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.

Shopping

Aldi shopping hours

Find your local Aldi store and their open hours to help you have The Perfect Aussie Christmas.

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'.

Video: 10-week-old baby sounds like she says 'I love you'

It’s mixed in amongst garbled baby talk, but this 10-week-old's apparent attempt at telling her parents that she loves them has made her an internet star.

I only enjoyed pregnancy after booking my caesarean

To say I became obsessed is something of an understatement. Everywhere I went I found cause to be reminded of my impending pain.

When your bundle doesn't bring immediate joy

One mum says joy is very a personal feeling and expecting all new mums to feel it in the months after their baby born may do more harm than good.

Lessons learned from my toddler

Blogger Kiran Chug explains why she is going to let her toddler make more decisions for himself.

Family welcomes first baby girl in more than 100 years

The Silverton family has heard the phrase "it's a girl" for the first time in four generations.

When a community of kindness steps in

In future when someone I care for, or even someone I barely know, is experiencing a difficult time, I will not overthink it. I'll follow my heart.

Mum in Business: Jac Bowie

Jac Bowie is the founder of Business in Heels, one of the fastest growing women’s networking events in Australia. She shares her story, including how she juggles work with a young family, and ways to work smarter.

What not to say to a mum of twins

Being a mum of identical twin boys stirs up great interest and fascination. It also opens itself up to nosy, invasive questions, as well as huge assumptions.

The mums suing over unplanned babies

A mother-of-five who calls her two youngest sons "miracle babies" is just one of many mums seeking financial compensation for their children's unplanned conceptions.

Video: Dad sings 'Hallelujah' to his daughter every year

It's a gorgeous song to begin with, but this dad's version of Hallelujah, sung for his young daughter, is especially touching.

Constipation in babies when starting solids

While starting solids can be frustrating and messy (yet also fun!), introducing solids can also play havoc on tiny digestive systems.

Parents reunited with baby snatched from hospital

A mother whose newborn baby was snatched from hospital has spoken of her joy and relief at getting her daughter back.

In defence of the bumpie

Are bumpies - bump selfies - really "exhibitionism of the weirdest kind"?

Life on the other side of the fence: Why I'm child-free and quite content

Acknowledging that motherhood isn't a bed of roses – to begrudge lack of time, sleep, money and spontaneity – is sacrilegious and a no-no, especially by mother superior-types.

'Go the F*** to Sleep' author's new book for frustrated parents

A sequel is coming soon to the 2011 hit book 'Go the F*** to Sleep' - and this time, it's about mealtimes.

Win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher

Fill out this quick survey and tell us in 25 words or less your best pregnancy or parenting tip - you'll go in the draw to win a $200 Pumpkin Patch voucher.

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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Losing yourself to motherhood

While watching your baby grow into a unique little person is exciting and wondrous, the intensity of meeting everyone else’s needs can ever so sneakily overtake your own needs for self-care.

Vote for a chance to win $5000

The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We’re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.

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Why I invited a dozen people to watch my son's birth

I sent invitations on burgundy scrapbooking paper stamped with a field of poppies, and told each person why I wanted him or her there. I warned that there would be nudity.

Getting labour started: tips for a natural induction

When your baby’s due date comes and goes without so much as a pop - let alone a bang - it can be disheartening. Mums and a doula share their stories of natural inductions.

7 mistakes old hands make with new babies

As I sat across the table from my friend – me, a seasoned mother of three; her, a brand new mum – I thought of all the mistakes an old-hand parent can make when visiting a newborn baby.

That's my boy: a dad's diary of the first 4 months

Unbearable anxiety, unspeakable joy, constant exhaustion and bouts of frustration ... The many shocks of first-time fatherhood resound in a dad's diary of his son's early months.

One of the most important things a new mum can do

Finances may not be as cute as a newborn, but with many women’s working arrangements changing post-baby, monetary matters need attention too.

Baby news for Isla and Sacha

Congratulations are in order for Aussie actress Isla Fisher and her husband, Sacha Baron Cohen.

Vote to win

What are your favourite baby products?

The first ever Essential Baby Awards, celebrating the best in baby products. We’re inviting you to have your say. Simply vote for your favourite products to win a $5000 VISA debit card.