STEPHANIE DOUTHWAITE, FOUNDER

Planning for the Seasons

the ultimate christmas guide

Christmas has been a key part of many cultures for a number of years, aging back to the Romans in 336 AD, but not adopted till later on. However, the Germans made it more mainstream and then it was adopted by many other countries around the world.

What is Christmas?
Christmas is a time of year for celebrations and giving, which should be spent with the people that you love. Christmas and winter in general is one of my favourite times of year, the atmosphere is like no other. Warm coats and hot cocoa are the ideologies that flow through my head, but it’s so much more than that.

Themes and colours of Christmas
As most of you will know traditionally, Christmas consists of two main colours: Red and Green. However, there are other colours that are key and generally left out; these are White and Gold. In any holiday event there are certain colours that are put together, such as the Summer being yellow and blue, Halloween being orange and black. Colours and themes are important to holiday events to help distinguish the differences, red being the blood of Christ, green represents life and nature, gold traditionally represents wealth, regality and sovereignty, and white for pureness and sometimes snow.

When should you put Christmas decorations up and what decorations should I buy?
As a family when the 1st of December comes around, we start putting up our tree and some general decorations. From when both of my boys were young, we would try to encourage them to get into the Christmas spirit as soon as they got their first chocolate advent calendar. Cushions are relatively cheap and soft furnishings are an easy way to change the feel of a whole room. They are one of the most visible pieces of the room. Ideally the cushions would be a complimentary piece to potentially a rug or a blanket which are easier to interchange than a sofa or coffee table. You may want to try and choose colours that were mentioned before (Red, Green, Gold, White). Sometimes when the kids are off from school on the weekends leading up to Christmas it can be a great activity to get them involved, especially if they are younger. A few years ago, with my youngest we used to create paper snow chains. Homemade Christmas decorations are great and easy to do. However, now we mostly focus on beautiful centrepieces for the table over the days leading to Christmas Day. We’ve put in this helpful link that we found on YouTube to give you some inspiration, we love putting holly and some berries around to make it extra special https://youtu.be/N-Gc2yq507I 

Wreaths are slightly more difficult to make than centrepieces, so we’ve chosen our favourite to buy. This wreath is complete and looks fantastic due to the perfect combination of colours and texture.
https://www.johnlewis.com/john-lewis-partners-real-christmas-wreath-
red/p5127926?sku=238970807&s_ppc=2dx92700057202141920&tmad=c&tmcampid=2&g
clid=EAIaIQobChMI7O-Nr-uz7AIViLPtCh0a_A1rEAQYBCABEgJBTfD_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

A thick rug that will complement the new cushions will bring a warm feeling to the room and is an easy change to any room that needs that festive feeling.

The Christmas Tree… and why you need to decorate it!
Personally, I prefer a Real traditional Norway Spruce, with a nice balanced spread of branches at various heights. However, recently I have really liked the recyclability of an artificial tree, but make sure that you get a good quality artificial tree, if you don’t it may not last many Christmases.
Firstly, you will need to put the lights on the tree and test them! I have spent a long time in previous years taking everything off the tree because the lights weren’t working or rushed around a few days before Christmas because I have needed new lights for other decorations. Make sure that you have a nice spread of different baubles in all sizes and colours. Lastly, don’t forget the back, don’t think ‘no one will see it’, you would be surprised how many people notice it, especially if it’s by a window.

Christmas inspiration in our modern world
In the modern world of Instagram and Pinterest it can be overwhelming with very over the top ideas. You ultimately need to find out what you like and you need to make sure that you don’t feel pressured to decorate your home in an ‘Instagram worthy’ way, as you are the one who is going to be looking at it for the next few weeks. To me, Christmas is one of the best times of the year. It is possible to get a lot of inspiration from outside within nature and the festive colours that come with it.

Other potential things to remember for an unforgettable Christmas
Sometimes when it comes to Christmas it is so overwhelming… Do I have guests coming? Do I have enough food? What do I need to do to prepare for Christmas? Nothing beats a great To-do List and an organised calendar. It is a very different Christmas this year, the main thing to remember is to just to enjoy it. Everyone loves being surprised with nice gifts, but nothing is better than seeing the smile of a loved one radiate around the room on Christmas morning.

We are not sponsored by any of the products in this guide.
Photo from Country Living Magazine: https://www.countryliving.com/home-design/decorating-ideas/g28702973/christmas-living-room-decor/