Mother and Baby

6 Christmas Time Savers All Mums Need To Know

Turkey ordered? Presents wrapped and under the tree? Christmas cards sent out? Us neither. There’s so much to do at Christmas that saving even a smidge of time can make all the difference.

And once you’ve got kids, it requires even more meticulous planning. So, we reckon it’s time you took a few shortcuts to give yourself more time opening presents with the kids (not to mention watching the Downton Abbey Christmas special). We won’t tell if you don’t…

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Get creative with present wrapping

Hands up if you’ve spent days of your life trying to find the end of the Sellotape? Or fed up of attempting to achieve that Kirstie Allsopp level of perfection in your wrapping skills? Yep, us too. Forget all that and get creative instead. Put each person’s presents in a gift bag or a box with loads ripped up tissue paper – it doubles up as a great lucky dip for your tots, too!
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Get online

We are living in the 21st century so it’s high time we all took advantage of the wonderful world wide web. Save time traipsing to and from the post box and send e-cards online, personalised with your own message, or even family pictures (you always wanted to be elf-ed didn’t you?).

□□And shopping online is a brilliant idea for multi-tasking mums. Plus lots of websites offer free delivery during the festive season. Sign up to your favourite online shop’s newsletters and keep up to date with all the offers, so there’s no bundling your baby into the buggy and hoping you get at least two hours' shopping time before the tears start.

The 7 Christmas Dinner Shortcuts All Mums Need To Know Expand Image The 7 Christmas Dinner Shortcuts All Mums Need To Know

Simplify the Christmas dinner

There are loads of ways that you can avoid hours chained to your oven on Christmas day (unless your partner /mum/sis has offered to cook, in which case skip this section and give yourself a pat on the back!).

□□There’s plenty you can do in advance. You can cook and freeze your roast potatoes up to a month in advance and traditional Christmas desserts can be made weeks before. The sausages can be wrapped in their blankets and kept in the fridge for as long as their best before date allows, as can the stuffing.

□□On the day itself, use pre-cut vegetables to minimise the chopping time and there’s nothing wrong with using gravy granules, (just watch the salt content for your baby) to save yourself another sauce to prepare.

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Get babysitters sorted

It’s sensible to have childcare options who can stand in when you do need a few hours to whizz around the shops. It will be a lot quicker without the feeding/nappy changing stops. □□Team up with some friends and take it in turns to look after each other’s kids to cut the costs of paying a babysitter.
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Get some help

If you already have a cleaner or housekeeper - or are thinking about hiring one - Christmas is a great time when that extra help can come in handy. 'Asking your cleaner to recreate the Selfridges window display is not on,' says Sigrid Daniel from 'However, getting the decorations out of storage, unwrapping them, dusting/cleaning them and then packing them away after the event, are certainly acceptable tasks to ask your housekeeper to help with.' Meaning more time for you to spend with your family.
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Put a date in the diary for the relatives

Instead of spending lots of time in the car visiting friends and relatives separately, why not host an afternoon open house? You can keep everyone entertained and mingling with a Christmas quiz and simple snacks. And if you can convince the little ones to do some carolling, then you’ll definitely win over the in-laws.

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