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From second dinners to ordering to-go drinks, here’s how to prepare for Christmas if you are self-isolating

Scots are being encouraged to stay at home and limit social contacts this Christmas and New Year.

Picture this. You’re relaxing at home and disaster strikes – you or a member of your family receives the dreaded news they have to self-isolate.

Christmas and New Year are right around the corner, so the first thing that would spring to mind is sheer panic.

Cases of the Omicron strain of Covid have soared and it means that many people have had no option but to spend the festive period, which should be shared with our nearest and dearest, in isolation.

Whether you’re alone or isolating with members of your household, refusing to let it put a damper on your spirits will prove a challenge.

Nicola Sturgeon Omicron update
From Boxing Day, the Scottish Government is urging people to stay at home and limit social contacts, and continue to work from home.

How will I prepare that all-important Christmas Day dinner, or other dinners for that matter? What will I do to keep myself occupied? What if my pantry falls short of ingredients?

These are just some of the questions (from a food and drink perspective) that are sure to have crossed your minds.

Well you’re going to need food and drink, that’s a given, so we have shared seven ideas of what to do if you’re self-isolating this festive period.

And since it’s the time for giving, there’s also an idea that will benefit those out with your household, too.

Bake your favourite sweet treats

Chocolate cookies.

There are ample benefits when it comes to baking.

It stimulates the senses, allows you to be creative and reduces stress. Given the current climate, I think we can all agree that anything helping the latter is welcomed with open arms.

There are so many tasty desserts to create at this time of year, too, such as meringues, tartlets, crumbles, cookies, pies and more that you’ll not only love making but diving straight into.

If baking for one isn’t your thing, then why not get the whole family involved (either in-person or via a video call)?

Looking for inspiration? We have our very own Sweet Treat series that you can check out here.

Make use of storecupboard products

Storecupboard essentials.

Admit it, we’ve all fallen victim to neglecting our storecupboard, a lot of which will not have reached a use-by date.

Other than discarding common items like rice, pasta, couscous, oats, canned fruit and vegetables, beans, lentils, condiments and so on, try using them to whip up something tasty.

You’ll be surprised at what you come up with – and you’re avoiding wasting food in the process.

Order to-go drinks

A cocktail by Orchid, Aberdeen.

There is something about enjoying a tipple over Christmas and New Year that really kicks in the festive spirit.

If your drinks stock is running low, then a superb option is to order to-go drinks for delivery online.

From websites boasting an abundance of cocktails and mocktails to your favourite wines and beers (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), there’s something to suit all tastes.

Be sure to check out the products made locally such as Brew Toon, Porter’s Gin, Esker Spirits, Fierce Beer, Twice Buried, Summerhouse Drinks and The Teasmith Spirit Company (to name a few) if that wasn’t already on your agenda.

Need more inspiration? St Andrews restaurants The Adamson and Hatch have also relaunched their home cocktails, with flavours including a Negroni, espresso martini, Old Fashioned, Basil Bellini, and much more.

Check if your nearest farm shop delivers

Marshall’s Farm Shop, Kintore.

Farm shops are plentiful in the north, north-east, Tayside, Fife and Angus, so finding your nearest one should prove a breeze.

Stocking everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to an array of products from local producers, including milk, yoghurts, bread, meats and home bakes, you’re spoilt for choice.

While some may not be offering a delivery service over the festive period, it’s always worth checking with the shop.

And it’s maybe even worth asking a friend or family member outside your household to collect your order and drop it off, instead.

Arrange a second Christmas dinner

Christmas dinner.

While many of us will, unfortunately, be unable to tuck into one of the best meals of the year with our loved ones, planning a second Christmas dinner is definitely something to consider.

It may not be enjoyed on Christmas Day itself, but it will still feel just as special – just make sure to have all the trimmings on offer.

Send a food and drink gift

A food and drink hamper.

At Christmas, you need to think of others. Fact.

So at some point in the remainder of your isolation when you’re confined within the same four walls, why not consider going online and delivering a food and drink hamper to loved ones elsewhere?

It’s quick and easy to do and will let them know you’re thinking of them during this time.

Prepare for New Year

The Scottish Government is encouraging people to stay home this New Year.

Once again the majority of us are likely to be welcoming in the New Year at home this year. But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

Why not be fully prepared and arrange for a dinner to be delivered to your door to celebrate the day in style? That is if you haven’t already done so, of course.

With hospitality venues across the country seeing thousands of cancellations being made on the back of First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s recent announcements, a number of them have decided to offer dishes for delivery, instead.

Simply get in touch with a local cafe, bar, hotel or restaurant and check their offers.

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