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Lifestyle | Thursday 14 December 2017

Christmas survival

So here it is… the time of year when Slade ask, ’Are you hanging up a stocking on your wall?’ We’ve been watching Christmas ads for weeks, the twinkling trees are up and there’s a frisson of excitement in the crisp, cold air. We love this time of year. We’re here to ensure you’re super organised and ready for anything

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Keep well

No one wants to see their host sniffling over the gravy. Stock up on dark green superfoods (such as broccoli and spinach), manuka honey and ginger, and stay hydrated. Infusing water with cucumber, mint or orange makes getting your daily two litres more appealing and also adds colour to your table spread. Keep endorphins up with exercise – try a nice energising walk in the fresh air. If it’s chilly, invest in some proper outdoor wear or do your workout at home.


Creative comforts

 The most important thing at Christmas is being with your loved ones. That said, there’s nothing wrong with making your surroundings as sumptuous as possible. On the practical side of things, you don’t want to be getting through heaps of laundry, so make sure you have enough bed linen and towels for guests. Spare glasses can come in very handy, as can extra table linen (not to mention stain remover). Fold-out beds are amazingly compact and comfortable, these days, so are a good investment.





Entertainment for all


It isn’t Christmas without games, bad singing, dancing and silly hat wearing. Monopoly works best when everyone’s a little more, shall we say, alert, while Pictionary and Charades are far more fun after a few sherries. For spontaneous entertainment, try ‘Who Am I?’. The rules: 1. Each player writes the name of a famous person on a Post-It note. 2. Stick Post-It note to the forehead of a nearby person, so that it’s visible to everyone else. 3. Players take it in turns to ask a question with a yes/no answer to try and identify the name of the person on their forehead.



Delicious, stress-free cooking

 After the lavishness of Christmas dinner, both body and mind will crave simplicity. Slow cookers are amazing– just stick your ingredients in when you get up in the morning and by dinner time you’ll have a delicious feast bubbling away. Alternatively, Jamie Oliver’s new cookbook 5 Ingredients – Quick & Easy Food does exactly what it says on the tin. Our fave recipe is the Bangin’ Beef Stew, but the book is also packed with wholesome salads if you want to start your new year’s resolutions early.





Assemble the squad




 Sure, you’ll spend the holiday period in each other’s pockets, but it’s not always easy to connect with the family when you have a constant stream of guests and the distraction of new toys, so make sure you put some quality hang-out time aside. Getting out for a long walk is a great way to regroup, and you can’t beat cuddling up on the sofa in your jimjams while watching a feel-good family flick.




Tidy house, tidy mind



Even the biggest neat freak can struggle to keep everything in order at Christmas, but it is possible to beat the clutter if you enter the situation armed. Your dishwasher is bound to get overloaded and you’ll probably have to resort to some old-school scrubbing, so make sure you have enough draining space. Avoid a bedroom pile-up by gathering extra coat hangers for guests’ coats. You’ll probably be relieved to see the back of your decorations after the 12th day of Christmas, but don’t be hasty when putting them away – future-you will be delighted to unpack neatly organised baubles and lights come December 2018. And we hate to be boring, but why not use the de-rigging period as a chance to do a big clean and get rid of those pine needles once and for all? Or better still, get a robot vacuum cleaner to do it for you!

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