Have a merry Christmas with our top Christmas tips…

christmas_pud_

Prepare- If you’re making Christmas dinner this year remember that preparation is key. I’d recommend writing a list of what you’re planning to make then highlight anything which can be prepared or made in advance. Get started on these dishes early so that they are ready for Christmas day. Finally don’t forget to volunteer your children or grandchildren as veggie peelers on Christmas Eve- more hands make light work!

Contribute- Not cooking this year? Why not help lighten the load of your host by offering to take something along. A simple desert, starter or canapés are all things which can be made at home and transported elsewhere. Remember to run your recipe past your host to double check that they aren’t already making the same.

Decorate-Save yourself time by setting your table prior to Christmas Day. Lay out table runners, place mats and decorative finishing touches this week. Then add plates, glasses and cutlery the night before. It’s a great way to save time on the day and gives you chance to set everything up nicely.

Essentials-We all have a cupboard of essentials but it’s worth checking that it’s fully stocked for the festive period. Remember that essentials like stock, canned ingredients and preserves can come in really hand when turning left overs into a feast.

Be creative-We all have traditional Christmas favourites but don’t get stuck in a rut. Search the internet for new Christmas ideas. Easy to make cocktails can be great fun and add a little extra sparkle to the day. Alternatively, prepare family games which everyone will enjoy so that there is no arguing over what to watch on the television.

Handy Websites-

BBC Food- Get Christmas recipe ideas

House to Home- Festive decorating ideas

Guardian- Cocktails for Christmas

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

I’ve previously blogged about Kirstie Allsopp’s craft show ‘Kirstie’s Handmade Britain’ as it’s a TV programme which I truly enjoy watching. Incorporating a variety of different crafts techniques Kirstie brilliant showcases how rewarding crafts making can be.

A real triumph with creative viewers it came as no surprise that Kirstie created a Christmas special- ‘Kirstie’s Homemade Christmas’- a three part series which indulges in lots of different creations, all wonderfully Christmassy and homemade.

Unsurprisingly I’ve really enjoyed watching the Christmas craft extravaganza. It’s the perfect reminder that creating a little time to make something special for Christmas can be so rewarding. I find that we often get so caught up in the mayhem of Christmas we forget the good old days of making mince pies and getting the kids to create a decoration for the Christmas tree.

Kirsties homemade Christmas

In the series, Kirstie aka the Queen of Crafts, worked on a relentless list of crafts which are very impressive. Tackling everything from decorating Christmas Cakes, creating your own lino cut greeting cards, easy to make and kid friendly salt dough decorations, unforgettable homemade snow globes, a feast of edible Christmas goodies and a few things which are a little more extravagant cue giant candles, leather bound books and glass blown baubles.

However, as I deem Kirstie’s attempts as glorious others haven’t been so generous. Critics have sighted Kirstie’s Christmas crafts as ‘virtually impossible’. A recent article in The Guardian titled ‘Kirstie’s homemade Christmas: do not try this at home?’ dismisses the festive crafts because it’s so close to Christmas.

Second to that Sally Bercow the wife of the Commons Speaker took to twitter last week to voice her disapproval of Kirstie’s crafts. Tweeting: ‘Who’s got that much time on their hands’.

Garland

Of course time is most certainly of the essence at this time of year but I think that’s a poor excuse to be so negative. I’d prefer to think of the crafts as inspiration. If I don’t get time to make them before Christmas I’d use the idea at another time.

After all it’s not the end of the world if you don’t get time to make a lino cut Christmas card. Instead show off your skills later in the year but creating one for a friend’s birthday or made a bundle and use them as party invitations. Your options are endless as these crafts are so transferable.

So if like me you’re a big craft fan Kirstie Allsopp has create a range of books to accompany her handmade crafty series including Kirstie’s Homemade Britain and Craft- available online now.

Watch Kirstie’s Homemade Britain on Channel 4 OD now – click for link.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather