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Wendy Hargreaves: How to outsource Christmas

Remember when Christmas was stress free? Chances are you were still in primary school and your sole focus was unwrapping a pile of presents and eating your bodyweight in lollies.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by festive pressure, there are people out there ready to pitch in and make your Christmas merrier. Wendy Hargreaves shares five of her favourite ways to outsource Christmas.

HIRE A PRIVATE CHEF FOR CHRISTMAS DINNER

Imagine sitting back with glass of your favourite tipple while your private chef whips up Christmas dinner with all the trimmings? For the price of a restaurant meal (ranging from $50-$280pp), a fully-trained chef arrives at your home and takes care of everything. You choose the menu and plan the meal, from seafood platters to roast dinners or Christmas ham with all the trimmings. It’s all organised by an online company called Intertain, which vets every chef for experience, qualifications and all-important hospitality skills. No need to worry about shopping for food, or cooking on the day. Sit back and enjoy the company of your family and friends, and forget about taxis and babysitters. Your private chef will clean up the mess, and probably leave your benches cleaner than when they arrived.

CHRISTMAS HAMPERS

Unpacking one of Nicole Newman’s Christmas hampers from The Food Purveyor is a festive treat in itself. The Geelong food lover works with farmers and producers to find the best tucker in south-west Victoria, hand-packing hampers with products like Otway Pork, organic French-style cheese from L’Artisan, Bellarine Smokehouse’s try-stopping-at-one-mouthful smoked barramundi pate, hand-made lavosh from Aireys Inlet, chutneys from Pennyroyal Farm and Nicole’s very own shortbread, spicy mixed nuts and choc-coated pretzels – all delivered to your door on December 16 (from $50 to $275).

OLD-SCHOOL CHRISTMAS PIE

89A Piper Street, Kyneton, 03 5422 3553

Damian Sandercock is a charcuterie master and can put together a seriously festive feast for your Christmas table, from turkey & cranberry terrine to an old-school brandy-soaked prune tart, but his Victorian era Christmas Pie is bound to impress. Served at room temperature, this old-school pie is perfect for outdoor picnics and Boxing Day recoveries (or a gift for your host), chock full of pork, pistachios, figs, festive spices and a port wine jelly ($58, serves 8 people).

AUSSIE CHRISTMAS TRIFLE

There’s always room for a scoop of trifle after Christmas dinner, especially when it’s a fabulous combo of coconut sponge, fresh peaches, passionfruit curd, raspberry jam, whipped cream and shredded coconut. Pastry chef Bex Colley sells extraordinary cakes online, each one putting a light-handed spin on traditional flavours. Her Christmas Trifle ($130) feeds 10-15 people and comes in beautiful glass bowl, which you can keep. The whole thing can be frozen for up to a week, keeping it fresh for the big day. Order online and arrange for a pick-up by December 20 in Collingwood.

AIRTASKER THE TRAMPOLINE AND GIFT WRAPPING

Santa can get a bit frazzled putting together trampolines and cubby houses on Christmas Eve. Plan ahead and book a Christmas elf through online jobs website Airtasker. An assembly expert will answer your call with Allen keys in hand. You can even outsource gift wrapping, hand writing cards and hanging Christmas lights.

Wendy writes online at fiveofthebest.com

Image: Milos Stankovic

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