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CiD loves: Seasonal shortcuts

15th Nov 18, 11:12 am

We really didn’t want to be the ones to say it but it’s beginning to look a bit like that time of year again.

Yup there are THIS many days to go.

If you ‘do’ Christmas in any sort of variation, there’s one thing that is certain – the date is non-negotiable and getting ready for it will take up time you don’t have.

So here are some ways to take the time-spend out of it, leaving you less frazzled and more likely to relax and enjoy the festivities in whatever form they take:

1. Ditch the family newsletter-in-Christmas-card: this is where social media is your friend and probably means those nearest and dearest to you (and even those who are not) have been kept up to date with what you have been doing this year already.

Time saved: min 2 hours

2. Don’t make it, pimp it: buy the best supermarket jar mincemeat you can find, decant and add brandy or fruit juice and a handful of luxurious fruits, such as dried cherries or figs – let it soak. Ready rolled short crust pastry from the freezer and you’re half way to home-made mince pies.

Star shaped pastry cut outs for the top are much quicker than full top crusts (and look great).

Make a large batch and freeze uncooked. Bake straight from the freezer. Shake icing sugar liberally just before serving. Accept compliments graciously.

Time saved: min 1 hour

3. Host a gift wrapping party: genius! An end to boring late-night wrap-a-thons. And by making a date for a party there is a deadline to have all the gift buying done.

Invite your friends to bring their unwrapped gifts too, and everyone can trade ideas on wrapping tips and techniques. Share ribbon, bows, trimming, paper, tags, pens and tape.

Provide a large floor space or dining table, cocktails, music and serve nibbles when you’ve finished.

Result: a fabulous variety of different looks for your gifts and another chore ticked off the list.

Time saved: mah – but it’s done and you had fun.

4. Embrace the ready prepared: ie M&S canapes; cold starter (such as smoked salmon and melba toasts); turkey crown; gravy granules; Aunt Bessie’s roast potatoes; ready prepared veg; Finest cranberry sauce; sausages wrapped in bacon and frozen desserts.

The secrets to getting away with this are: 1.) remove and hide all packaging in advance 2.) decant anything being presented at the table into your own best (warmed) serving dishes, add garnishes and the odd creative flourish 3.) keep the booze flowing 4.) never admit to it.

Time saved: min 4 hours

5. Delegate the gifts:
Your CiD PA will have oodles of original ideas to fit your budget and will even do the ordering, take the deliveries and wrap everything for you: instant Santa appeal.

Time saved: loads. Just ask us.

Total time saved: precious: spend it with those you really want to focus on.

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