HANG IN THERE: Eat healthy and rehydrate to conquer those hangover blues.
HANG IN THERE: Eat healthy and rehydrate to conquer those hangover blues.

Don’t stress on Christmas Day

IT'S Christmas Eve and you're totally organised.

Feeling pretty proud, you're probably about to put up your feet after setting the final bon-bon on the table, all ready to go for tomorrow. Christmas stress? Piece of cake.

Then Aunty Jan phones - those six nieces and nephews you thought were still overseas have changed their plans and are headed to your place, along with the 20 family members you have just squeezed onto your compilation of dining tables, fold-out camping chairs and flip-up wooden benches.


Not only have you under-catered in the food department, you're probably not going to get away with getting their presents at the Boxing Day sales as planned, because, well, you need to get them now.

Here are a few last-minute life savers that may just ease those sudden heart palpitations.

Food department:

Snacks: A packet of chips in a bowl will never get old, neither will some water crackers and extra wheel of camembert. Easy.

Mains: Head down to the nearest trawler STAT. Pick up an extra few kilos of prawns and oysters to add to the lunchtime menu. And maybe pick up a pre-made potato salad and extra bread rolls on your way home just in case.

Dessert: Here is a super simple dessert idea guaranteed to please guests of all ages - plus there is no cooking involved (you can thank us later).

Head down to the supermarket, buy some plain sponge, big chocolate buttons, a tin of boysenberries in juice and a can of whipped cream.

In a large container (works best in a donut-shaped container with the centre cut out) layer all the ingredients like a lasagne. Pack it tightly into the container, so it's all compact together. When spooning the boysenberries onto the sponge, use a dessert spoon so you get the juice as well as the berries - but don't drown the sponge.

Chuck it in the fridge for a few hours until chilled all the way through.

When ready to serve, flip it out onto a big plate and watch the vultures attack. Delish!


There is nothing more awkward than giving out presents only to realise you've forgotten Uncle Mark's new girlfriend and her two kids.

Here's how to avoid that pickle.

Stash a couple of boxes of chocolates in the top of your wardrobe - that way, all bases are covered. Everyone loves chocolate.

When they unexpectedly arrive at your doorstep, greet them as though you knew they were coming and excuse yourself while you "freshen up".

Get wrapping! Bring out your speedily-wrapped presents a few minutes later as if you had them all along - crisis averted.

The aftermath:

If you have yourself a little too much Christmas cheer, only to voice the regular mantra "I'm never drinking again" come Boxing Day, then you're not alone; we've all been there.

For those who have to work or face the in-laws with that killer headache and unsteady stomach, then here are a few tips to get you back to a civilised state.

Pump your body with nutrients: Yes, it's more than tempting to just do a McDonald's run or overdose on the greasy bacon, but while it may give you temporary relief, your body still then needs to fight off the bad food before it fully recovers. So, instead, get out the vitamins. Turn on the juicer and do whatever it takes to refuel your body from all the nutrients our friend/foe alcohol has destroyed. Try a super smoothie with banana, green apple, kale, blueberries and pineapple juice. For a more hearty meal, try scrambled eggs with tuna and baby spinach. Or if you can't stomach any of the above, stick to vegemite toast for a vitamin B boost.

Rehydrate: Load up on the water to get fluids back into your body. For rapid hydration, try coconut water or Hydralyte ice blocks (get from the chemist).

Light exercise: If you can muster getting out of bed half an hour earlier, hit the pool or go for a brisk walk. Trust us - your body will thank you! Exercise boosts your metabolism, which speeds up the breakdown of alcohol in your system. If you can get a sweat up, you'll probably be able to smell the toxins leaving your body. But remember to keep a bottle of water with you so you don't get further dehydrated. Squeeze a wedge of lemon in your drink bottle for added flavour (because plain water just doesn't have its usual appeal does it?) and to get the detox under way.

Oh... and throw a couple of painkillers into the mix to help ease that throbbing brain pain.

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