25 genius Christmas tips to save you time, money (and your sanity!)
1. Easy, freezy, smoothies
Chop up this season’s beautiful stone fruit such as mangos, nectarines and peaches and store in Ziploc bags in the freezer. They’ll make the basis of some healthy and delicious nutrition boosters when you add some chilled water from your BIBO water bar and blitz in the blender which will go someway to counterbalancing all those mince pies. There are some great recipe ideas from The Spruce Eats here.
2. Double trouble bedding
Got an onslaught of relatives heading your way for the holidays? This is one of our favourite Christmas tips that will save you time if you’re doing quick changes between multiple rounds of guests. When you make up the bed for visitors, put two fitted sheets on the mattress, slip pillows into a double layer of pillow cases and encase the doona in two doona covers. As one guest leaves, it’s easy to strip off the top layer of bedding to reveal a completely fresh bed underneath. You can thank us later.
3. Chill out
No room in the fridge to keep water cool on a hot day? Fill up your BIBO water bar? Better still, get your bosses to swap out the usual hamper for a BIBO water bar as their gift to you. No more novelty socks or cheap chocs from your colleagues and the first step to having an office beverage bar that everyone can enjoy.
7. Dream cream
It is our firm belief that there is no Christmas dessert that is not improved by a dollop of whipped cream. But with the fridge groaning under the weight of festive fare, whipping up the requisite pillowy mass has to be done at the last minute. Avoid splattering yourself and your kitchen with lastminute.com cream whisking by doing it in advance. Pipe rosettes of the milky goodness onto a tray lined with baking paper and freeze until firm before storing the individual portions of cream in a Ziploc bag and stashing them in the freezer. Voilà! Instant cream portions on hand.
8. Instant in-law pleaser
if the in-laws are setting up camp at your place these holidays, save your sanity with this Christmas tip that will stop familial fallout in its tracks. In-laws aren’t always the best at adapting to other people’s ways of doing things – unsurprising really when they’ve been running the show since before you were born! How they like their tea and coffee to be made is a case in point. Show them your BIBO water bar and the clever way in which their preferred water temperature can be set so just like Goldilocks, their hot drink is ‘just right’. Then let them get on with it and bask in the knowledge that you have got at least one thing right!
9. Pimp your drinks
You’ve got your ice cubes sorted but how about making them extra special by placing an edible flower in each ice cube tray section before you freeze them? Herbs work well too, especially a sprig of rosemary to go with a gin and tonic or celery leaves to top up a Bloody Mary. Citrus peel is colourful and adds a zesty twang to any drink so just use your imagination and give your drinks some dazzle. There are some nice ideas from The Chic Site here.
10. Perfect pavlova
This Christmas tip is another way to cope with a fridge that’s so full the door can barely shut (because you know, Christmas means you need to stock up on food for at least a year). Which is no good if you want to make that Aussie Christmas staple of a pavlova to wow your guests. The best recipes call for a chilled bowl, chilled whisk and chilled eggs. The egg bit is easy but there’s no way a mixing bowl is going to fit in the fridge at this time of year. The solution? Fill the bowl with ice cold water from your BIBO water bar and leave it until it’s nicely cold. Pop your whisk in the water too so that’s chilled as well. Just make sure to dry both bowl and whisk thoroughly before you begin your masterpiece.
11. Lower the temperature
Need ice packs to keep food chilled on the way to a ‘bring a plate’ gathering but forgot to put the blocks to freeze overnight? Fear not. Your BIBO water bar can even help you out here. Drench a clean washer in BIBO’s chilled water, pop in a Ziploc bag and put deep into the freezer. These instant ice packs will freeze far more quickly than ones you can buy, don’t contain any nasty chemicals and can be used over and over again.
12. Soothe a bruise
Those instant ice packs from Christmas tip No. 11? They can help you and your guests chill down too. There’s always someone who gets a bump during the celebrations and with a stash of these taking up a small amount of room in an over-packed freezer, they are perfect for pulling out to soothe a bruise. Or dare we say it, a sore head if it’s the morning after!
13. Stock up
While most of us are guilty of buying too much food at Christmas, one thing it is good to stock up on are the essentials such as bin liners, washing up liquid, loo roll, kitchen roll, foil, Band Aids, painkillers and toothpaste. Pretty much everything else you can make do without but run out of any of these and you are opening yourself up to a world of pain.
