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From lavish gifts to saving tips
6:00pm Wednesday 12th December 2012 in Leisure
Despite years of economic doom and gloom, those with money are likely to spend bigger than ever before this Christmas. Omar Oakes advises how you could enjoy that perfect Christmas – with a budget of £20,000.
Obviously, you can forget having to buy and cook the food by having a crack team of professionals do all the work for you.
For about £1,500, Earlsfield-based Full Stop Party Catering offers a family of four the full works, starting with delicious canapes, ranging from smoked salmon parcels to duck pate and red onion marmalade on brioche toast.
The main dinner itself includes turkey roulade with chestnut and sausage and meat stuffing, served with pan-fried brussel sprouts with pancetta and rosemary roast potatoes.
You can bring in a fully-catered service on Christmas Day itself, or even hire a chef to live with you for an additional £1,000 for each day you want to keep the party going.
Jan Hare, who started the catering business nearly four years ago, revealed the demand is much bigger for a lavish Christmas this year than the previous three.
She said: “Last year was dire because even people who had money to spend didn’t want to appear flashy, and even those with pennies wanted to watch them.
“But now people are going for it and just want to treat themselves if they can afford it.”
For an additional £500 each, you can hire magicians and jugglers – or even a string quartet – to entertain the family for two hours.
You could potentially blow the whole 20 grand on bringing in a bespoke ice statue crafted by Wimbledon-based Duncan Hamilton, the UK’s first professional ice sculptor.
The temptation to throw the budget out the window for Christmas is large but Lauren May has some tips for how to enjoy festive but frugal fun.
Save on expensive gifts by having a go at making your own chilli, garlic or rosemary oil, freshly baked ginger nut biscuits or channel your inner Delia by whipping up some Christmas chutney.
Buy empty jars and bottles to store your kitchen creations and wrap them up for an artisan treat fit for the foodie in your life this festive season.
For kids, online marketplace eBay can be a lifesaver for everyone.
With a little digging you can find discounted toys that will keep them busy for hours.
A personalised photo book or calendar featuring your own family photos is always a winner with online photo shops able to accept your digital photos and post your gift for as little as £5.99.
Pop into your nearest charity shop for decorations and light up your grotto for under a tenner, while supporting a worthy cause.
And for a festive feast why not try something different with a unique roast to get the table talking?
Lidl are currently advertising a whole duck with stuffing for just £9, reindeer steaks for £8 and a British stuffed phesant for £8.
Throw in the trimmings and you are looking at a feast fit for a king without the royal price tag.
So do not blow the budget this Christmas.
Follow our tips and see if you can have a homemade Christmas to be proud of that does not break the bank.