A perfect Christmas
Christmas home decorations and table settings

A Perfect Christmas

Christmas is a time to adorn our homes with the most beautiful decorations and welcome family and friends to share in the merriment of the season with plenty of good food on an elegantly dressed table.

A touch of sparkle – Christmas home decorations

Christmas is the most decorative time of the year, filled with nostalgia, magic, candlelight and colour. Decorating your home for Christmas is one of the most pleasurable parts of Christmas – there’s something very special about carefully unwrapping those familiar baubles, garlands, ornaments and lights to bring back once again the magic of Christmas into our homes.

Giving a little careful thought to the way you ‘deck your halls’ will lead to an elegantly decorated home for you and your guests. For all of us time seems in short supply these days, so concentrate on a few key areas when decorating your home for Christmas. Top priority should be the front door – a welcoming wreath whether faux or real to welcome guests, then the hallway to set the mood of your home, the sitting room as it will be the hub of the festivities, and the dining table for entertaining.

The hallway is the first impression everyone gets on walking into your home at Christmas time, so this is where you can add a lot of cosy lighting. Nothing is as beautiful as the warm glow of candle-light so placing some mercury glass tea light holders on a table in your hallway will create a welcoming ambience, group these in front of a mirror for a dazzling effect. Delicate, white fairy lights look wonderful up the staircase, entwined in greenery from the garden and ‘ivy’ in particular is great for Christmas decorating – for stairs, mantle-pieces and just about anywhere in the home. Holly, eucalyptus, and rosemary twigs can also be used alongside ivy for display in the Christmas home. Artificial garlands can look equally nice and you can customise them with ribbons, baubles, artificial berries or flowers.

Christmas season only begins when the tree has taken pride of place and is fully dressed and selecting the right tree whether it is fresh or faux is an all important task. When it comes to decoration of the tree, there is an overwhelming choice of decoration in the high street. There are timeless classics such as red, green and gold or elegantly understated silver and white. These days we are looking more into the past for a bit of nostalgic, vintage charm, anything from paper chains to handmade tree decorations to embroidered stockings.

Using a vintage-inspired Christmas colour palette of old gold, bronze and antique silver creates a chic look for the festive season. Decorations in these hues look beautiful blended with natural foliage such as pine cones and mistletoe, and works well against a backdrop of both neutral and richly styled interior schemes.

The Scandinavian style of decorating the home for Christmas is charmingly understated and homespun with colours of red and white, with traditional decorations made from natural materials such as wood. This style of decorating is popular and cheerful for any home. The joy of Christmas is that all the decorations somehow work together, so if you have amassed an eclectic collection over the years – just put them all up and enjoy.

Always use crisp white lights on your tree for a truly magical feel and of course that star is still the essential tree topper – as it reminds us all of the true reason behind Christmas celebrations.

Setting the scene – Christmas table settings

The Christmas meal is an eagerly awaited event and so time spent dressing your table beautifully will never be wasted. Before the special day take a good look at your china and glassware then consider all the extras that will bring your table to life – flowers, candles, table linen, crackers, napkin rings and so on.

White table linen is a flattening backdrop to any scheme you may wish to choose. However, for such a special occasion, you may want a decorative runner along the centre of the table, perhaps in a shimmering fabric or beaded silk. You could place a string of fairy lights down the centre of the table too.

Enlivening each place setting will make your guests feel special. Napkins can be wrapped using silk or velvet ribbon for a touch of glamour, then tuck a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary to finish off.

Name cards are easy to make at home or if time is at a premium you can buy it in the high street. These will make the festive table personal and your guests feel important.

“Favours” or small gifts need not be just for weddings. A small box of homemade truffles make lovely ‘take-home’ gifts for your guests when placed on each table setting. Christmas crackers are fun both for adults and children. There are some beautifully embellished crackers on the high street for every taste and a Christmas table simply wouldn’t be complete without them.

Finally, a centrepiece for your table creates a visual and conversational focal point, whether it’s an arrangement of flowers and candles or something more opulent and evocative, a dish piled high with frosted fruits (brush the fruit with lightly beaten egg white, then dredge with sugar and leave to dry.) Arrange three glass vintage cake stands on top of each other – different sizes work best – then place the fruit on them for a breathtaking display.

You have now set the scene for a feast so don’t forget to sit back, enjoy and make the most of this very special season.

“There is no greater feeling than giving someone a gift for Christmas that they will talk about for years to come. Check out the gadgets on Gear Hungry to get this magical feeling time and time again..”