Dates are traditional at Christmas

Dusted rose and lemon Turkish Delight, Brussels sprouts and chocolate coins wrapped in golden foil – along with a tin of dates – those are the things that spring to mind when I recall my nan’s house on Christmas Day in childhood days of yore. Oh, and the sneaky glass of sherry I used to get when ‘the men’ disappeared for two hours down the White Rose to leave the women to the hard graft. And more sherry, of course.

But the guys and gals over at have put a whole new spin on dates this Christmas, not to mention the revised concept of what you can hope to find in your Christmas stocking.

The dating site, which provides an opportunity for all of the hardworking emergency service and armed forces staff to showcase their profiles to other serving members (and civilians who just like men and women in uniform – traffic wardens, for me!), has joined forces with Cancer Research UK in a drive to raise £150,000 for the charity.

They have already started the ball rolling – for every new sign up for free dating site membership, automatically donate £1 to the Tonne of Love campaign.

£7.50 from your dating site gift goes straight to Cancer Research UK

This new drive is slightly different and is aimed at the paid membership facility. Usually £19.99/month, the matchmaking site has slashed its rate in half to £10.00 in the run up to the festive season to coincide with its ‘Buy Your Mate A Date’ opportunity.

In effect, you are enrolling a friend into the online dating site for a whole month, where they get the chance to look for love online alongside privates on parade, the boys in blue, naughty nurses and those guys with the big helmets, the firemen.

The bequest can be totally personalised on the gift page of the site and payment is SSL certified secure (obviously) with visa or mastercard. You then have the choice of either printing off the certificate to give as a physical gift or you can send it digitally, by e-mail.

If your Secret Santa limit this year is a tenner and you pick someone who won’t get into trouble by being donated a month’s dating site membership, or could frankly just do with one, not only could you be putting them on the road to true love and happiness, but you will also be contributing £7.50 to Cancer Research UK from the £10 that it costs for the gift membership.

And, you never know, if you’ve been very, very good this year, your Secret Santa may have the odd pilot, lance-corporal or a few sea men in their sack at the Christmas Party for you, this Yuletide!

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