For the fifth (I think, are you counting?) in our helpful series bringing comfort and joy in the appalling festive season, JaneLaverick.com is utterly, quite a bit, very slightly, happy to help put up the decorations. It’s a ghastly chore that makes children sick with excitement, animals sick when they eat them, festive drunks sick all over them and women, who have more than enough to do already, just sick. Not only are we recovering (I hope) from a global recession; here in the UK, high street retailer Woolworths, main source of festive tat for the nation, closed its doors last year. Where in these dark days are we going to get paper Lurex chains, glow-in-the-dark snowmen, plastic pre-wired trees, and Christmas cribs with the Virgin Mary flashing on and off like a lighthouse? And who could afford them if we could find them?
Once more JaneLaverick.com steams to the rescue with an idea that is brilliant, green, easily sourceable and above all things really cheap.
Decorating with potatoes.
You will need:
Idea 1 Ethnic/holistic/earth magic potato Christmas.
Take potatoes. Place them in a line on the mantelpiece. Place a cluster of potatoes by the front door. Place a potato on each step going upstairs. In each stocking place: a gold coin! No, I’m joking, make it a potato.
Idea 2 Some day your prints will come.
Take potatoes. Cut them in half. Niftily carve Christmas icons, such as Holly, A Tree, A Sock, The Luton Girls Choir Seasonally Attired In Front Of The Council Building In The Act Of Singing Merry Carols And Giving Largesse To The Poor, on the potato in relief. Dry the potato before a roaring fire then stamp festive potato prints all over the wallpaper in red and green.
Idea 3 Christmas costumes.
Peel each potato thinly in a continuous string. Take each long thin potato wafer and dry it before a roaring fire. Now weave the wafers together until you have a flat piece of fabric. Dye it red (or green), cut it to the shape of a costume, sew carefully with potato string and wear with nonchalant style to your favourite nightclub.
Idea 5 Potato cards.
The recipients of these will receive abundant joy and a healthy snack at the same time. Practice cutting potatoes until you can do two really thin slices joined at the back. Dry before a roaring fire until they will stand up like a card. Print a picture on the front with a potato (see idea 2 above). Send to a friend with frying instructions.
Idea 6 Potato table crackers.
With a sharp knife whittle the potato until it has a definite waist. Dry before a roaring fire and then place on the bread plate at Christmas lunch. At the height of the festivities each guest will grasp half a potato and pull it with their neighbouring guest. Be warned this pastime will generate endless (a second and then another second) hilarity and cries of ‘oh’.
Idea 7 Potato garlands.
Take the potatoes and string them together with string. Hang them.
Idea 8 Potato greetings card holder.
It’s the solution to the yearly problem of what to do with dozens of cards from people you could care less about but who will come round to see if their card got displayed. Take a large potato, cut a slice off the bottom so that it will stand up. Make a series of oblique cuts down the potato in a spiral fashion and insert the cards as they arrive. In fact keep it by the doormat and display them right there.
Idea 9 Everlasting nibbles.
Take small potatoes, place them decoratively in dishes and stand them on coffee tables when guests are coming.
Idea 10 (I could go on all night, have you had enough yet?) Potato surprise.
As each guest leaves, press a potato into their hand.
This edition of JaneLaverick.com was sponsored by the potato marketing board. (I wish).