When it comes to the festive season, preparation is key to success. Organising your home, menu planning, making space for guests – the mental load has just gone up a notch, but it needn’t be the most stressful time of year. With just one month to go, we’ve compiled everything you need to know on what and how to get ready for the big day – straight from the experts.
Get the house in order
For our Visual Merchandising Manager, Rob Tyndall, the entrance hall is a good start. “Give your hallway a zhuzh by adding easy storage such as guest coat hooks, brightening up the area with a runner, and creating a sense of warmth and cosiness with a floor or table lamp.”
“Next, make space for all the Christmas kits and purchases by giving your home a mini clean. Clear out all your drawers and cupboards – you may even unearth some items that can be repurposed into gifts.”
Keep stress to a minimum
This time of year can be stressful for many of us, but don’t worry, award-winning coach Kim Morgan has some invaluable tips on avoiding festive burnout: “Don’t take everything on yourself. Delegate tasks to other family members. Sharing the work of preparing for Christmas with your family will build a great team spirit and encourage everyone to take responsibility for and enjoy the success of the day.”
And that’s not it – learning to say “no” is also key. “Decide how much money you want to spend, how many parties or Christmas activities you want to attend, and the amount of food you are willing to cook. If other people are determined to be disappointed, let them be… Overcommitting ourselves is one of the greatest contributors to holiday stress.”
How to make guests feel at home when they stay over? Our Product Designer, Sapphire Hales, has a few ideas. “Whether you have a dedicated room or not, it’s always handy to have a spare bed for guests. Set up an impromptu sleep spot with our space-efficient – and easy-to-store – Bed in a Bag or Zip Up Bed. Otherwise, invest in a good quality sofa bed for something a bit more permanent and additional seating.”
When it comes to hosting, Sapphire highly recommends getting some extra seats ready for those last-minute visitors. “Don’t go OTT though; try folding chairs as they can easily be stored away, or multifunctional stools that double up as side tables when needed.”
Deck the table
Nothing sets the scene for seasonal celebrations quite like a festive table. Our E-Commerce Visual Merchandiser, Maria Iosub, has a go-to recipe for success: “To make your table stand out, it’s all about choosing a clean yet stylish aesthetic. A Christmas table usually overflows with crackers, food, drinks and tableware, and anything to prevent it from looking too cluttered is a must.”
“Opt for simple dinnerware and linens to match – the perfect set that can be used all year round and not just for best. Introduce pops of colour with fun and bright glassware, or some pretty tea lights or lanterns for ambience. Last but not least, display small posies of flowers in pared-back vases on the table so your room smells all nice and fresh for the occasion.”
Serve up a stress-free spectacle
Well, it looks like food blogger Sarah Rossi has got it all sorted for us this year. All of her recipes have been tried-and-tested again and again, and designed with convenience, cost and crowd-pleasing in mind. “I wanted to make a one-stop-shop for how to make it as smooth as possible so you get to enjoy yourself, as well as feed hungry mouths,” she explained. “No stress is the aim here, and to achieve that it’s all about the early prep so you’re not under pressure on the day.”
So, feeling a bit better now about Christmas? Our expert tips are here to help you get ahead of the game and alleviate any anxiety about preparations this year. If you’re thinking of upgrading any areas of your home, come and see us in-store or online for all your interior and gift inspiration; plus, there’s still time for deliveries before the big day. Have a great one!