And it’s nearly here…
By Linda Parker
Everyone seems full of enthusiasm for Christmas, with trees and lights up from mid-November onwards in many homes! And as the weather is so dull and dreary it does make everything seem a little more cheerful. So, here we go with more festive ideas…
NATURAL INSPIRATION BY JOHN LEWIS
This natural Christmas look is simple and achievable, and looks very much at home in a contemporary room. It’s festive and welcoming, whilst embracing the natural, home-spun look. The tree is faux, it’s the Oslo Pine Unlit 7ft Christmas Tree by John Lewis. Xmas Dec Tip: A tree with spaced out branches, such as this one, allows the decorations to stand out, whilst not looking over-crowded
ADDED KITCHEN SPACE WITH CUISINART
I think it’s likely that everyone who wants an air fryer has probably got one by now, but if you haven’t succumbed yet, now is the time to get one! It’s extra cooking facilities for the busy festive season, and yes, it will be useful all-year round too. This is the Air Fryer Mini Oven by Cuisinart, which can cook on two levels, so could be useful those extra trays of roast potatoes and parsnips, or for another batch of pigs in blankets (there’s never enough to go round …). Fast heating up time and the capacity to cook 12’’ pizzas, it’s a useful extra bit of kit.
THE VEGETARIAN OPTION BY MIELE
Avoid last-minute panic buying of Christmas puddings to cater for various dietary requirements by taking a look at The Vegetarian Christmas Pudding recipe from Miele . This one is super-helpful, as it also includes directions on adapting it for vegan (miss out the egg) and if you want gluten-free, it works with gluten-free flour and some ground almonds or ground walnuts. This version is perfect for cooking in a steam oven, but of course can also be steamed on the hob.
THE TRADITIONAL VERSION BY DUALIT
This one is easily mixed with the Dualit Hand Mixer – which definitely makes light work of the heavy mixing. For the traditional pudding recipe itself, which serves six, go the Christmas pudding recipe page here. It’s great for first-time pudding makers, as there’s lots of detail on the steaming/steamer construction method!
CRACKERS WITH GIFTS BY IDYLL HOME
Every year without fail I manage to forget the crackers. I’ve either bought them too early and ‘put them somewhere safe’ which means I’ll never find them again, or they’ll get lost in the general Christmas chaos. So this year my intention is to lay the table the day before, with the opportunity to check every detail, which will include putting crackers out. And with crackers as nice as these Felt & Glitter crackers from Idyll Home, hopefully they will make it to the table!
STAR STRUCK CENTRE-PIECE BY PAPER STARLIGHTS
This paper star can be used as a decoration or as a lampshade; it’s the Starry White Christmas Star Lantern from Paper Starlights. If you want it to light up, it needs a Cable Lighting Kit, which can be seen here. There’s also a red star version available as well, for a more traditional look.
KEEP IT ON ICE WITH A CHAMPAGNE BATH, ANNABEL JAMES
Yes, this could be considered an extravagance, but you’ll only need to buy it once, and it will always make your parties and celebrations look extra special! And it doesn’t have to be used just for champagne, does it. Some chilled rose or prosecco will look nearly as elegant! This is the stylish Silver Plated Champagne Bath from Annabel James, and there’s a smaller size available, too.
SIMPLE ELEGANCE FROM COX & COX
Entertaining season is when we discover there’s not enough side tables for various drinks/nibbles requirements. These are the large and small side tables with oak legs, in Charcoal from Cox & Cox, also available in a lighter shade of grey. Perfect for all year round use, of course, and the raised edges makes me feel slightly less worried about wobbly cocktail glasses!
TOP TABLE DECORATONS BY DIBOR
Add a snowy, elegant look to the Christmas day table with this frosty Wild Wonderland tea-light holder, available from Dibor. It’s also suitable for the mantlepiece – especially if you’ve got a real fire and need to avoid too much overhanging greenery! Style up the table with white linen and clear glassware for a pretty, snowy seasonal look.
COMFY AND COSY THROWS & BLANKETS FROM MARKS & SPENCER
Keep your home looking welcoming and cosy by adding some throws and blankets – fold them neatly over the arms of the sofas or the back of a chair, or roll them up and put them in a log basket (a clean one, of course!). Turn the heating down a little and go for the blanket and hot water bottle combination instead. These gorgeous blankets are from a wide-ranging selection at Marks & Spencer.
A WELCOME FROM THE REAL FLOWER COMPANY
This is one of the nicest real wreaths I’ve seen this year! It’s the Woodland Fresh Christmas Door Wreath from the Real Flower Company. Make from fresh greenery with lots of added colour and detail in the shape of seasonal blooms, all on an oasis base. And with that, your Christmas inspiration should now be complete!