C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S Survival Guide

Special Christmas gifts

Here's our C to S know-it-all Christmas survival guide to the most wonderful time of the year. 

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CONQUER POST LUNCH FATIGUE

A strong coffee is good. A tactical nap is better. Your best bet? Combining the two. Scientific studies prove drinking coffee before a 20-minute nap allows for better caffeine absorption and a more alert, awake, ready-for-round-two you. That third serve of dessert is calling your name...

Bialetti stovetop coffeemakers

Bialetti Venus 6-cup, Moka 6-cup and Moka 3-cup stovetop coffee makers, from $49.95.

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HOW TO GET THE SHOT

If Christmas is your one chance to wrangle a family photo, follow these tips to make it count.

• Invest in a tripod to avoid blurry photos, and make use of the self-timer function.
• Take advantage of the weather and shoot outside – the more light, the better the photo will turn out.
• For the greatest chance of nailing the shot, use burst mode, which captures a series of frames in quick succession. It’s a great way to get those candid in-between moments, too.
• On the day, you can instantly order copies of the best – or funniest – snap for everyone in the family via a photo printing app like Picture Postie or Pocket Prints. Go the extra mile and pop one in a nice frame for the grandparents’ mantel.

Christmas Gifts Picture Frames

David Jones Easel photo frame 4"x6". David Jones Silver plated with black linen photo frame 4"x6". David Jones Claremont photo frame 4"x6".

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Embrace these simple changes and do your part to celebrate sustainably.

REDUCE

• Put your lights on a timer to limit wasted energy.
• Prepare drinks in large quantities to avoid single-use cans and bottles.
• Shop using a master list app, like Out of Milk or AnyList, to avoid overbuying food.
• Give a gift that’s good for the planet, like a sleek reusable water bottle or coffee cup.

REUSE

• Invest in a small kitchen compost bin to process organic scraps.
• Skip disposable partyware and invest in a keep-forever dinner set and cutlery instead.
• Save wrapping paper for kids’ craft projects.
• Make a meal plan that extends beyond Christmas Day to ensure leftovers don’t go to waste.

Reduce Reuse Eco Christmas Gifts

From left to right: KeepCup Brew reusable coffee cup, 340ml. Hip drink bottle 650ml. Avanti stainless steel insulated bottle 500ml. STOJO Biggie collapsible reusable cup 470ml.

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ICE-BREAKERS

Christmas often doubles as a once-a-year catch up with distant family or old friends, but breaking the ice needn’t be cause for concern.

DO reminisce over happy memories you’ve shared.
DO compliment them on their shoes.
DO ask, “What have you been watching lately?”

DON'T bring up stories that’ll embarrass them.
DON'T compliment them on their hairpiece.
DON'T say, “This must be your new boyfriend. Looks a lot like the old one.”

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SOCKS & JOCKS

These classic stocking stuffers are essential, yes, but boring? Not this year.

Socks and Jocks Christmas gifts

Bamboozld socks 3-pack. Happy Socks The Beatles socksBonds trunks. Calvin Klein trunks. Polo Ralph Lauren trunks.

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TRADITIONS

David Jones designers and tastemakers share the Christmas traditions that mean the most to them.

We always go on holiday, the four of us: my sister, mum and dad. We all work so hard during the year and Christmas is the one time we all get to escape our day-to-day lives. Our favourite Christmas Eve tradition is opening presents, as we can’t wait until Christmas Day!

– Alyce Tran, The Daily Edited

My mother has a Christmas decoration from her mother that we hang across our front window frame each year. It has little bells and inside each one we’ve handwritten the year and location of that Christmas. The first one is 1939, which always gives me such a wonderful sense of family and tradition.

– Jacqueline Hunt, Jac+Jack

My daughter and I make chocolate truffles together every Christmas Eve.

– Karen Walker

My mum decorates our backyard with Christmas decorations. She hangs them in the trees and they sparkle and look so pretty.

– Victoria Lee

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MAKE A LIST

We've made you a list for the night before, you'd best check it twice.

• Charge your tech – that includes your phone and your digital camera or video recorder.
• Buy a pack of batteries (both AA and AAA) for kids’ toys to avoid disappointed faces upon present opening.
• Run the “good plates” through the dishwasher if they’ve been sitting in the cabinet since last year.
• Make a day-of checklist of tasks to delegate, such as filling the Esky with ice and making sure the music is on in time for the first arrivals.
• Childproof where needed: secure the swimming pool and side gates, cover power outlets and store any potentially unsafe or fragile items.
• Stock up on the bulk-use essentials: toilet paper, detergent, tomato sauce and tea bags.
• Before bed, leave some cookies and carrots out for Santa and his reindeer.

Fortnum & Mason biscuits and tea bags

Fortnum & Mason Chocolate Biscuit Selection 700g and Breakfast Blend Silk Tea Bags.

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AMBIANCE

Adjust your olfactory settings and make an instant impression at home. Scented candles and diffusers will set the mood.

Christmas ambiance: Glasshouse candles and diffuser

Glasshouse White Christmas candle and Night Before Christmas diffuser.

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SPECIAL GIFTS

Wrapping, card writing, exchanging gifts... There’s an art to doing it well and a little careful thought goes a long way. Do some detective work first; quiz someone close to the recipient on their likes and dislikes to guide your choice. If you're really unsure, ask for a gift receipt. Next, carefully wrap your gift (or have it done for you in store) and include a card. If you’ve bought your card separately, use some of the gift wrap to line the plain envelope, tying the gift and card together. For that final personal touch, grab your giftee for a little one-on-one time come Christmas Day.

Good manners, and sometimes the ability to grin and bear it, are crucial on Christmas Day. If you receive a bad present, breeze past your disappointment and focus on the gifter’s intention. The fact that someone spent time and energy hunting for a gift just for you is cause for a smile and a genuine thank you.

Need more Christmas decorations?