16/12/2014 16:14 GMT | Updated 20/05/2015 10:12 BST

Christmas Life Hacks


Christmas is one of the busiest - and most expensive - times of the year. Luckily, there are some simple money-saving tricks that can make your life much easier during the festive season.

Get your children to help with these Christmas life hacks and not only will you save money, but you'll keep the kids busy for a bit too!

Christmas hack 1: DIY Wrapping Paper

A Mummy Too

You will need:
Red paint
Green paint
White paper
A potato
A sharp knife.

1. Cut the potato into a holly leaf shape.
2. Dip the potato into the green paint, then press it onto the paper to create holly leaves.
3. Dip a finger in red paint and dab to create the berries.
4. Repeat until the paper is covered.

Christmas hack 2: Christmas Family TV Planner - so you don't miss your favourite Christmas films

Verily Victoria Vocalises

You will need:
Christmas TV guide
A large piece of card [use an old box]

1. Take a large piece of card [or old cardboard box] to use as your board.
2. Cut out the things in the latest TV Guide that you and your family want to watch over Christmas and stick them on the board to remember.
3. Decorate the planner to fit in with your Christmas decorations and place the board by the TV where the whole family can all see it.

Christmas hack 3: Hanging Christmas Crackers
No bang, but far cheaper than ready made crackers and you can fill them with quality prizes rather than plastic tat!

A Mummy Too

You will need:
Bits of ribbon
Tissue paper
Bows or pompoms
Toilet roll inner tubes
Little sweets or other trinkets

1. Put sweets or trinkets inside the toilet roll tubes and roll up in the paper.
2. Tie off the ends with string or ribbon.
3. Stick or tie a bow or pom-pom to the front.
4. Tie some more string or ribbon around the middle to hang your crackers with.

Christmas hack 4: Mince Puffs
No pie tins necessary

A Mummy Too

You will need:
Two sheets of ready roll puff pastry
A jar of mincemeat
A sharp knife
A fork
A baking tray

1. Unroll the first pastry sheet and dot 1 tsp mincemeat at 1 inch intervals.
2. Brush around with milk, then top with the second sheet and press round.
3. Cut into squares and press the edges with a fork.
4. Brush with milk, sprinkle with sugar at bake on a tray at 200C until golden brown.

Christmas hack 5: Fruit and Nut Chocolates
Forgot to buy a present for someone? Never fear, these homemade chocolates are bound to impress.

A Mummy Too

You will need:
50g ready to eat prunes or apricots
50g sultanas or raisins
25g ready to eat dates
25g flaked almonds
25g chopped hazelnuts or walnuts
2-3 tsp lemon juice
50g good-quality dark chocolate

1. Place all the fruit and nuts into a food processor or blender until everything is chopped nice and small.
2. Add the lemon juice and process again.
3. Scrape the mixture into a bowl and taste to see if you need to add more lemon juice.
4. Roll the mixture into small balls.
5. Melt the chocolate slowly in a heatproof bowl over simmering water.
6. Using two forks roll the balls, one at a time, in the chocolate until all covered.
7. Place the chocolate covered balls on a sheet of tinfoil and leave to one side to cool. Place them in the fridge for at least 2-3 hours to set. Once set, enjoy or place in a gift box as treats.

For more festive fun and Christmas hacks check out or @VitaCocoKidsUK.

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