How to Prepare Your Home for the Christmas Festivities

Merry Christmas; Holidays background with Xmas tree decoration on red background

As enjoyable as Christmas is, the run-up to the festive season can really be a drag. It’s a bit of a hassle, having to tick off all the many (many) things that need to be done before the big day rolls around. And then Christmas Day is a stress, finding a place to put all that scrunched up wrapping paper all while having to rush around the kitchen prepping the dinner.

So let us help you with that. Unfortunately, we can’t come around and do all your wrapping for you, but we can give you some tips so that preparing for Christmas is a little bit less stressful than it usually is.

Step 1 – Clean

Okay, so this isn’t much fun, but it has to be done if you want your decos to truly shine and dazzle. Vacuum, dust and polish for as long as you can before you get sick of the chores.

Any potted plants that are outdoors, bring them in so they don’t die in the cold. Cover any patio furniture. Get the kids to help out, too – Santa isn’t going to be visiting any messy bedrooms, after all!

Step 2 – House Decorations

Now is the time to set up the general room decorations, now that everywhere is tidy and neat. Decide on what you’re doing before you make a proper start of things – are you stringing lights up around the perimeter of the room, or are you focusing on one side of the area?

Are you putting anything on the roof or in the garden? Make sure to plan out what you want and how you’re going to go about making it happen. Only after the rooms are done should you make a start on the main event.

Step 3 – The Tree

Whether you choose artificial or natural is entirely up to taste, but remember that real trees can be a hassle to clean up after! Put your tree in its desired location in the room and get to decorating it.

Lights should come first, as they can be difficult and fiddly to put on after the other decorations have gone on. Next comes the tinsel or garland, with baubles and other ornaments going on after. Save the best for last – make a bit of a ceremony out of putting the angel or star on the top of the tree.

Step 4 – Everything Else!

Now that your home is ready for the gauntlet, you can safely go about the rest of your Christmassy business. Make your lists and check them twice, buying all the various gifts to put smiles on faces, then obviously you have the chore of wrapping them… we don’t envy you there.

Maybe make some Christmas cookies, or even get the kids together to build a gingerbread house as a family. Then it’s time to prep the turkey, or the goose, or the nut roast; whatever it is that you’re eating for your dinner!

Here’s to a very Merry Christmas!

Top Tips for Dealing with the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, but it can also be a little bit stressful… so cut out the negativity, kick back and relax with our top tips for dealing with the holidays. Plus, these tips are so clever, everyone will applaud your creativity. Trust us. Still need a helping hand? Hire furniture to seat extra bums or have an extra pair of hands in the kitchen if it’ll make your life a little bit easier.


  • Wrap presents in a gift that your recipient can re-use. There are a ton of tutorials online for wrapping gifts with a scarf. A scarf! Super clever, super pretty, and great for the environment, too. A good all rounder. Plus, you don’t need to worry about having four hands for sellotape and scissors.
  • Don’t let those lovely holiday snaps from last year go to waste: transform them into gifts for this year. Even if your budget is low, you can print them off at home and then pop them into cheap photo frames. If your budget is a little higher, turn them into mugs, acrylic art and cool pop art pieces.
  • Make some sweeties, chocolates, biscuits or crackers for your children’s teachers or their friends. It makes a wonderfully personal gift, it’s cheap, brilliantly Christmassy and best of all, you can make a great big batch all in one go, which effectively sorts out gifts for loads of people all in one fell swoop.
  • My new best friends: cleaning wipes and carpet shampoo. Makes it much easier to clean up spills and drips, you don’t have to get sponges and rags out of the cupboard and they’re easy to stow away in a coffee table. Plus, the sooner you clean up those red wine stains or those mince pie crumbs, the less likely they are to stain.
  • Got fussy in laws or relatives coming to stay? Let them bring their own food, or arrange for everyone to bring one dish of their own. Alternatively, if you know that you’re not going to be able to please everyone? Get the meal catered or go out. Try not to stress out over something that you can’t change.
  • Flatten gift bags and boxes for re-use, and keep a box wrapped in pretty paper next to the tree for all of that errant wrapping paper – it’ll look prettier than a black bin bag in photos. Recycle any other paper, or re-use it for crafting if you’re that way inclined!

Source: Real Simple

Money Saving Christmas Tips

It might be the most wonderful time of the year (for children, mostly) but for many of us, Christmas leaves us stressed, overworked, stuffed and a bit of a nervous wreck by the time January rolls around after all of the parties/relatives/gift-giving takes all of the fun out of the festivities – not to mention the amount everything costs. But, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy Christmas, nor do you have to sign up to a catalogue to start saving money a year in advance. Just have a look at these money saving tips to get you started.


