They used to be rituals that signified the start of the festive season in households around Britain, but now it seems the nation is flagging when it comes to making decorations, Christmas cakes and puddings, and even a heart-felt Christmas gift –something kids don’t even have to spend their pocket money on!
But help is at hand, as celebrity mother of two, comedian, author of From Here to Maternity and former GBBO presenter Mel Giedroyc - one half of the infamous Mel and Sue - tells us how to get the kids to muck in and make Christmas decorations... the old fashioned way.
Here are her five top ideas for making a mess with the kids and having something other than a messy house to show for it! All five of them are easy and fun for all the family so here is how to have a Ho-Ho-Homemade Christmas with Mel Giedroyc.
For this first one you’ll need popcorn, dried cranberries, a length or fishing wire or strong thread and a needle.
Method: To start, cut the fishing wire to the required length, thread the needle with your fishing wire and tie a knot at the end.
Next take a piece of popcorn and thread it onto the wire by pushing the needle through it, followed alternately by a cranberry and continue until your chain is the length of your mantlepiece. Then tie a knot in the end.
All you’ll need for idea number two is some fresh cinnamon sticks, fishing wire and some Christmas ribbon.
Method: Just bundle together 4 or 5 cinnamon sticks lengthways, wrap the fishing wire around the middle to secure them in position. Don’t worry too much about about this part looking perfect because to finish off, just wrap the ribbon around the wire and tie in a decorative bow.
For this easy decoration idea you need a fresh Seville orange and some Christmas ribbon. This one involves a bit of cooking too!
Method: Carefully cut the orange into thick slices and place them directly onto the oven shelf. Bake at 130°C for 1 hour and then reduce heat to 100°C for another 2 hours. Then leave the orange slices to cool.
Make a small cut on the edge of the orange slice, then loop 20cms of ribbon through and secure in a knot, and they’re ready to be hung on the Christmas tree!
THis next idea will make your gifts look extra special under the tree! Pick up those wrapped presents and you’ll need 3 candy canes and some ribbon.
Method: Wrap the ribbon around the gift as you would a usual present When you come to tying the first knot, position 2 candy canes in a flat ‘top and tail’ position.
Alternatively, you could layer 3 candy canes so that the bottom one is vertical and the other two cross over each other on top.
Secure with a final tight bow using about 40cm of ribbon.
For this final homemade Christmas decoration idea you’ll need a fresh Seville orange, some whole cloves, Christmas ribbon and a wooden skewer.
Method: Wrap about 40cm of ribbon around the orange as if you were decorating a gift, dividing it into four quarters and secure with a bow on top, leaving enough ribbon to make a hanging loop.
Using your skewer poke small holes into the orange skin and fill the holes with cloves until the orange is completely covered.
About eParenting: eParenting was started by Jacqui O'Brien in 2004. At the time her kids were 1 and 4 and kept her nice and busy. Now they are teenagers and still keeping her pretty busy!