10 hacks to get you through Christmas

    hacks
    The turkey’s ordered, the tree is up, the Christmas shopping is almost done… It’s time to cut yourself some slack already. Georgie Blaskey shares her top tips for time-poor parents during the festive season

    Laundry panic button
    Between dropping off the kids at school, working your high-pressure job, buying last-minute presents and stocking the house for Christmas, the last thing you want to do after a busy day is tackle that pile of laundry! ihateironing, the UK’s first on-demand dry cleaning and laundry service, has the perfect solution. The company is launching a ‘laundry on demand’ button, which when pressed, signals a driver to pick up the whole family’s laundry and return it cleaned and beautifully pressed in 24 hours. Place your order by the evening of 22 December for freshly cleaned clothes back the next day, ready to pack or fold away.

    Eyelash enhancement
    No one wants to greet their house guests looking washed out with puffy eyes, and while lash extensions can be amazing, they can also look a bit OTT over a dawn o’clock cup of char with your father-in-law. Thankfully, the Mylash lift treatment creates the illusion of longer, thicker lashes without the need for extensions. The effect lasts for six weeks, so well in to New Year you’ll look awake and bright-eyed even when you don’t feel it. Call Queens Beauty (SW11) on 07506 876745 for the perfect flutter.

    Oven fresh
    When it comes to feeding — a crowd, some friends, even just yourself — nearly homemade is more than good enough. By all means make like Nigella and whip up a feast on Christmas Day, but for the days in between, stock up the freezer, put the oven on, sit back and watch the Michael McIntyre Christmas special instead. cookfood.net

    Peace be with you
    If your Christmas break involves a certain amount of time with family, it can be intense. Be honest with yourself and upfront about who pushes your buttons about what and how you are going to cope. If there are hot spots, discuss them with your partner first so you can stick together and support one another. Areas it’s wise to avoid (especially if alcohol is freely flowing) are politics, child-rearing, and money. May the force be with you!

    Wrappers delight
    Amazon has long been a household favourite, then we discovered Amazon Prime and our shopping deadline dreams came true. Now there’s yet another string to the online department store’s bow. Wrapping. As in, they wrap for you! Normally in a pale gold, unisex, tasteful paper with a gorgeous bright red bow. Who knew a brown cardboard box could hold the key to our hearts?

    Christmas cards you don’t need to write
    It starts around card 10 with a small finger pain from gripping the pen too tightly, but by number 25, arm ache has set in good and strong. Visit Moo for an amazing selection of groovy graphic designs and have your inside message printed. Now all you need to do is write the envelopes. If you have older children, what about paying them 5p per envelope written? So you can put your feet up and open that bottle of nicely chilled prosecco?

    Get your glow back
    Within days of school breaking up, your skin starts creasing as it slowly dehydrates from central heating, unusually high alcohol consumption, too many salty canapés, lack of sleep and harsh cold weather. Invest in a facial oil to see you through. We love Rosalena face oils because they’re packed with powerful antioxidants to revitalise and brighten your skin at a great price. “Best of all, you can layer them with your existing skincare routine or even dab a bit on your cheeks — over your foundation — for a mid-afternoon pick-me-up,” says founder Helena Chapman.

    Podcast blast
    Let’s be honest, all the extra household chores are just so boring. But why not use the extra time to listen to some brilliant podcasts to pass the time? Plug in your ear phones and the bed-stripping and mince-pie making will fly past. For a blast of brain food we love Freakonomics, for fashion fun, The PanDolly Podcast, for inspiration, Ted talks, and for comedy Go Super Ego.

    Good hair day, every day
    Knock them out with a great hair day every day over the festive break and invest in a clip-on hair piece. Put your preconceptions on hold — fake hair has come a long way. An instant, sleek ponytail made from true-to-life, realistic faux hair fibre measuring 20 inches in length, the piece from Hair Rehab London is an easy-to-use design applied within minutes using a simple wrap-around motion of the attached strip of hair to the ponytail hairpiece.