Every year we help choose, gift wrap, ribbon and give hundreds, probably thousands, of presents. And every year we try and hand pick the prettiest of fabrics, the most individual of jewellery, the most luxurious of toiletries in the hope that this Christmas will be the best ever. Of course! It's our favourite time of year!
Which is why we've bought you our top 5 little extra touches that might just make this Christmas even more special than before.
Buy Mulling Spices.
Sounds silly, but trust us, after a year in the cupboard that Cinnamon doesn't taste toasty anymore! And who wants to buy separate packets of cinnamon, cloves, anise, juniper, nutmeg and zesting an orange and a lemon just for one (or two) events?
We use the amazing Aspen Mulling spices, suitable for wine or cider, in store when we give out mulled wine to customers, but there are lots of alternatives. You could even ask your local greengrocer to do a mix for you, and just add a little sugar or juice when your mulling to add that sweetness.
Don't Get Tied Down By Crackers:
Think table decorations, think crackers! But what if you're going for a more stylish alternative this year? Or maybe the kids have grown out of the 'loud bang' phase?
Instead of big garish crackers, you could try some mini crackers, mini table lights or garlands, and although we all love a Christmas paper crown (that's one tradition that has to stay!) you could try some festive antlers, or mini glittered santa hats for a bit of a switch up.
If you have a themed Christmas, great! If not, also great! The most amazing thing about Christmas is that it touches everyone in a different way, some people go all out on decorations, and for other people it's about good food with good friends- whatever your favourite part, there are no set rules.
Last year we imported some beautifully made, hand painted decorations from the US. There were circus elephants and frogs in top hats, all sort that you rarely see in the highstreet in the UK. We loved watching everyone come and pick each one up and marvel at them. We loved knowing that they'd be cared for whoever they went home with.
This year we have a whole range of characters that sit right alongside our vintage range, and it's lovely seeing each unique person taking home a unique decoration.
Fake it (In Style):
If you're prepping for a big family Christmas, the last thing you want is the wreath starting to droop or the garland on the bannister dropping pine needles. It might sound a little silly to those of us that are already converts, but honestly a little sprig of green here and there does wonders, and the needles wont get caught in the carpet!
We use two or three companies for our arrangements who use top quality fabrics and techniques so that they look as realistic as possible. Floral Silk is known as the best in the biz, so do pop in and see for yourself. A berry or pine cone wreath looks just as fantastic, and there's no worry about it going limp on Christmas eve!
When we're worrying about whether or not there's enough room for all eleven of our aunts and uncles around the dinner table, and whether we could move it into the front room, we're probably not thinking about the lights!
It's hard to create an ambience when there's a strip light over head, and the easiest way to make that warm and cosy feeling is to use candles. We recommend St.Eval simply because their pillar candles are dipped in gold and their gently, seasonally scented.
If you're looking for a heavier scent for a party or Christmas Eve, try True Grace. Incomparable in their fragrances, they truly create a beautiful space and the scent lingers for days.
Happy festive time :)