Well, what a year 2020 has been. The good news is, there is just one month left, hurrah! Join us as we countdown to Christmas.

From the 1st to the 24th of December we will be opening our advent calendar to reveal some interesting/funny/helpful content. Our team of East Sussex Elves will be helping us along the way, revealing messages that we hope will allow us all enjoy a Covid-safe Christmas.

This article will be updated with new messages each day as we countdown to Christmas.

The lowdown on Christmas bubbles

Following a Government announcement on Saturday 19 December, parts of East Sussex (Hastings and Rother) were put under Tier 4: Stay at Home restrictions. In Tier 4 you must stay at home as much as possible and there can be no mixing of households at Christmas.

The rest of East Sussex remains in Tier 2 and Christmas bubbles may now only meet on Christmas day.

Find out more: VIP access only for your Christmas bubble


Keeping roads clear for Santa


While Santa is busy packing up his sleigh ready for the journey in a couple of days, our highways team are always checking the latest forecast, to make sure all routes are clear for his arrival. You can look at the routes and find out when the gritters will be on the roads.

Daily gritting update

Advent Day 21.

The Keep’s Christmas archives

The Keep Archives based in Falmer, is the county’s archive centre. Here, you can research your family or house history, or learn more about local history and explore archive collections. Check out The Keep website, for a collection of festive photographs from newspaper archives!



Where to walk this Christmas

If a Christmas or Boxing Day walk isn’t a tradition you’ve ever had, this year feels like a good time to start. We are lucky to live in this part of the country where we have both seafront and beautiful green spaces to explore. Check out today’s article, where we’ve signposted ideas on where to walk this Christmas.

Ideas for Christmas walks

number 19

Order a free STI home testing kit

We hope you are all following the rules around meeting others. But if like today’s Elf you’ve had an encounter and are worried about having an STI, you can order a free testing kit online and have it delivered discreetly to your door. It’s free and confidential – no need to be embarrassed.

Order yours-elf a free STI testing kit

Day 18

Fun activities for the Christmas break

Looking for activities to keep the kids entertained and having fun over the Christmas break? From homemade gifts to hedgehog hotels, we have some great ideas to keep them busy without breaking the bank. They are also fun for the whole family and guaranteed to keep everyone entertained so, win-win.

Fun activities for the Christmas break

Festive foods from Sussex

Christmas is the time to eat, drink and be merry so we have recipes and interesting facts for you about some of the delicious treats our wonderful county is known for. Cheers!

Gingerbread, apples and sparkling wines for you to enjoy.

A career with East Sussex County Council

Did you know that East Sussex County Council offer a huge range of training, apprenticeships, work experience and volunteering opportunities across all departments? You can train to become a teacher on the job, complete a qualification to become a social worker or become an accountant through an apprenticeship.

Find out more information on what is on offer for training and job roles 

Keeping your little ones safe this festive period

Christmas brings joy, presents and SANTA!! But it also brings increased risk around the home with decorations, fairy lights, candles and new toys.

We have this advice on how to keep safe this Christmas: Keeping your little ones safe during the festive period

Advent 14

Is it ‘just’ a cold?

Spread cheer this Christmas, not Covid! The risk of contracting the virus is still very much present in our communities, but for many, the symptoms of Covid-19 could be easily confused with a ‘normal’ winter cold.

If you think you have a symptom of Covid-19 (a high temperature, a new continuous cough, or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste) and are questioning whether you should get a test – you should probably get one.

With five test sites now available across the county and a mobile testing unit regularly visiting the area, getting a Covid-19 test is easier than ever and the turnaround time for results is currently around 48 hours. Find out more at: Is it ‘just’ a cold?



Be Deer Aware

We hope you’re all reducing your journeys much as possible, but if you do have to travel on the roads please remember to be Deer Aware. Deer are still around and cases of deer-related incidents are always higher during the winter months. By making fewer journeys at the moment, you’ll reduce the risk of any accidents with Rudolph’s distant relatives.

Here’s a reminder of ways to prevent a collision: Are you deer aware? 

