Christmas traditions to start with the family this year

Whether your family gathers from near or far every Christmas, there’s nothing like traditions to get everyone in the festive spirit. Here are some of our favourites to get you holiday-ready.

Your family might already have some traditions that are standard every Christmas, like digging into the famous roast or pavlova, but why not make this year one to start something new? Here are some Christmas traditions that the little ones and the older folks will enjoy too.

Decorate cupcakes or cookies

A hands-on, impromptu gift is always fun. Give everyone a plain cookie or cupcake and get them to decorate it personally for one other family member. Make a decorating station out of the dining table or kitchen bench with frosting, food colouring, marshmallows, chocolate chips and sprinkles.

You can even pick names out of a hat for a fun version of Secret Santa – cookie style! It’ll get messy, but it’s worth it 😉

Donate gifts

Take the chance these holidays to give back to the wider community or support a charity. The gift of giving is more rewarding than anything else! Get your little ones involved and see what ideas they can come up with.

It could be wrapping and donating toys, shoes or clothes. Or it could be a nursing home or hospital visit. The sky’s the limit!

Bing Lee proudly supports the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, and you can donate to their great cause here.

Spend the day in pyjamas

This one requires very little effort – and that’s the whole point! If you spend Christmas Day indoors with the family, gift each other some pjs and enjoy the day in comfort. Not to mention, personalised pjs are always a much-loved present!

Think matching sets with character prints, movie themes or classic Christmas patterns. Or why not a onsie?

Watch a Christmas movie

Photo credit: cassiefairy.com

After the big feast and playing with all the presents, what better way to unwind than on the couch with a holiday-themed film? Vote on a family favourite like Home Alone, The Nightmare Before Christmas or The Grinch.

You can keep the theme up with special Christmas popcorn and mini gingerbread men to snack on!

Play a classic board game

Many families might already do this, but having a rival game of Charades or hours-long rounds of Monopoly is a great way for true (and competitive) colours to come out.

Give the games a Christmas twist by changing the tokens, or even have a gift from Santa under the tree that the winner of the game can claim!

Read a Christmas story

This might sound a little cliché, but having a heartfelt Christmas story read to the youngest ones by their grandparents is a special way to celebrate the season. It’s a wonderful memory for children to cherish.

Pick a classic book and have the older family members write down a Christmas message inside. The book can then be passed down through each generation!

Take a family photo

Create a family Christmas album and add a new photo to it every year. Take it in front of the Christmas tree, on a staircase or in front of the house.

Be as creative as you like in the photo! Make it goofy, sweet, messy or neat. You can even allocate someone different to dress up as Santa each year. Open up the album every Christmas and see how much everyone’s grown!

Washing loads together but not ‘together together’ with the Haier TwinTasker

Want to save time finishing your laundry but finding your clothes ruined by putting them all in the same load? The TwinTasker washing machine from Haier is here to clean your clothes two washes at a time.

If you’re part of the majority of the nation who dread doing their laundry on the weekend or early in the morning before work, you know how annoying it can be to wait for one load to be done before you’re able to do the next. It’s very much a waiting process.

One load for the whites, the colours, the delicates, the denim… it doesn’t end! And after waiting for each cycle, you’ve realised yet another entire day has been spent taking care of the laundry – whether it’s yours or the whole family’s.

Haier knows how precious time is (especially weekend time) and that you’d rather spend your day in the sunshine at the beach than at the clothesline.

So they came up with a genius idea – what if it was possible to do two loads of washing together… but not together together. In essence, having two separate loads of washing running at the same time in the same machine! Brilliant, right?

Introducing the Haier TwinTasker Washer – the innovative washing machine with two drums. The 4kg drum is perfect for delicates, smaller loads and intricate fabrics. The 8kg load is ideal for your larger loads, colours and denims.

Laundry efficiency

Operating as two separate drums, the TwinTasker lets you pick from the smart LCD touchscreen which cycle, temperature and duration you’d like to set each load to. Then with the touch of your fingertip, away you go! Two cycles (equivalent to a huge 12kg capacity) work simultaneously to have your washing done and dusted.

The beauty of the TwinTasker is that a busy household or a household with flatmates isn’t restricted to a washing timetable. You and your spous, you and your friend, you and your teen can each sort out your laundry while one drum is already occupied. No more excuses for an overflowing laundry basket!

Two drums prevent accidental pink socks, shrunken clothes and lint-coated pants. (We’ve all been there!). Simply set each cycle to cater for the recommended care labels of your clothes – cold water, hot water, intensive wash, extra rinse.

Another convenience of the TwinTasker is being able to take care of your washing properly but with the shortcut of a time-saving process. Same goes for bath towels or tea towels, heavily soiled clothing and other loads that you won’t want to mix into your regular cycle.

