9 last-minute hacks to save your Christmas

Do-it-yourself gift wrap, with a personal touch.
Do-it-yourself gift wrap, with a personal touch. Photo: Thehome.com.au

It's a couple of days to Christmas and you are nowhere near ready, with family descending on you and expectations through the roof.

What you need is a shortcut or nine to get you through the last frantic hours.

Online retailer TheHome.com.au asked people to send in their best Christmas hacks, and they didn't disappoint.

Brisbane's Rebecca Depaoli was declared the Christmas hack winner for her idea for instant gift-wrapping paper.

"Lay out a large roll of plain paper and let the kids decorate, scribble and draw with Christmas-themed paints and glitter, then cut it up and use it as wrapping paper. It's cheap, gives the kids hours of entertaining and it adds a personal touch," she said in her entry.

Here is the full list and remember, don't panic!

1. The gift of gift wrap

Lay out a large roll of plain paper and let the kids decorate, scribble and draw with Christmas themed paints and glitter, then cut it up and use it as wrapping paper. It's cheap, gives the kids hours of entertaining and it adds a personal touch.

2. Prep with a survival kit

Avoid the Christmas morning meltdown when you can't find the AA batteries to put in the brand new toy car. Prepare a Christmas Day survival kit to place next to the tree in preparation for the opening of gifts with the essentials: a couple of screwdrivers, AA and AAA batteries, a pair of scissors, some pliers and a garbage bag – or three!

3. Christmas cookies

Pre-prepare rolls of cookie dough with chopped red and green-glazed cherries. Keep them in the freezer, always ready to be sliced, and have fresh Christmas biscuits baked within 15 minutes.

4. Put a dampener on it

Collect enough face washes for each guest, damp then in lemon rind and place in a microwave-proof bowl. Zap them for 30 seconds and then put them in the fridge overnight. They're the perfect way for your guests to freshen up after a hot Christmas Day barbecue.

5. DIY table centrepieces

Cover ping pong balls in red and green glitter and place them in an upside down wine glass to be used as a candle holder (put the tea light on the base of the wine glass).

6. Beat around the bush

Instead of purchasing a Christmas tree, bring in plants from the garden and decorate. For instance, a rosemary bush in a pot (you can purchase big ones at nurseries). The bush not only smells divine, it's sustainable and the herbs will make a fantastic addition to your Christmas cooking.

7. Eggstra clever storage

Use egg cartons to store your smaller ornaments. It keeps them in good condition, meaning they'll last many seasons to come, plus they help to keep your place clutter free.

8. Tag along until next year

Keep all of your Christmas cards, cut out the pictures and use them for the next year's tags on presents.

9. Christmas cone tree

For a delicious and inventive Christmas treat, place an ice cream cone upside down on a cupcake and pipe some green leaves into it. A Christmas tree cupcake to amaze the family.

- Brisbane Times

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