14. Iced tea for me
If you want to give your liver a rest, why not try a long glass of delicious iced tea? A fruity infusion or herbal tea bag, instant hot water from your BIBO water bar are all you need to make an iced tea that is refreshing and healthy. Pop it in the fridge to chill and then add some pimped up ice cubes from Christmas tip No. 9 and some frozen citrus slices from Christmas tip No.16. Perfection! Try this lovely fruit tea recipe from Taste.
15. Perfect pastry
All good cooks know that the key to crumbly, buttery shortcrust pastry is the chilled water that is added to bring the ingredients together to make a dough. Make it super simple by using chilled water from your BIBO water bar and you’ll have the basis of two dishes ready to roll at any time. Double the quantities and use half to line a tart case so you have one in the freezer ready to fill and bake at a moment’s notice and double wrap the remaining half so you have a block of frozen homemade pastry on hand any time you need it over the festive period.
16. Zest appeal
Save time by slicing up lemons and limes in advance and freezing them to add drinks at the last minute. They’ll add a fruity burst of flavour, colour and party panache. You’ll save money too since there will be no more long-lost citrus fruit discovered sad and wizened at the bottom of the fruit bowl when all the festivities are finished.
17. Wine time
There’s nothing nicer than a mug of mulled wine at this time of year – even if the temperature outside is hotter than hell! There’s something about the smell of Christmas spices and sweetened red wine that make it feel, well, like Christmas! Buy some mulled wine spices and steep them in boiling water from your BIBO water bar before adding the mix to bottle of robust red. Yum!
18. Present and correct
Cut back on all the excess of the festive season with the help of this simple rhyme. When it comes to buying presents for the kids, ensure you buy ‘something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.’ That’s still a pretty good haul, right?
19. Wrap it up
Crank up the music and settle down to wrap up all your Christmas gifts in one go. But instead of choosing non-recyclable wrapping paper, opt for a cheap and cheerful roll of brown paper instead. It can be recycled afterwards and decorated with leftover ribbons you’ve collected throughout the year, homemade gift tags repurposed from last year’s Christmas cards and even some native foliage from the backyard to add a distinctly stylish touch.
20. No more bin laden
Avoid the sneaky after dark trips to the neighbours’ bins when your own plastic and glass recycling is overflowing. Gift each member of your family a brightly-coloured BIBO glass water bottles. Remember: A BIBO water bar is for life, not just for Christmas.
22. Stuff it
Love stuffing with your roast turkey but don’t like the faff of rolling all that sticky mixture on Christmas morning? Get ahead by making your stuffing balls three days in advance (with the help of some boiling water from your BIBO water bar of course!), baking and then chilling in the fridge. All you will need to do is reheat them on the day. Simple!
23. Resolute resolutions
With the last day of the year on the horizon, it’s time to reflect on the past and look to the future. With our planet under attack from all quarters, now is when we should all be thinking of simple ways to reduce our impact on the environment. Not buying water in plastic bottles is a good start. Not using single-use plastic at all is an even better one. Invest in these BIBO glass water bottles instead.
24. Turn back time
If the idea of being woken in the (very) early hours of Christmas morning by excitable youngsters ripping open gifts from their Christmas stockings leaves you cold, it is time to exercise a little bit of parental trickery. Before you go to bed, turn back all the clocks by one hour so you at least get an extra 60 minutes of shut-eye. Just make sure to warn said children that getting up before 7am is against the laws of Christmas and the day will be cancelled if there’s a peep heard out of them before then. And if your little ones are too young to tell the time, make sure Father Christmas leaves plenty of ‘quiet time’ activities such as colouring books and crayons to keep them busy to a reasonable hour.
25. Lighten the load
Deleted: This is where lists will become your best friend. Ahead of the big day, take time to jot down every last task that needs to be done to make Christmas Day go with a bang. Then delegate. Doesn’t matter who you delegate to, just make sure that everyone who’s going to be sharing Christmas with you knows that part of the deal is they have certain chores to do. No one deserves to be Cinderella stuck in the scullery and that includes you.
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