming more popular every year

The data-lovers at nameberry.com have been at it again – this time, they’ve discovered the names that are continually rising up the ranks, ready to take out some top spots in the next few years.

10 great meals to make for new parents

Ideally, you want to give food that isn’t expensive to make, isn't too difficult to create, and freezes well; stews, bakes, soups and pasta sauces are perfect.

'It's not you, it's me': Boston bombing survivor mum to have leg amputated

Rebekah DiMartino is going through a break-up. She even wrote a farewell love letter. But it's not to her husband.

How many weeks til Christmas?

On your To-Do list

Get the "Santa" shopping done without the kids in tow.