Thursday, December 22, 2016

Top Ten Thursday - Last Minute Christmas hacks

It's top ten Thursday (sorry I missed last week) and this week we're looking at last minute ideas to help Christmas go smoothly, whether that be Christmas hacks, last minute gift ideas, recipe ideas, etc. Thanks as always to Tamara at Confessions of a part-time working mom for hosting this blog challenge.

In August we did top ten life hacks (click HERE to view) and most of those could apply to the Christmas period, but I'm going to try and come up with a few others.

1. Florists and garden centres are a great place to get last minute gifts from, especially if you have friends and family with a green thumb. A selection of seeds, or a plant for the house or garden, or even a selection of pretty garden tools would all make lovely pressies.

2. Mince pies (the fruit type) are an absolute staple at Christmas and it helps to have a husband who like baking. My favourite mince pies are puff pastry ones and I love him even more for making them as his favourite are short crust - I'm a very lucky girl (I think I may have mentioned that once or twice before).

3. Amid the hubbub of Christmas and finishing work for the year it's always good to make time for a date out with your significant other - put it in your diary and make sure you stick to it. It helps you stay focused on what's really important at this time of the year, being with people you love.

4. When you're out shopping make sure you stock up on chocolates and easy gifts, along with present bags so that if you have unexpected visitors, or realise at the last minute that you've forgotten someone, then you have something to fall back on.

5. In the Northern Hemisphere it is winter at Christmas time, which after twenty years in the UK I'm finally used to, but this also means that the weather is a bit rubbish. Make sure that you're stocked up on candles, matches, and torch batteries in case the power goes out.

6. Similar to above, but think about how you're going to stay warm if the power goes out. We're very lucky and have an open fire in our lounge room, so if worst comes to worst we can cuddle up under a duvet on the sofa in front of the fire.

7. If, like us, you put out food for the local feathered population, then making sure you've got a supply for the Christmas period is really important. Native wildlife feel the effects of winter too so having a covered bird feeder is ideal but making sure it's stocked up is the most important.

8. An essential item at Christmas is wrapping paper, and the more glitter on it the better (my beloved doesn't agree as it drives him mad). If I'm organised enough I buy my Christmas paper in the January sales and then store it until needed in December.

9. A great, easy to make gift is coconut ice. Five ingredients and then you have scrummy, sweet goodness. All you need is: dessicated coconut, icing sugar, condensed milk, vanilla essence, and food colouring. The traditional colours are pink and white, but I have been know to include purple before.

10. Final thing that will help Christmas be as magical as possible is making sure you welcome Santa's elves into your home for the festive period. We have a lovely door for them and I'm sure they've been in sprinkling magic dust around.

So there you have it, my top ten of things to help with those last minute things you may have forgotten, or still need to do. Before you go, make sure you pop over to Tamara's blog to see what my fellow bloggers have come up with - click HERE to visit.

Until next time, be good, stay safe, and have a good week.

Pamela & Ken


  1. So many good tips, Pamela!
    Love Santa's Door, how nice!
    I always thought "mince pie" was strictly meat? So yours is filled with fruit jam?
    Happy Holidays, keep warm!

    1. Thanks Tamara. The mince pies have a fruit mincemeat which is a mixture of different fruits, treacle, vegetable suet, and spices.

  2. Love the sparkly Christmas paper and the cute elf door. I had no idea what coconut ice was until I read your post. I'll have to try making it! It sounds delicious! Though, like you, I might add food coloring of a different color – red and green feels seasonal. :)

    I hope you have a wonderful Christmas!

    1. Thanks Mandy. Definitely go for different colours - makes it more personal to you.

  3. Great tips Pamela! I would love to have a mince pie! We don't have those over here (in Texas) so I've never had one, but I think they're full of raisins, right? If so, I'll take one! :)

    Merry Christmas to you and Ken. I hope you have a simply marvelous holiday!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Thanks Michele. They're a mixture of different fruits, treacle, spices, and vegetable suet, all wrapped in pastry. Hope you've had a good Christmas.