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Xplornet | December 21, 2018

With so much to do during the holiday season, any shortcuts or tips to save time or money can be very helpful. Here are the newest and best ideas to improve your Christmas entertaining this year:

FOOD

1) Turkey
You have cooked the perfect bird but then you get a call from your guests that they are running late. No problem – you can keep your turkey warm without overcooking by wrapping it tightly in foil and then putting a few towels over top.

2) Mash Potatoes
You can take your mash potatoes to the next level by adding a pinch of baking powder, which will make them lighter and creamier. In addition, make your mash potatoes in advance and keep them warm in your slow cooker.

3) Vegetables
Consider chopping and blanching vegetables in advance to reduce cooking time. Let the vegetables cook in salted boiled water to your chosen doneness. Remove, plunge them into an ice bath and then they are ready to go for other preparations.

4) Gravy
Avoid having cold, congealed gravy by storing in a thermos, which will keep it warm until it’s ready to be poured into the gravy boat and brought to the table.

BONUS TIP: Avoid burning dishes by using a multi-timer stopwatch app. Cooking multiple dishes can get tricky, especially when it comes to keeping track of timers. Try using the free Android app Multi Timer StopWatch – this app includes voice commands and hand gestures to make it easy to start, stop and track multiple cooking times.

DÉCOR

5) Festive Food Platters

With so much food and drinks available at this time of year, it makes sense to use these platters as a way increase the holiday vibe in your home.

6) Christmas Décor Clusters can help give your décor more presence. Instead of spreading out your decorations around your whole house, pick some key areas like a coffee table, mantle or entranceway to cluster your décor together.

7) Simple Materials like pine, bows and lights can make the best decorations. Also consider making your own decorations with simple materials like these rustic Christmas décor ideas.

ENTERTAINMENT

8) Christmas Bingo is an easy and fun DIY game that has many bingo card templates available online like this one.

9) Candy Cane Hunt is a direct steal from Easter, but can still entertain the younger guests while the food is being prepared. Also consider

10) Download some Christmas Apps to help entertain all your guests such as the always popular ElfYourself App that creates funny movies of dancing elves with your face. Use your friends and family’s photos and generate a ELFYourself video that can be downloaded or shared on YouTube.

BONUS TIP: Check out this list of other fun Christmas related apps for more entertainment ideas.