Four Christmas Morning Challenges's featured image

1. Mountain of wrapping paper: Here are three ways to reduce, reuse and recycle ripped up paper. Consider shredding everything into paper confetti for New Year’s – and then recycling it afterwards. Save it and use it for wrapping and storing fragile holiday decorations and glassware. Or, place it directly into the recycling bin (check with your municipality for recycling details.)

2. Gifts you’ll never use: Re-gift these gifts appropriately. If you’re unsure others will use or like the gift, you could say “I received this gift, but won’t ever use it – could you get some use out of it?” Or, take the gift back to the store and exchange it if a gift receipt was included.

3. Dry needles falling from the tree: Check that your tree is getting enough water (pine trees typically need about 1-2 litres of water every day), and keep an eye out for thirsty pets who may mistake the base for a water bowl. If possible, cut off a couple of centimetres from the stump to help the tree drink. Be sure the tree is away from direct heat and radiators. Also, the heaviest items should hang from the larger branches and your smaller, lighter decorations should be on more petite branches – to stop branches from drooping under the weight of heavy items, which can also cause needles to drop.

4. Frozen turkey: If you forgot to take the turkey out of the freezer, and now it’s Christmas morning, you are going to have to work fast. Since the best way to thaw a turkey is to leave it in the fridge for a few days, but this is no longer an option for you, you could try to submerge the turkey in cold water. Make sure it is totally submerged so it will thaw evenly and stay chilled and safe. Change the water every 30 minutes so it never warms up to room temperature. It will take about 30 minutes for every pound of turkey to thaw. If you don’t have this kind of time, you can try cooking the turkey from frozen. But it will take 50% longer to cook a completely frozen turkey. In either case, check the temperature and cook the turkey until it registers 165°F in both the breast and the thigh.