Decorating the heart of the home this festive season…

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Decorating the heart of the home this festive season… 

The Christmas tree is up; the wreath is on the front door and everything is starting to look a lot more festive. Even though you will probably be spending a lot of time in your kitchen over Christmas, preparing and cooking food, it is not one of the rooms in the house that most people think to decorate.

A Christmas kitchen can really add to your home and create a lovely atmosphere over the festive period. Because the kitchen is a really “hands on” room, you don’t want to have too many decorations or anything that will get in the way but you do want to add a little cheer.

Three colours that will help bring your kitchen to life and give it that ‘Christmassy’ feel are the classic red, white and green. Just because these are standard Christmas colours and are used throughout the house, doesn’t mean that they can’t be used in the kitchen. In fact, it is easy to incorporate these into your kitchen at home with minimal effort and cost. You could also use foods with the same colours such as Jams or Christmas Tree Biscuits to add some edible colour to your kitchen.

One idea is to add or replace any cushions you have in your kitchen with reds and greens. Some cost effective red and green cushions on the chairs at your kitchen table is a simple way to bring the festive season into the room. You can find Christmas cushions at popular pound stores or discount stores for a very reasonable price. Don’t worry if they clash with your existing colour scheme because Christmas isn’t about conformity in design, it is about making an impact and being noticed.

A small fibre optic tree that either sits in the corner or even on top of the breakfast bar will offer a lovely centre piece to the whole room. Small fibre optic trees can be bought relatively cheaply; all you need to do is find a plug and it instantly illuminate

s the room. You don’t need to spend a lot of money or hours trying to put up a Christmas tree for your kitchen, a small one makes a huge difference.

Let them eat “Christmas” Cake. Christmas cakes are historically made weeks/months before Christmas Day itself and are the perfect start to your Christmas decorating. Keeping it simple with a white iced fruit cake and accenting with trees/deer/holly will add a traditional, classy look to your kitchen. Also, when the holiday period is nearing an end it makes a terrific centrepiece for the dinner table and with all that fruit it must in some way be healthy for you, right?

Some of the ideas mentioned so far have been focused on larger kitchens but just because you don’t have a big room doesn’t mean you can’t decorate it with some festive spirit. The big thing to look out for however is things that hang or may interfere with the actual function of the room, nothing breaks the Christmas spirit more than a fibre optic Christmas tree in flames.

Small decorations like mini Santas, snowmen or even some nativity scenes on the worktops or on the windowsill will enhance your kitchen and give it a Christmassy look. In fact, sometimes smaller kitchens are easier to decorate because you don’t need to worry about trees or a wreath – some inexpensive Christmas decorations strategically placed around your kitchen can make it look special. Homemade bunting could be made with wrapping paper cut into triangles or you could try hanging candy canes along windows.

In the end, you can use your imagination with some smaller decorations to great effect and having a plate of gingerbread men or Christmas cookies on the table is always a good idea!

What about the leftovers? Excluding the Christmas meal itself I don’t think there is a more satisfying lunch then Turkey, Stuffing and Cranberry sandwiches the day after Christmas but there is always so much else left over. Freezing is always a good idea for some items but eventually you are going to run out of room and things will start to go off. The key is preparation. For example, when bread goes mouldy, it’s unusable. With a good quality bread bin, when bread is past its sell-by date, it will simply become stale, meaning you can use it to make a host of tasty options from Cinnamon Topped Bread & Butter Pudding to a Hot Creamy Winter Soup with Croutons.

Christmas Day Tip!

It can be a lot of fun to make a giant feast but anyone who’s ever prepared an entire Christmas meal knows that it can also be a bit stressful trying to get everything right. When you finally get the turkey on to the table and you’re ready to eat, carving the meat is a critical part of the whole process. Nice, even slices of turkey not only look a lot better, but they can actually improve the taste of the meal too, and avoid any fighting around the Christmas table about who’s got the better cut. Carving a turkey or ham with a dull knife will “tear” your meat instead of cutting it, which is why you need a quality knife set. Don’t worry about carving quickly and keeping the meat hot as the key to keeping the meal warm is the gravy!


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