The specs

As mentioned before, the TwinTasker has the equivalent of a substantial 12kg capacity with one drum catering for 4kg and the other 8kg. They have energy ratings of 3 Star + 4 Star, and water ratings (WELS) of 4 Star + 4.5 Star – meaning the efficiency will save you money in the long run. Win!

The drums themselves have a unique platinum pillow pattern which is designed to be more gentle on clothes during the cycle and maximises water extraction without pulling on clothing threads.

You can also see how your loads are tracking thanks to LED lighting in each drum. It’ll ensure you don’t leave any pesky socks behind when unloading!

Wondering whether two loads of washing will make your laundry sound like an earthquake? Don’t! Direct Drive Motor technology powers the two independent drums with less moving parts. So the innovative machine works quietly and resourcefully.

It doesn’t stop there – we’ve saved one of the best features for last. Just like your smartphone, the TwinTasker has a seamless look that functions with a touchscreen. The LCD screen lets you swipe through the variety of programmes (including Allergy Care, Sports Wear, Daily Wash and Baby Care) for an easy-to-use experience every time.

***

Want to know more about this phenomenal washing machine? Check out the Haier TwinTasker online or in-store at Bing Lee.

The toxic reasons you need an air purifier

Did you know that dangerous particles could be lingering in the air in your home? We knuckle down on the facts and explore the features of two powerful humidifiers that could be your answer to a breath of fresh air.  

Imagine living on a hill, out in the open, breathing in fresh air from the clean breeze that blows over beautiful seas. Ahh, bliss.

Why is it that the oxygen in one environment can make us feel very different to the oxygen in another? The answer is simple: air quality.

Homes are busy places. They occupy adults, children and pets, and store everyday possessions such as clothes, shoes, furniture and just about every other thing you can think of.

It’s no surprise that even the cleanest of homes gather pesky dust particles and the nasties that the eye can’t see – allergens, bacteria, mould, viruses, toxic fumes… you get the idea.

You may not realise it, but you’re breathing all of these types of dangerous particles into your body, harming your health and provoking allergies.

Not convinced? Well according to the Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research, the air in your home can be up to five times more polluted than the air outside! It’s time to start facing the (gross) facts.

Air purifiers

Surely it’s enough to open the windows wide and let the sunshine in? While that helps refresh the home, most of us don’t have the opportunity to do so on a day-to-day basis. And of course, there are the colder months and nights when airing out the home seems impossible.

With revolutionary technology and intelligent designs from trusted brands, air purifiers are here to blow you away (pun intended!).

Let us introduce you to a couple of our favourites and their incredible features.

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool™ Link

Dyson is known for innovative technology, and this purifier is no exception. Its high-efficiency HEPA filter is so powerful that it removes 99.95% of particles as small as 0.1 microns! (Laboratory tested to EN1822, of fine particles from the air.)

The 360° Glass HEPA filter has a layer of activated carbon granules too. What does that mean? Well, not only does it filter particles, it filters odours too. Even toxic odours such as paint fumes won’t go past this Dyson!

Want something for asthma and allergy sufferers? This purifier would be your top choice. It’s the first humidifier to meet the asthma and allergy-friendly standard and has been approved by National Asthma Council Australia’s Sensitive Choice® program.

As the name suggests, it’s simultaneously a heater and a fan that’s bladeless. (Yes, it really does do even more.) The temperature control means that the whole room will be heated or cooled evenly with a powerful stream of purified air flow.

It’s also acoustically engineered, so you’ll barely notice it’s even on! And the automatic night-time mode still monitors and reacts to the air in the room but purifies with the quietest settings and a dimmed LED display. Now isn’t that clever?

And you can control it all from a smartphone with the Dyson Link app. There’s the cherry on top.

Sharp KCA60JW Air Purifier with Humidifier

Sharp’s air purifier uses a 2-in-1 system with a HEPA and an active carbon filter to capture 99.97% of dust particles. A mesh pre-filter also prevents larger particles from clogging up the main filter so that your purifier lasts even longer.

This purifier reduces microorganism growth (the spreading of the nasties we mentioned earlier) by maintaining the right humidity level in your home. It has a smart sensor that detects a change in room temperature and reacts by picking up water from the tank and releasing moisture into the air.

Plasmacluster Ions are also released in the process. This technology is cool because it efficiently deactivates any airborne viruses, mould spores and eliminates odours from cooking, garbage and cigarette smoke. It’ll get rid of any lingering scents from pets, too!

You can also leave it to operate at night without fear of it disturbing anyone’s sleep. It features a low mode operation so that the noise level is ultra-quiet.

It’s important to note that this Sharp air purifier has been given the Seal of Approval from the British Allergy Foundation. So if you’ve got an allergy sufferer in the house, they’ll benefit greatly from the reduction of allergens in the air.

Check out the quick demonstration below to see how the filters tackle smoke!