BRITS admit to stressing about planning and preparation for all but four hours and six minutes of the whole Christmas period.
That’s according to research from Direct Line, which also showed that 6 per cent have no time to relax over Christmas while half of us spend so much time looking after others that they don’t get to truly relax on the day.
Because of that, Direct Line – whose Home Plus policies have an automatic temporary 10 per cent uplift in cover for home contents and 20 percent for its Home Plus customers so you don’t have to worry about your presents being covered – have teamed up with Editor Kieran Alger, of tech site T3.com to create a list of handy gadgets to alleviate the pressure of the festive period.
Kieran Alger’s top 10 gadgets for a stress-free ‘Techmas’
1. Canary Motion Detector - Keeps your home safe while you’re doing the Christmas rounds
The Canary can help defend against intruders without the need for costly installation. The 6-inch tall Wi-Fi enable gadget acts like your very own security guard, using a range of sensors and an HD video camera to keep watch on the movements in your house. If anything unusual goes down, it’ll fire an alert info to your iPhone and Android app. You can then switch on and see live streams and call in the neighbours. It’s not just to halt the burglars either; extra sensors can pick up gas leaks, flooding and fire.
2. Rydis R750 - Vacuuming sucks. Fact. This clears up all the post-Xmas detritus for you while being kind to your Boxing Day hangover head with it’s low noise cleaning.
Vacuuming is a necessary Boxing Day evil. Mince pie crumbs, discarded sprouts (you know who you are) and all kinds of unmentionables need removing. But whether you’re manning the Dyson or you’re just trying to recover from overdoing it on the Buck’s Fizz, it’s painful.
3. Pure 02 personal oxygen bar - Celebs swear by oxygen ‘bars’ for eternal youth and rapid hangover recovery. Now you can oxygenate your own Boxing Day sore head away from the comfort of your sofa.
Oxygen bars have been popping up in shopping centres and actual bars over the past few years. Proponents of this new hipster-endorsed activity claim it’ll reduce stress, increase relaxation, increase alertness and most-importantly reduce the effects of hangovers.
Now you can get them for your home. They claim to increase the concentration of oxygen you breathe by basically filtering the air in your home and removing the nasties (like Aunt Deirdre’s flatulence), leaving you with more of the good stuff to breathe.
4. Kenwood Cooking Chef - The fastest way to deal with leftovers. This smart kitchen gadget mixes and cooks your food in one.
You’ve spent most of 2014’s food budget on one meal while we’re still in 2013 and then you awake on Boxing Day with the panic of what to do with the rapidly degrading leftovers. The Kenwood Chef has the answer. It’s the first total mixing machine that also cooks your meal. You can mix, stir and cook all at the same time. From casseroles to curries, this is the ultimate fast food machine.
5. Now TV box -For £10 you can end the arguments over watch to put on your tellybox. NOW TV brings simple to set up services like Netflix to any room in your house.
When we’re not busy moaning about how there’s nothing good on the telly anymore at Xmas, we’re fighting with our family about what to watch. The Now TV box solves that problem by turning your other TV into smart TV with SkySports, Sky Movies and catch-up TV cleverness. It’ll also run apps like Facebook and Spotify. It’s multi-room TV made easy – and fairly cheap. Get one for you son or daughter and pretend it’s for them.
6. Heston Blumenthal Meat Thermometer - It’ll stop you from poisoning your in-laws. Or at least give the choice.
This stainless steel, double pronged analogue thermometer has a temperature range of -10°C to 150°C, an easy-to-read digital display and non-slip silicone grips for precision turkey roasting. If you’re doing two types of meat, you can also use the dual probes to allow you to monitor the temperature of two dishes simultaneously. There’s a handy timer and clock that’ll tell you you’ve definitely left it too late to put the roast potatoes on too.
7. AlcoSense Elite Breathalyser - Keeps you and your family safe over Christmas
Technology gives us the gift of foresight and this breathalyser is a brilliant example. You can take all the guesswork out of your readiness to drive with a simple blow into this super-accurate blood-alcohol testing gadget. Granted this might be more expensive than a disposable breathalyser but the AlcoSense’s secret weapon is increased accuracy giving you peace of mind before you get behind the wheel – or not.
8. Narrative Clip Lifecasting camera - Snaps away while you slave away (or doze off) and then the app stitches together the story from the day. The ultimate Christmas memory generator.
Christmas Day – like your wedding - is one of those days that seems to be coming for ever, consumes almost your every waking hour and then it’s over in a flash and you’re not sure what just happened. The Narrative camera is a brilliant life blogging tool that means you can capture, review and share all the action without having to pick a smartphone. You clip in on, forget it’s there and it snaps away for you while you’re stuffing the turkey, handing out presents or sneaking an extra glass of stress-busting bubbly while no one’s looking.
9. Sharemyplaylist - Takes the hassle out of setting the festive mood with ready-made Christmas dinner or Christmas party music. Warning: May contain Shakin’ Stevens and Cliff Richard.
Music and Christmas go hand in hand. From Slade to Lily Allen’s rework of Keane’s ‘Somewhere Only We Know’, having the right mood music to make those moments magic is essential. But that means pressure.
Sharemyplaylist is a brilliant website where all that’s been done for you. Users create and share Spotify playlists with over 700 Christmas themed lists already on the site.
10. Noise cancelling headphones PSB M4U2 - Take time out from the racket of Christmas with noise-cancelling headphones.
Christmas can be a noisy affair. If, after all the lunchtable chattering, you fancy a bit of peace and quiet then there’s one failsafe way to cut out all the stress and general mayhem – slip on a pair of these oddly-named noise cancelling headphones. They’re capable of shutting out everyone for a whopping 55 hours of blissful isolation.