Christmas hacks and services
If the festive season has you feeling frazzled already, streamline Christmas chores with our hotlist of the best hacks and services to help with decorating, hosting and gifting.
Take the hassle and mess out of Christmas Tree shopping. The kilt-wearing delivery men at Pines and Needles will bring a glorious Nordmann fir tree to your door then help install it. If you're feeling especially lazy, they also offer a fairy-light set-up and full tree decoration service. Best of all, when the festivities are over, Pines and Needles come back to collect the tree and recycle it.
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Bored of batting around busy shops and resorting to bland gifts in last-minute panic? Especially if said experience involves being smothered by a sweaty face mask? Book a free session with the Elfridges team at Selfridges and a personal shopping elf with encyclopaedic knowledge of all the products on offer will magic up the perfect presents. You can specify areas of interest, from women's fashion to kids' toys or tech. And if you're not yet ready to venture back into central London to do your shopping? The service is also offered as a video-call, with your selected items delivered to your home.
All the big department stores offer gift-wrapping services and most online retailers will send an item wrapped, with a gift receipt, for a few more pounds. But if you'd rather amass all the gifts at home to see everything before wrapping, save yourself a mammoth job and book a job with Task Rabbit. Simply enter the details and your location and you can choose you helper from a listed of fully vetted profiles. With rates starting at around £10 an hour and the flexibility to buy your own papers and tape, it's a cheap and lazy way of whizzing through all the wrapping.
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As a time of eating, drinking and indulging, Christmas calls for something a little more upmarket that your usual Ocado. Feast your way through the festive season with luxury produce from Silcocks Fine Foods. Their smoked salmon is the best we have tried and the chutneys and condiments turn leftovers sandwiches into truly special occasions. Get your order in early; the good stuff tends to sell out.
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Sure, online shopping is far easier than traipsing the high street. But unless you are at home all day every day, the deliveries are a total pain. End the cycle of 'sorry we missed you' slips by opting to have your shopping delivered to Doddle. Most major brands will list available Doddle locations when you get to select delivery. With collection spots all around London, open from very early to very late, it is a doddle to pick up your packages.Read more ...
Hosting Christmas is much more than one big roast turkey. If you have people staying over the five-day allowance period, and don't want to be trapped in the kitchen preparing meal after meal, plan ahead and cheat. We love the hearty, homemade goodness of Sycamore Smyth's Christmas Freezer Fill, where you can choose from a menu of pies, stews, curries, tagines, pasta dishes, soups and more. It's a no-brainer if you're catering for large quantities, and those with an aptitude for white lies can even serve it as as their own.Read more ...
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