Christmas should be a relaxed, merry old time of year; but, for many, it’s a period of intense stress – shopping, cooking, organising and juggling nativity plays with work parties, all whilst trying to keep every member of the tribe happy.
Does it make your palms sweat just thinking about it? Take into account the extra dent it makes on your December pay check, and it’s no wonder some of us experience a festive burnout.
However, we like to think the little things, when put together, can make a big difference. So, to help inject a bit of creative fun back into Chrimbo, save money and reduce stress, the team at Go Ape have compiled the following yuletide hacks…
Is your tree a little bare and patchy in places? Give the illusion of a full and bushy festive tree by using green tinsel or artificial pine garland and wrapping it around the inner branches – once covered in plenty of decs and twinkly lights, no one will ever know! We won’t tell – promise.
Make your home smell of Christmas. How? By simply boiling cloves and cinnamon sticks in a pan! The fragrance will soon fill each room, and your guests will feel instantly warm and fuzzy inside!
Chop it up
Naturally, we think the most beautiful decorations are wooden ones. Chop the trunk of your Christmas tree into “slices”, get all the family to decorate their own (write the year on it so you can remember ‘Christmas 2015’ in years to come), and attach some red or green ribbon. Voila! Free Christmas decs.
Another tree-themed hack here: this time, you can work a bit of origami napkin magic and fold them into Christmas tree shapes, complete with a mini bauble on top. It’ll save you buying special festive napkins or napkin rings!
If you need to trim your Christmas tree in places, don’t throw the cuttings into the bin! Instead, use them as stylish and minimalist features by placing the cut branches into glass vases half-filled with water. Simple, elegant and Christmassy – what’s not to love?
Secure three mini candy canes together, place with the round sides down and use either as name place holders or to inform your tribe of the food they are about to devour on your spread. A really fun idea!
For a platter of nibbles with a twist, why not create Christmas-tree inspired pitta breads that are as delicious as they are festive? Cut toasted pittas into triangles, top with homemade guacamole and diced red peppers and place a stick of pretzel into the bottom (the tree trunk). Yum!
So, there you have it: a selection of our favourite Christmas hacks. While we can’t promise they’ll stop Crazy Aunt Maude drinking more than her fair share of brandy or the turkey burning to a crisp, they could just make your life a fraction easier and – more importantly – you should have a lot of fun in the process!