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Image by Toa Heftiba

How Brits can tackle their supply chain Christmas challenges

The UK’s supply chain woes are threatening to derail Christmas celebrations across the land. But rather than cancel your Yuletide plans, why not adopt the following creative substitutes this year?


Mince pies

Using a broad straw, suck the insides from six individual apple pies. Combine baked beans and diced shoe leather to create your new filling, adding soy sauce for color. Deploy the same straw (rinsed) to reinject the pies with your piquant flavour explosion.



Under cover of darkness, bag a swan from your local park as a delicious, if feisty, turkey alternative. Ducks are also typically available for smaller gatherings. Dining alone on the big day? A pan-fried robin, traditional symbol of the holidays, is ideal.


Christmas pudding

No one ever eats this, so a facsimile replacement only needs to look the part. Collect elephant dung from your local zoo, shape it in a large bowl at home and garnish with a sprig of holly. On the big day, avoid the tradition of lighting the pudding, since this will almost certainly give the game away.


Christmas tree

Why do they need to be evergreens? They don’t. On your swan-rustling park visit, snag a leafless sapling of suitable height for your living room. Oaks, elms or chestnuts are often obtainable, and you can add a surfeit of homemade decorations to cover the total absence of foliage.



Golf balls are excellent snowball-like bauble substitutes. Garlands can also be fashioned from chains of knotted clothing (reds and greens recommended). And a glitter-covered traffic cone makes a delightfully quirky tree-topper. No poinsettias? Transform existing houseplants with a generous application of red spray paint.



A snifter of port is a welcome treat as you watch the Queen’s Speech on TV. But it looks exactly the same as cold tea when it’s in the glass. Add Dettol to approximate a boozy aroma plus lots of cinnamon to mask any unpleasant flavour notes. Include a stilton-like ‘cheese’ plate of moldy lard on a side table for the full effect.



Children up to the age of 25 will be happy with an empty cardboard box. A partner can be festively placated with a tailor-made gift certificate (five hours of foot rubs or your guaranteed absence for a specified period of time, for example). And when it comes to forgetful seniors, simply take something from their closet and wrap it as a new gift­­.


Gingerbread house

Construct from Lego then shellac with a mix of flour and brown sugar. Before it dries, add colourful TUMS tablets as roof shingles and outline doors and windows with festive-red Advil pills. Handily, these medications can also be pried off and used at will throughout the holiday period.

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