Why there’s no place like Ho Ho Home this Christmas

If your idea of the perfect Christmas involves staying in and making memories with family, then here are some great ideas to ignite the festive feeling at home

SONY DSC

SONY DSC

Christmas: a time for having fun with family, eating much more than you should and giving gifts to your loved ones.

Sometimes the best way to spend the holidays is at home, where you can make the celebrations your own, get into the Christmas spirit and enjoy all your home comforts.

So gather your nearest and dearest, put on some festive tunes and grab the Christmas crackers, because here is the ultimate guide to hanging at home this festive season.

Turkey takeaways

Food, glorious food – what is Christmas without it? From the big bird on Christmas day to the sweet treats that everyone can’t help but eat, there’s so much on offer at this time of year.

If you have guests coming round and you’re useless in the kitchen, don’t panic: there are loads of great takeaway options that can take the stress out of hosting.

At Sofitel Abu Dhabi, you can order your turkey takeaway between 5th and 26th December – just order two days in advance. You will receive a perfectly roasted bird with cranberry sauce, gravy and roasted vegetables to feed six to eight people. AED 495, 50 percent pre-payment required. Corniche East. Contact: 02 813 7777,
sofitel.com

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Helping you to host Christmas at home, The Ritz-Carlton Abu Dhabi, Grand Canal is serving up a festive feast from 21st December to 2nd January with just 24 hours’ notice needed. You can expect a four kilogram whole roasted turkey with assorted vegetables, gravy, cranberry sauce and stuffing. AED 550++. Khor Al Maqtaa. Contact: 02 818 8888, ritzcarlton.com

Available for pick-up, jones the grocer’s offering includes a roast turkey with sides such as duck fat roasted potatoes, stuffing, sautéed Brussels sprouts, chestnuts, beef sausages wrapped in beef bacon, honey-glazed carrots and parsnips as well as cranberry sauce and juniper berry-infused gravy. Suitable for six to eight people, it’s best to book ahead to avoid disappointment. AED 775. Contact your closest branch directly or visit jonesthegrocer.com

Let the chefs at The St Regis Abu Dhabi take care of Christmas and you can kick back and enjoy a cooked turkey dinner complete with all the trimmings with just 48 hours’ notice. AED 650+++ for a medium turkey to feed six to ten people, AED 850+++ for a large turkey to feed ten to 14. Corniche West. Contact: 02 694 4444, reservations.abudhabi@stregis.com

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Brined overnight, the whole tender turkey from Grand Millennium Al Wahda comes complete with all the trimmings, plus it’s available within two days of ordering. AED 420 for four to six people, AED 605 for eight to 10 people, AED 420 for additional roasted beef rib-eye for four to six people. Hazza Bin Zayed Street. Contact: 02 443 9999, millenniumhotels.com

Throughout the festive season, Holiday Inn Abu Dhabi is offering a turkey takeaway featuring a four-kilogram bird accompanied by a selection of seasonal vegetables and sauces. AED 450 with three side dishes, two types of potatoes and two sauces, AED 60 for desserts including Yule logs and Christmas pudding. Dhafeer Street. Contact: 02 657 4888, ihg.com

If you’ve got a big family to feed, you can order an eight-kilogram gourmet turkey from Saadiyat Beach Club to be picked up on Christmas Day that’s roasted in truffle butter and accompanied by chestnut stuffing, cranberry sauce and oven-baked root vegetables. Must order at least three days in advance. AED 550. Saadiyat Island. Contact: 02 656 3500, saadiyatbeachclub.ae

Let the chefs at Anantara Eastern Mangroves worry about the cooking and you can relax at home before picking up and serving a five- to six-kilogram turkey alongside all the trimmings and sauces you could want at this time of year. AED 350++. Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Street. Contact: 02 656 1000, emdining@anantara.com

If you live in the Garden City, you can order a turkey treat from Aloft Al Ain where the chefs will prepare you a brilliant bird and all the accompaniments for pick-up between 20th and 26th December. AED 450 for a five-kilogram turkey for six to eight people, AED 550 for a seven- to eight-and-a-half-kilogram turkey to feed ten to 12. Next to Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium. Contact: 03 713 8888, aloftalain.com

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Let the folks at Sheraton Abu Dhabi Hotel and Resort share the joy this Christmas with a delicious turkey to satisfy the whole family, cooked by the expert chefs and served with all the side dishes you need to make the meal complete. AED 450 to cater to four to six people, orders placed before 15th December subject to 20 percent discount. Contact: 02 677 3333, irene.vilches@sheraton.com

Get your order in 24 hours in advance from 10th to 25th December and the clever cooks at Southern Sun Abu Dhabi will prepare a feast featuring a five- to six-kilogram turkey with Brussels sprouts, roast potatoes, cranberry sauce, gravy and bread stuffing. AED 350++. Mina Street. Contact: 02 818 4888, abudhabi.dine@tsogosun.com

Or you could cook, but then again, why bother?

Decking your halls

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If you’re expecting visitors, you might want to get your home feeling as festive as possible
for those stepping through the door – but you don’t have to break the bank to spread a little Christmas cheer.

If you want an authentic aroma flowing through your home, simmer a small pot of water on your cooker and add aromatic ingredients like orange peel, cinnamon sticks, ginger, pine (if you have a real tree) and star anise, then let the scent travel through the house throughout the day. Simple.

Got lots of Christmas cards from friends and family? Turn them into a display by creating some wall decoration or use string to attach them all together to be hung on the wall or dangled from the ceiling.

Did we mention Christmas was a time to eat, drink and be merry? Why not make small jars with snacks like candy canes, sweets and gingerbread men and leave them around the house.    Everyone loves a snack with a hot drink, right?

Do you have a white fridge/freezer? Add some black stickers to make eyes and buttons, and orange ones to make a carrot nose and you’ve got your own Frosty the Snowman at home. Bonus points if you make a scarf and hat.

Want something with less effort? Two words: fake snow. Spray it here, there and everywhere, and you’ll get that festive feeling of a white Christmas in the desert.

If it’s the works you’re after, tree, wreath and all, you can pick up these items to be used year after year at ACE, IKEA and most supermarkets on the lead-up to December to be enjoyed at home.

Holiday hits

There is no shortage of festive music available, from the sublime to the ridiculous. Here are our recommendations for that Christmas playlist.

Top tune: ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ by Mariah Carey

Guilty pleasure:Wonderful Christmastime’ by Paul McCartney

The crowd pleaser:Merry Christmas Everyone’ by Shakin’ Stevens

Cringe-worthy chart topper: ‘Last Christmas’ by Wham!

The sing-along: ‘Santa Baby’ by Michael Bublé

Family favourite: ‘Santa Claus Is Coming To Town’ by the Jackson 5

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