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Christmas Survival Buys
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Indy Lifestyle Online
UNFORTUNATELY, IT is rarely just geese that get fat and fed up over the festive season. Truth is, a week of wild nights, serious gorging and a few too many glasses of festive cheer contribute to hangover hell for all but the most clued-up of party kittens. The good news is that you can minimise the damage without sacrificing the seasonal pleasures with The Independent's tips for surviving Christmas.

The first festive rule is to be discerning when sleeping around. If you're playing away from home, remember to take a Roly Poly bed with you to ensure a proper night's sleep. Named because of its Swiss-roll shape, the single cotton futon is lightweight, compact and a reasonable pounds 24.95 - and it zips up into an easily carried shape with handles. New this month, it's available in navy, green, terracotta or petrol blue from The Futon Company (0171-978 4498 for stockists).

Dress to impress and keep cosy too with red, magenta and lime pyjamas, pounds 60 by Abraham & Thakore (from the Conran Shop, 0171-589 7401) and be sure to insist on a new Comforel pillow. Made by DuPont, they cost from pounds 15 and are available at Marks & Spencer and major department stores. The cluster-fibre filling is designed to support your head throughout the night.

Another important point is to keep up appearances, however rough you feel. If you've overdone it the night before, get yourself back in the mood with Cariad Aromatherapy party blend, pounds 5.95 for 100ml (01932 269921 for stockists). With clary sage, bergamot, orange, peppermint and ylang- ylang, this is the perfect quick fix to wake you up and leave your skin feeling peachy. Hide any morning-after horrors with Estee Lauder's Minute Makeup, a quick-to-apply cream foundation stick that costs pounds 21 (0800 525501 for stockists); and supportive but sexy underwear from BodySlimmers Nancy Ganz (0115 9795796). The 15 pieces range from Hi-Cut briefs (pounds 16) to the Hourglass Body Dress (pounds 26).

Finally, fortify the soul with a glass or two of Rosemount Estate's fruity 1997 Shiraz (pounds 6.99 from major supermarkets and off-licences) and put on some cheery Christmas tunes. The Cool Yule CD from Hallmark costs a jazzy pounds 2.99 (0181-207 6207 for stockists).

And, you should always make sure you have a little something up your sleeve for times of emergency. Shirt-wearers shouldn't leave home without some Aspirin Cufflinks, pounds 32.95 from Saville-Edells (0171-351 1221) - if you feel a headache coming on, relief is close to hand.

If it all goes horribly wrong, invest in an urban-survival hangover kit, pounds 9.95 from Farmacia (0171-831 0830). This includes high-strength vitamin C tablets, hopscotch bitters to soothe the liver, and a pot of healing lip balm. Or recover lolling in the bath with Whittard's Eye Bag Tea, pounds 2.50 (0800 525092 for nearest store): filled with flowers and camomile for tired, over-partied eyes. Then jump into your new pyjamas, unfurl your new futon, and dream about the next party.

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