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Have yourself a crafty little Christmas

Have yourself a crafty little Christmas


Christmas? I can make it at home! Get inspired to craft and cook up your perfect festive season with Kirstie Allsopp, Jamie Oliver and a host of DIY experts

By Chris Miller, Writer

We love buying presents as much as the next person (i.e. about 15% as much as we love receiving them) but we also think Christmas shouldn’t just be about frantic spending. If you’ve got the time, then making your own decorations or even presents, as well as cooking up your own feasts, can make the season feel more special.


Of course, as well as the time, it requires the skills and the inspiration, and that’s where our old friend TV comes in! This December sees the return of Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas on Channel 4, in which the crafting queen of the screen will showcase a huge variety of festive techniques to help you put together your own ideal Yuletide. Jamie Oliver is back too, with inspiration for delicious seasonal food – in fact there are a whole host of experts ready and waiting with DIY Christmas inspiration…


Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas

Weekdays from Monday 13 December, 5pm, Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141). More episodes available in Apps & Games > All 4

Now a fixture of the TV schedules, Kirstie’s Handmade Christmas has been showing us how to add a personal touch to the festivities since 2014, and it’s back in 2021 with two weeks of new episodes to bring us more inspiration. With guides to making everything from cakes and wreaths to a shadow theatre, Kirstie Allsopp has all you need to get your craft on this Christmas – and with loads of old episodes available, you’re bound to find something that suits you.


Jamie Oliver: Together At Christmas

Monday 13 December, 8pm, Channel 4/HD (CH 104/141). Also available in Apps & Games > All 4

The great thing about Jamie Oliver is that he always focuses on making cooking easy – which is just what you want at this time of year. In this two-part special he takes us through every stage of Christmas Day feasting, from appetisers and cocktails to dessert, including a mouthwatering (and super-simple) boeuf bourguignon and an impressive veggie crown.


The Great British Sewing Bee

Wednesday 22 December, 8pm, BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Christmas specials 2020 and more episodes available in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Last year’s celebrity Christmas special saw comedian and writer Sara Pascoe competing in the sewing room – and this Christmas she makes her debut as the show’s new presenter! In 2020 the celeb sewers (that word never looks right) made festive PJs, dog fancy dress and fabulous Yule-themed party frocks, and this year will no doubt offer plenty more fun ideas as Rev Kate Bottley, Kiell Smith-Bynoe, Antony Cotton and Anneka Rice get to work with the needles.


Mary Berry Saves Christmas

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Are you someone with only the vaguest idea of how to make Christmas dinner? Well, thank goodness for foodie fairy godmother Mary Berry, whose patient teachings help a bunch of novices get their birds roasted, their tarts baked and their pavlovas, er, pavlova-ed in this 2020 special. She also gets a little “help” from Tom Allen (signature dish: a sandwich), Angela Scanlon and Jay Blades.


The Repair Shop At Christmas

Christmas Eve, 7pm, BBC One HD (CH 101/108). Christmas special 2020 and more episodes available in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

Speaking of Jay Blades, he’s back with a new Repair Shop special this year, while you can still see last year’s on BBC iPlayer. Now we’re not suggesting that you train to become an expert in toy and ornament restoration in time for Christmas, but this heartwarming show can inspire you to avoid just grabbing the newest, shiniest gift and consider a pre-loved gift that might just be the perfect present.


Big Zuu’s Christmas Eats

Available in Catch Up > Channels > Dave

Not a fan of turkey, parsnips and bread sauce? Wondering why on Earth anyone ever decided to make sauce out of bread anyway? In this pair of special episodes Big Zuu came up with some excellent alternatives for those who want to make Christmas dinner a bit different, treating his musical guests to Big Zuu Bissap and a V-Gang Gobi curry, and taking a bunch of comedians out for some festive foraging – and bickering over whether wet bread is appropriate Christmas fare.


The Best Christmas Food Ever

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

It’s not just quite good Christmas food. It’s not even really good Christmas food. It’s THE BEST CHRISTMAS FOOD EVER, and if you think such a claim should be taken with a pinch of salt, this show actually has a recipe that makes Brussels sprouts seem like the most delicious thing you can imagine! Chefs Catherine Fulvio and Paul Ainsworth are joined by celebrity guests including Martine McCutcheon, Debbie McGee and – of course – Jay Blades, as they demonstrate a huge range of tempting Christmas flavours, from brandy-cured salmon to blueberry cinnamon swirls with spicy rice pudding.


Fanny Cradock Cooks For Christmas

Find it in Apps & Games > BBC iPlayer

If you want to keep it 100% real this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with this collection of 15-minute back-to-basics cooking shows from 1975, in which the legendary Fanny breaks down the best ways to do turkey, Christmas pud, mincemeat, brandy butter and a whole range of absolute classics. And if you’d rather go for something a bit less winter-of-discontent, try Simply Nigella’s 2015 Christmas special (the one with the slow-cooked black treacle ham) and get the kids to boggle at Fanny as you explain that yes, this really is what telly used to be like.


Christmas has come early

This year we’re bringing Christmas early with gifts and giveaways, plus check out all your Christmas TV, movie and sport listings and tips on what to watch and play!

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