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Got some last minute Christmas shopping to do? Don't miss these 7 Christmas essentials.

Plenty of tinsel here!

By NICKY CHAMP

Around this time every year I confuse myself with Martha Stewart. I think I can easily throw a dinner party for 25 people (I can’t), cook up a feast worthy of a Michelin star (I can’t) and mistakenly think I’ve bought everything I need far in advance (I never do).

2013 has been no exception; I exceeded myself by extending the invitation to not only friends and family but to pets and children. This might be a good time to reveal I live in a two-bedroom apartment.

Cue: panic stations and a last-minute trip to the shops to grab things I’d forgotten… twice. I definitely didn’t get distracted and start adding random things into my shopping trolley, here’s how I get through the dinner party and what I bought.

Just as an FYI, you should know that this post is sponsored by IGA. But all opinions expressed by the author are 100% authentic and written in her own words.

1. Back up meringue.

I have one of those mother’s who insist on doing everything at Christmas; the turkey, the sides, the salads, the pudding.

This year I’ve been enlisted the grand honour of taking dessert. And I’m determined to pull it off. I’ve chosen to make a grilled fruit pavlova but because the bar has already been set so high, I’ve bought Erica’s Kitchen Meringues that I can crush up in the bottom of fancy glasses to pass off as an Eton Mess. Or something.

2. Christmas decorations.

Extra large bon bons = a few minutes of free kids entertainment.

Since it’s the first Christmas my toddler has cottoned on to this Santa business, we went to the effort of buying a real Christmas tree this year.

And since it’s also the first Christmas that said toddler has the strength the pull down the entire Christmas tree I need to change tack and get some kid-friendly decorations to use over the next few years. I’d almost made it to the Christmas decoration aisle before I found these Jumbo Chistmas Bon Bons (um, how fun are these?), which will totally keep the kids entertained for at least a few minutes.

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3. Turkey roll.

I’ve watched enough Christmas movies to know if something can go wrong with the Christmas turkey it usually does.

My family still refers to the ‘weber turkey disaster’ of 1989, when it was decided the family would christen the new Weber barbecue by roasting the Christmas day turkey in it.

Perhaps my dad didn’t read the manual; perhaps he’d already had a few drinks but needless it was raw and everyone ended up drunk after fruitlessly waiting six hours to eat.

I bought one of those turkey roll things because they take way less time to cook and don’t involve doing anything with a meat thermometer.

4. Nappies.

In the midst of ‘operation turkey feast’ I seem to have neglected the fact that there is only two spare nappies under my toddler’s change table. You don’t need to be a parent to know how badly this could go.

5. Wine glasses.

See, the thing about inviting 25 people over to your house is that you realise how little you are prepared for it in terms of cutlery. A peek into my glass cupboard 30 minutes before everyone arrives reveals that I only have enough wine glasses for 7 people. I had resigned myself to buying plastic glasses and passing them off as ‘kid-friendly’ until I saw these pack of four Wiltshire red wine glasses for $11.49, which is like… $2 something… really cheap!

At only $2.99, no explanation needed.

6. Cranberry sauce.

I love the stuff, and eat it once a week on BBQ chicken. I always have one or two extra jars of it in my pantry. Except, it seems when I actually need it.

7. Elf ears. 

What they’re only $2.99? I don’t think I need to explain why I bought five pairs of these.

What’s on your last minute Christmas shopping list? 

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