10 savvy hacks for the festive season

Electric candles dressed as snowmen | DIY Christmas decorations | Tesco Living

Enjoy a stress-free holiday season armed with these ingenious tips and tricks.

1. Make snowman baubles from electric tea lights

Turn electric tea lights into little snowman baubles featuring a cute glowing nose. Simply draw on the eyes and mouth with black pen, then glue on a paper hat and ribbon scarf.

See more DIY Christmas decorations ideas

2. Amplify music without speakers

If you find yourself at an impromptu gathering with no speakers to hand, try playing music from your mobile phone inside an empty pint glass – the music will be loud enough to get the party started.

3. Get rid of party smells

Sprinkle soft furniture with baking soda, leave for a few hours, then vacuum off.

Discover more post-party cleaning tips here

4. Protect your carpets

Move rugs to areas where guests will be eating and drinking. If there are any spillages, you can wash the rugs post party, then return them to their original home, leaving the protected areas stain-free.

See our carpet stain removal hacks

5. De-clump your sugar

Been planning a spot of festive baking only to discover that your brown sugar is a solid lump? Empty it into a bowl, cover with kitchen towel and microwave on medium for 20-30 seconds. You'll be able to break up the clumps easily with a fork.

6. Keep wrapping paper tidy

Keep wrapping paper from getting creased, crumpled or torn by snipping a loo roll tube down one side and sliding it over the wrapping paper roll. Your wrap will stay snugly encased until you need it.

Wrapping paper on a wooden floor | Christmas hacks | Tesco Living

7. Prevent Pine needles from dropping

Add a shot of vodka to your tree's water every other day. It will kill off bacteria in the water, helping the tree to retain its needles and flourish for longer. An average 6ft tree drinks a third of a pint of water a day, so water it daily.

See our needle-free alternative Christmas tree ideas

8. Stop a pan boiling over

Rest a cold wooden spoon on top of the pan. If the liquid comes to the boil and foams, contact with the spoon will cause the foam to dissipate.

9. Cat-proof the Christmas tree

Worried about your cat pulling down the Christmas tree? Try wrapping the base with tin-foil (they hate the feel of it), and spray citronella oil around the bottom branches to deter them.

10. Create a family hashtag

Share fun Christmas Instagram photos and Twitter updates with friends and relatives all over the world . Pick something special to your clan, so they can find your links easily, without having to trawl through other tweets and photos.

More Christmas hacks & tips