  • Remember that Christmas is but once a year – it happens every year, it happens on December the 25th, and you have 365 days to prepare for it. It’s not a surprise. Sorry! Rushing and huffing and rushing and huffing on December 24th will stress you out more than you ever could have thought imaginable, so say goodbye to the stress, make a list and get your Christmas shipping done and dusted online by the beginning of December. If you’re brave, wait for the Black Friday sales. If not – or if you’re very very organised, buy your gifts in January.
  • Don’t buy gifts just because you’re expected to. Gift sets of smellies or beauty products can be lovely but they often go untouched and unopened. Make a pact to give to children only, or just give a nice card instead. If you have a big expense coming up, such as a house purchase or a wedding, this is generally easier – but if you’re a little bit tired of giving gifts that will never be used or likely re-gifted, start giving thoughtful gifts (that means you do really have to put thought into them, for example, a framed photograph of their children), or no gift at all – or an experience instead of a material gift. Coupon websites offer a great array of experiences and are a unique alternative gift for the couple that seemingly has everything – plus, it shows a lot more thought than a gift set of foot cream and shea butter. If you must give gifts, you could always put a cap on the price spent, or ask for something homemade instead – homemade jams and chocolates always go down a treat and when made for more than 4 or 5 people are really rather cheap, too.
  • Want to give? But don’t want to go retail crazy? You could always donate to charity. Alternatively, have a nosy around a few charity shops. Many fully wrapped gift sets, brand new books and antique jewellery end up in charity shops for mere pence – you’re getting gifts for next to money and doing something good for charity! What more could you want!
  • IOU. Yep, we know, you probably think it’s a cheapskate’s way out, but hear us out. If you’re the type to give big at Christmas but can’t this year for one reason or another, consider giving small gifts, then presenting your recipient with an IOU for when Christmas is out of the way – for example, IOU a slap up meal with plenty of wine will be a lovely way to say to close family members “Sorry I can’t give you as much as I normally do, but I still want to do something special for you when Christmas is out of the way”.
  • Rent, don’t buy. If you’re struggling for space or need new furniture, don’t buy new, especially if you’re minding the pennies – rent some for a few days instead.

Source:  Money Saving Expert

Why You Should Hire Christmas Decorations

Christmas is the most expensive time of year – we all know it, we all expect it, but that doesn’t make it any easier! Having to fork out for a new Christmas tree each year, as well as replacing decorations – or having to buy a new tree and decorations for a business, event or for commercial purposes can set you back a fortune. Learn more about hiring Christmas decorations here.



Hiring Christmas Trees

Although hiring Christmas trees might sound like a bit of an alien concept, it actually makes a lot of sense – especially if you buy a fresh Christmas tree each and every year. If you hire a tree, it can then be taken away after the Christmas period, re-potted and replanted and then hired out again the following year. This helps to reduce waste but it’s also environmentally friendly, and over the lifetime of the tree, will absorb a tonne of carbon. Plus, once the tree grows too big for the home, it can be used in larger commercial businesses, schools, supermarkets and nursing homes and then finally, replanted into nature and left to grow. Figures suggest that 6 million Christmas trees are thrown away each year – and only 10% of those trees are recycled, with the rest simply being thrown into landfill to rot. Wouldn’t it be better if we could re-use these trees year after year?

Hiring Christmas Decorations

If you’re a student, living in temporary accommodation or on holiday, hiring Christmas decorations is actually a really great solution. You might not want to invest in a full set of Christmas decorations until you move into your dream home, or, if you only need decorations for one season, it’s much more environmentally friendly to hire decorations, instead of buying a cheap set and throwing them away when Christmas is over.

  • If you’re not a creature of habit and you love the idea of creating a whole new Christmas wonderland each year, hiring could be the answer. You could have a traditional Christmas theme with gold, red and green one year and a modern minimalist theme the next.
  • Not looking forward to untangling all of those Christmas wires? Hire your decorations instead – the hire company will come and take away your decorations for you, saving you the effort!
  • Short on storage space? Not got space in your loft for Christmas decorations and Christmas trees? Hiring could be the answer as you only have to look after the decorations for the Christmas season, meaning that you don’t have to sacrifice any space in your loft during the rest of the year.

Hiring for Business or Commercial Use

If you’re running a business, hoping to set up a Christmas event or planning to decorate a commercial venue, hiring decorations and trees is a great idea. Lighting and larger props can be difficult to acquire, especially on a large business or commercial scale, unless you hire the items. Alternatively, you’ll be able to hire the same decorations and items each year – meaning that you don’t have to worry about finding props, lighting, decorations and trees each year, letting you get on with the job of enjoying Christmas!

Hiring Christmas decorations, such as this fantastic Santa’s grotto or even “real” Santas can really make your Christmas go with a bang. It’s incredibly easy, too – just follow the links in this blog or search for “Christmas” to take a look at our full range of items.