Christmas 2020 will be different from many we have enjoyed in the past. However, it doesn’t mean it can’t have its own magic and memories.
This year I have dressed my St Ives dining table formally for Christmas dinner. I have used a crisp white table cloth as a base to set off the tableware and laid out all of the cutlery and glasses which will be used. I placed ever green branches down the centre of the table to add some colour and baubles which compliment those in the Christmas tree. My St Ives dresser is fully stocked ready for the big day.
During Christmas dinner I will play some Christmas carols and light my candles to increase the festive atmosphere. We even have a pass the parcel to go round the table (you can find pass the parcel music on line so everyone can join in).
The Living room has a winter wonderland theme, complete with my Grandmother’s sleigh from when she was a child. The light tones perfectly compliment my Chelsea sofas and Jasmine chair. All of the action on Christmas day happens in this room, as it is where Santa delivers the presents once he has come down the chimney. The chaise end of the Chelsea corner sofa is the perfect spot to put your feet up and relax after dinner and have a snooze.
I have gone with a classic gold and green theme in the hallway as the colours compliment the timeless elegance of the Shay range. With the hallway being the first room guests enter I will light my favourite festive scented candle for full affect.
My top 5 tips for creating a Christmas atmosphere and feeling would be:
Light a festive candle. Smells can evoke memories and emotions and nothing says Christmas more than cinnamon, clove, fig and chestnut.
Play Christmas music. Whether it’s Carols or a 70s classic it’s guaranteed to make you feel as festive as possible.
Watch a Christmas film. My favourite is Miracle on 34th Street – I have always wanted a sign in my window saying “this house believes”.
Have fun decorating your tree. Whether real or faux, themed or not it wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree twinkling away.
Have fun with your family. Have lazy days, pyjama days, baking days, local walks. Make memories with those you love.
Favourite thing about Christmas:
Spending the time with my loved ones. We lead such busy lives it’s nice to have the time to bake, play games, watch a film, go for a walk etc.
Favourite dish: Gingerbread men
225g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp salt
2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 heaped tsp ground ginger
½ tsp cinnamon
50g unsalted butter
100g soft brown sugar
100g golden syrup
Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5 and line a baking tray with baking parchment. Sieve the flour, salt, bicarb, ginger and cinnamon into a large bowl. Heat the butter, sugar and syrup until dissolved. Leave the sugar mixture to cool slightly, then mix into the dry ingredients to form a dough. Chill the dough in the fridge for 30 mins.
On a surface lightly dusted with flour, roll out the dough to a ¼-inch thickness. Stamp out the gingerbread men shapes with a cutter, then re-roll any off-cuts and repeat. Place your gingerbread shapes on the lined trays, allowing space for them to spread. Cook for 10-15 mins, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
Favourite Christmas song:
For me it has to be All I want for Christmas by Mariah Carey.