Leicestershire school meals service has served up the first of their Christmas dinners today to 220 schools.
The numbers of those signing up for school meals has increased by 32% since the council took control of the service four years ago.
The dinners include all the festive trimmings and more, ranging from roast turkey breast and pork chipolatas, to yuletide brownie with litres of Vanilla sauce.
The sheer quantities needed, reaching almost 40,000 in total, means cooking the meal will be no light affair. The total ingredients list includes:
· 2,660 kg roast turkey breast
· 2,431 kg pork chipolatas
· 476 kg bacon
· 422 kg savoury stuffing
· 5,822 kg potatoes
· 1,509 kg peas
· 1,509 kg carrots
· 674 kg brussel sprouts
· 3,807 litres vanilla sauce
· 21,122 portions of plum pudding
· 10,561 portions of yuletide brownie
Thousands of youngsters across Leicestershire have had an early taste of Christmas this lunchtime.
The County Council's school meals service are dishing up over 40,000 meals of turkey and cooking more than 1000kg of brussels and roast spuds.
A man from Walsall has decorated the outside of his house with lights in memory of his wife who loved Christmas.
Harry Creaney has spent thousands of pounds and three weeks completing the display.
Since 1969 Harry and his wife, Hilda, opened the house up to local children but this year's display is the biggest yet.
A world record has been broken in Birmingham this lunchtime for the longest Christmas cracker pulling chain.
749 people were involved in the biggest simultaneous cracker pull, which took place in Brindley Place.
National Express West Midlands has announced its Christmas and New Year services, which includes late night services to shopping centres such as Merry Hill.
Christmas bus services start on Thursday 19 December when extra late night services will be provided to Merry Hill, running until midnight.
The late night shopper services will run until midnight Monday 23 December.
Saturday timetables with some extra early buses will run:
Monday 23rd DecemberChristmas EveFriday 27th DecemberMonday 30th DecemberTuesday 31st December. Normal timetables will apply over the weekend between Christmas and New Year.
There are no buses on Christmas Day.
On Boxing Day, Sunday timetables will apply on all routes until approximately 6.30pm with many key routes running until their normal end of service at around 11.30pm.
New Year’s Day buses will operate Sunday timetables with normal services resuming on Thursday 2 January 2014.
Watch Roy Wood from Wizzard recreate his Christmas hit "I wish it could be Christmas every day" with a number of year 7 pupils from Stockland Green School.
The children who sang on the original version 40 years ago were from the same school.
Birmingham's Dave Hill from Slade says the band get requests all the time, even in the summer, to perform their Christmas hit "Merry Xmas Everybody."
Midland-based bands Slade and Wizzard have made it into the list of Top 20 UK Christmas songs, as both hits celebrate their 40th birthday.
Midland-based bands Slade and Wizzard have made it into the list of Top 20 UK Christmas songs, as both hits celebrate their 40th birthday.Read the full story ›
Two of the most famous number one Christmas songs turn 40 this year and both were recorded by Midlands bands.
'I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday' by Wizzard and 'Merry Xmas Everybody' by Slade are entering their fourth decade.
A pregnant mother from Leicester has told ITV News Central she cried when she realised her outdoor Christmas decorations had been stolen by thieves.
They were taken from outside her home in Balisfire Grove in Beaumont Leys between 7.30am and 9am on 28th November.
Kayleigh Driver and her partner Daniel, who are expecting a baby boy in February, decided to put their decorations up early for their two-year-old daughter Maisie. They have replaced the lights with a note to those responsible thanking them for "ruining" Maisie's Christmas.
Leicestershire Police say anyone with information should contact them.