Games: Creativity

Nicholas E Gough has had such a good idea for something to do with the detritus of Christmas that I feel obliged to share it with all of you without further ado: "Take the unwanted items back to Smith's (WH) etc," he says, "and exchange them for The Book of Numbers by William Hartston (pounds 9.99, published by Richard Cohen Books)."

Susan Tomes turned to the dictionary for inspiration and found that "detritus" is defined as "a mass of substance gradually worn away from solid bodies". She thinks that "after a period of festive over-eating, we solid bodies could do with a bit of substance erosion ourselves. So if you can't beat detritus, join it!"

"Pen thank you letters on it, and you detrite back," say Peter Thomas. Or, he suggests, you could use it as bedding in a donkey's stable, or keep the leftover port in case of a storm.

Sian Cole, signing herself "Sianta Colause", offers to "take the place of the Christmas tree (undressed) and all the Creativity readers can take turns at dressing me." She offers to help out anyone who can think of places to hang their baubles or stick their crackers.

Norman Foster saves all the bangs from his Christmas crackers and sells them in the spring to farmers as bird-scarers. Christmas trees, he says, make good brushes for chimney sweeps, with the smaller ones as lavatory brushes.

Sweep up the pine-needles that lie on the floor (writes Maguy Higgs),

Glue back on the tree, make it green as before.

Kept in the freezer

It'll still be there,

Next year and save money you'll need for the other requirements of the festive season you forgot to budget for.

And just to show that the last line wasn't a fluke, she continues:

There isn't a rhyme for detritus:

You mention it only to spite us,

But we never say die

And continue to try

To achieve the unreachable end of a line, however unwieldy, by finally dragging in something that comes close to causing St Vitus.

(Five more verses available on prescription.)

Bruce Birchall has some fine ideas for things to do with pine needles: "compress into a giant Cleopatra's needle; use as toothpicks; use in voodoo on wax dolls of one's enemies". He also wants to donate the fairy lights to a home for aged and retired glow-worms. Discarded crackers, however, he wishes to serve with cheese.

Don't give the leftover bah humbugs to Ebenezer Scrooge, says Mike Gifford. He recommends sending all Nativity scenes to the Marriage Guidance Council "as proof that a stable relationship can exist". Karen McMullan, however, sees the detritus of Christmas as a perfect gift for Scrooge, "along with some hanging participles and the missing millennium 'n's as last-minute Christmas decorations."

Ideas in brief: "Ground into a paste with brandy butter to smooth over cracks in family unity" (Judith Holmes); "Santa Clauses to Russia to revive the Red Army; Christmas trees as festive motorway cones" (RJ Pickles); "Christmas trees for getting spruced up in a fir coat" (KathleenTurnbull). "Shredded cards and a wind machine make a slightly late White Christmas; turkey wishbones to improve suspension in elves' cars" (Jack & Renee Dolan).

Chambers Dictionary prizes to Nicholas Gough (for unashamed sycophancy), Mike Gifford and Maguy Higgs. Creativity will now be taking a short Christmas break, but will return in the new year with things to do with 1998. After that, we'll be looking for things to do with flotsam and jetsam. May we wish a merrily creative Christmas to all.

Voices
'Irritatingly Disneyfied': fashion vlogger Zoella
voices

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
The last great picture - Winner 'Black and White' and overall 'Wildlife Photographer of the Year'
art
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebooksA superb mix of recipes serving up the freshest of local produce in a delicious range of styles
Life and Style
ebooksFrom the lifespan of a slug to the distance to the Sun: answers to 500 questions from readers
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - SThree Group - Leeds

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: SThree Group has been...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - SThree Group - Bristol

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: SThree Group has been...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - SThree Group - Birmingham

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: SThree Group has been...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Computer Futures

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: The SThree group is a world le...

    Day In a Page

    Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

    A new American serial killer?

    Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
    Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

    Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

    Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
    Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

    Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

    Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
    Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

    Wildlife Photographer of the Year

    Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
    Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

    Want to change the world? Just sign here

    The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

    'You need me, I don’t need you'

    Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
    How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

    How to Get Away with Murder

    Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
    A cup of tea is every worker's right

    Hard to swallow

    Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Which animals are nearly extinct?

    Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
    12 best children's shoes

    Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

    Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
    Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

    Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

    Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
    Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

    Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

    Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
    Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

    Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

    Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
    British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

    British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

    Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
    Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

    Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

    UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London