Has seasonal stress left you struggling to get in a merry mood? Our cookery team have put together their top ten foodie fixes to get you feeling festive in no time...
With so much planning, shopping and partying going on in the run up to Christmas, it can be hard to capture that seasonal spirit. But, with a few clever foodie tricks, from warming drinks to spicy scents, you can create a festive mood in minutes.
Mull it over
Whip up a batch of the most on-trend tipple of the season with our top tips for mulling wine. For a fresh alternative, try this mulled port & lemon (pictured), and our Mulled apple juice is an equally delicious, non-alcoholic alternative.
Get festive with fruit
If you love filling the house with spicy Christmas scents, but don't have the time (or appetite) to be baking constantly, try this trick. Stud slices of orange with fragrant cloves, then bake in a low oven until dried out. When cooled, string them up and hang around the house, next to the stockings, or alongside your baubles on the tree.
Follow our step-by-step guide to making fruity Christmas tree decorations.
'Tis the season of indulgence, so it's best to always have a treat on hand. Nuts are a great choice, as they can be popped in a bowl and left on the table all evening without going stale. These sweet and spicy nuts will keep for up to two months in the cupboard, ready for all those unexpected knocks on the door that the festive season brings.
To add some glitz and glam to any festive fodder, food editor Cassie suggests sprinkling everything with edible glitter - even smoked salmon. If you want to wow sweet-toothed guests, this chocolate orange & cranberry red velvet bombe is a real showstopper - dust with edible glitter for an even more dazzling dessert.
Shoot for the stars
Senior food editor Barney suggests making your favourite recipes for homemade crackers, biscuits, cakes and pastries into star shapes to make them instantly more seasonal. We love these starry mincemeat slices, lemon star biscuits, hazelnut crunch mince pies and starry toffee cake squares.
Even if it's not a white Christmas outside, a dusting of icing sugar will add a festive flourish to baked goodies. Cookery assistant Chelsie recommends trying this over brownies or over mixed berries in a pavlova for a colour contrast, but it makes a perfect finishing touch to this spiced stollen plait too.
Make your meals that little bit more merry by tweaking your ingredients towards festive flavours such as cinnamon and nutmeg. Stir a tablespoon of mincemeat through your porridge or add a pinch of mixed spice to fruit smoothies for an instant holiday hit.
Home economist Miriam adds an indulgent kick to caramel sauce by replacing double cream with Baileys, ready to pour over vanilla ice cream or sticky toffee pudding. If Baileys' isn't your beverage of choice, try this caramel & whisky sauce for a thick toffee treat.
Serve a warming mug of hot chocolate with something special to stir it with, such as a cinnamon stick or a peppermint candy cane, for an instantly merrier mood.
You don't have to stick to the cliché of roasting them on an open fire, but chestnuts are one of the most seasonal snacks there are. Home economist Miriam loves to simply roast them to share, or try these scented chestnuts in Cointreau & orange syrup.
Read our guide to find out how to roast chestnuts.
What are your best tips and tricks to make it feel like Christmas? We'd love to hear in the comments below...