12 ways to cheat your way to a merrier Xmas using ...
12 ways to cheat your way to a merrier Xmas using the web
There's always a whole host of things to do in the festive season, from organising your Christmas presents to cooking Christmas dinner and keeping the kids entertained. But with Plusnet broadband, you can use the internet to cheat your way to a hassle-free Christmas. It's really easy. Just read on for our top 12 tips and click your way to a fuss-free Christmas. This Christmas, use the web to …
1. Get all your last minute Christmas gifts online
If you've left your shopping until the last minute, don't despair - you can still use your broadband to pick up those last minute presents. You can shop online at any time of day or night, so if you suddenly remember you've forgotten to buy something, you can order it immediately. Some online retailers - like Argos, Zara and Comet - let you check whether your gift is in stock at your nearest branch and reserve it. So all you need to do is pop into the store to collect it. And, thanks to the internet, you don't have to battle your way through the busy High Street to collect gift vouchers – order a gift certificate from Amazon and it will fly into your friend or family member's email inbox straight away (or whenever you want it to be delivered).
2. Send virtual Christmas cards
Save on the cost of Christmas cards and stamps, and be kind to the environment by using the internet to send virtual Christmas cards to your friends, family members and work colleagues. You can use an e-card website service or get the kids to create a work of art, scan it and send it via email or an instant messenger file transfer service – saving you the job of writing-out your cards and ensuring that they get there on time wherever your loved ones and colleagues are in the world.
3. Cut down on travel
Travel delays are frustrating at the best of times, but never more so than at Christmas. With everyone heading home or to family for the holidays, roads, rail stations and airports are always busy. And with wintry weather to contend with too, travel chaos is always a possibility. With Plusnet broadband, you can stay at home this Christmas and keep in touch with everyone using the internet. Chat to them via an instant messenger service or, if you have a webcam, use free video call services - like Skype - to share your Christmas Day experiences with each other. But if you really have to travel, you can make it simpler by using the web to plan your route, and check for travel and weather updates.
4. Cook-up Christmas dinner
If you're in charge of the kitchen this Christmas, you can use your broadband to help you cook-up a festive feast. You'll find some great recipes online, so you can make everything from turkey to potatoes to puds. You'll also find recipes for Christmas classics like Christmas cake, Yule log, mulled wine and mince pies online too. And if it's the first time you've attempted to cook Christmas dinner, don't despair – you'll find a whole host of Christmas cookery videos online, so you can follow them step-by-step and rustle up a festive feed with next-to-no fuss. Tesco has even set up a Christmas helpline and online forum, manned by pro chefs, that's designed to help see you through any Turkey SOS situations.
5. Find crafty ideas to keep the kids occupied
Get your little angels into the seasonal spirit by getting them involved in some Christmas-themed arts and crafts projects. Don't worry if you're lacking inspiration though – you'll find plenty of ideas online. You can use your Plusnet broadband to search the web for guides to making Christmas cards, decorations for your Christmas tree, crafty table settings and much more, and you'll find step-by-step video guides as well as written instructions.
6. Order your turkey and trimmings
Avoid tiring trips to the supermarkets by ordering all your festive food online this Christmas. Most major supermarkets offer a home delivery service, and you may also be likely to find farm shops or butchers that deliver in your area too. By ordering your Christmas food online, you can plan your shopping properly to make sure you have everything you need – no last minute dash to the shops, no aisle dashing to bag the last lot of sprouts, and no long queues at the tills. Hurrah.
7. Pick up festive party supplies
Throwing a Christmas party at home or at work? You can use your Plusnet broadband to pick up all your party supplies online - from food and drink to tableware and decorations. You can arrange for your party supplies to be delivered to your door, so all you have to do is set everything up and enjoy the party. If you're throwing a big bash you can even order glass hire and cleaning services along with your crates of vino, so there's even less to worry about. And because you'll have saved on broadband with Plusnet, you should have even more to spend on fizz and nibbles.
8. Put together a seasonal playlist
Whether you're throwing a festive party or want some seasonal tunes to listen to while you're cooking the turkey, you can use the internet to create a Christmas playlist. Wizzard, Wham, Slade and Bing Crosby – you'll find all the Christmas classics online. Either download tracks, set up a YouTube playlist or select your favourites on Spotify, and you'll be singing along to a little 'Santa Baby' in no time.
9. Find things to do during the holidays
Keeping the family entertained during the holidays can be a challenge, but you can use your Plusnet broadband to find out what's going on in your area. Find out where your nearest outdoor ice rink or bowling alley is, see what's on at the cinema or book tickets for the panto. You can also use the internet to download e-books or play games, so you should be able to keep the whole family entertained.
10. Track Santa's sleigh
NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command) has been tracking Santa's annual Christmas Eve gift-giving trips since 1955 and now uses radar, satellites, Santa cams and fighter jets to follow his journey. And, with NORAD's help, you can track the big man's movements by going online this Christmas Eve. Just use your cheap broadband to check our NORAD's homepage or Google Earth - and listen out for those sleigh bells when Kris Kringle's in your area.
11. Watch some Christmas crackers
It's easy to miss out on your favourite programmes over Christmas - especially if you're out and about delivering presents, carolling or visiting friends and family. But you don't need to miss out if you've got broadband as you can use the internet to watch you pick of TV favourites and festive movies. Just check out BBC iPlayer, Channel 4's 4OD, ITV Player and Demand 5 to catch up on the best of free online TV.
12. Find the latest money-saving Christmas deals
Using the web's a great way to save at Christmas - especially as you can find voucher codes, coupons and price comparison tools online. And if you start using deals and discount codes when you're buying online now, you can put the money you save away for next Christmas – so you can really party in style. Don't foget to check out our cheap broadband and phone packages too for some very merry savings for 2012. Have you used the internet to make Christmas a little merrier this year? Just let us know by leaving a comment below …