Look after yourself

Looking after your wellbeing has never been more important! Check out how you can look after yourself and stay connected:

Wellbeing and self-care in lockdown 

Fighting the loneliness

number 11

Christmas Jumper Day

Hooray, it’s Christmas Jumper Day! We hope donning your favourite festive jumper has put you in an exciting, colourful and giving mood. Today’s fashion choice is all in the name of Save the Children. If you can spare just £2 for a great cause, please show your support and get involved.

Find out more: Christmas Jumper Day 2020 

Keep warm with the East Sussex Warm Homes Check

Living in a cold home can harm your health. It can make a range of health conditions worse, such as breathing and heart problems, and asthma in children. It can also impact on your mental wellbeing.

The Warm Home Check service is able to offer eligible households a range of fully funded home insulation or low carbon heating improvements to increase the energy efficiency of your home – helping you to keep warm and well, whilst saving money.

Find out more: Warm Homes East Sussex

Day 9

Shop safely, avoid scams

Whether it’s Christmas, a pandemic or just your average day, it’s important to shop safely and avoid falling victim to scams. Like presents, scams come in many shapes and sizes: cold-calling, rogue trading, postal scams and e-crime. Scammers take advantage of our desire to find a bargain and capitalise on our trustful nature. They are also good at spotting those who are potentially vulnerable.

Find out more: Shop safely, avoid scams

Christmas recycling guide

Did you know that over Christmas, we produce 30% more waste than usual?

From Christmas trees to cards and wrapping paper, here’s what you can and can’t recycle over Christmas, plus tips for reducing your waste:

‘Tis the season to recycle

Day 7

Help your community

Have you found yourself asking, how can I volunteer and help my local community this Christmas? Whether it’s volunteering your time, supporting local causes and businesses or donating money, there are plenty of ways to help. This year our community needs our support more than ever and we have some great ideas for how everyone can get involved…

Help your community this Christmas

Day 6

Have yourself a homemade Christmas

Up for some homemade crafts? It gets harder each year to know what to buy your loved ones. Socks, smellies and chocolate is all well and good, but if you fancy putting some extra thought in to your festive décor and gift-giving take some inspiration from us!

Homemade decor and gift ideas for Christmas

Day 5

Stay safe on the run up to Christmas

It’s the first Saturday since lockdown lifted. Are you heading to the shops? After a recent sharp rise, the number of positive Covid-19 cases in East Sussex has finally started to go down, but we all need to play out part to keep it that way.

One of our East Sussex Elves brings you this message from Director of Public Health, Darrell Gale…

The run up to Christmas

‘Just’ the flu?

There’s no just about it. With flu and Covid-19 co-circulating this winter it is more important than ever to get the flu jab to not only protect yourselves and those around you but also to protect the most vulnerable people living in our communities as well as our health and care system. If you have a long-term health condition, it can cause serious complications.

Don’t delay: get your free flu jab.

Get your read on with the Winter Mini Challenge

The Reading Agency are back with a Winter Mini Challenge for kids. The theme is ‘Everyone is a Hero’ and there are a load of books on the East Sussex Libraries website for them to read and enjoy. The aim is read at least three books by 15 January and there are printable certificates to download when they hit that goal.

So with the weather outside being pretty frightful at the moment, snuggle down with a good book.

Sign up to the Winter Mini Challenge today! 

Day number 2.

Spread Christmas cheer: Shop early and local this year

Non-essential shops can re-open from 2 December! It’s time to show our local high street and independent businesses some love – let’s shop local this Christmas!

If you can avoid busy places and shop outside of peak times, please do.

And remember, under tier 2 restrictions we can’t yet go shopping, or meet up in a restaurant, with people outside of our household or support bubbles.

Let’s keep the virus from spreading in East Sussex!

Spread Christmas cheer: Shop early and local this year

Red background with a white door and a blue number one

Hands. Face. Space.

Whatever the current situation, whichever local restriction tier East Sussex is in and whether you are considered more vulnerable to coronavirus or not. The best way to protect yourself is still by washing your hands regularly for at least twenty seconds,  wearing a face covering and maintaining at least two meters distance between you and people from outside your own household, whenever you can.

Earlier in the year many of us were singing happy birthday while we washed out hands, remember that!? How about a festive alternative? Why not wash your hands to Wham! – Last Christmas