As a child a visit to the ballet was a special treat at Christmas. And of course it had to be The Nutcracker. Anticipation would build with the sound of the orchestra warming up, and then we’d all be transported into a magical wonderland of adventure, enchanted forests, and a glistening scene of snow. The dance of the sugar plum fairy was the highlight every single year. Sadly there’s not much magic left in our over-commercialised Christmas holidays these days, but with the imminent arrival of overnight guests and their children, it shouldn’t be too hard to put some sparkle back into the event for everyone.
Create an Extra Special Welcome at the Front Door
There’s nothing more welcoming than a house lit up for Christmas. Fairy lights and a wreath on the door are very traditional, but go the extra mile with something more surprising. I’ve always wished I had a long path to the front door so that I could line it with lanterns. Or cover the shrubs with fake snow and hang little parcels for your guests to collect on the way in. It’s the build up of anticipation and the promise of even more to come.
Give the Guest Bedroom the 5* Treatment
The guest bedroom can be prepped well in advance. Make up the bed with freshly ironed sheets or better still treat your guests to something new from the bold and dramatic designs in the Christy autumn/winter collection. It’s always nice to leave a bathrobe in the room too. There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting caught in your pj’s on the way to the bathroom in the middle of the night. A pile of fluffy towels and somewhere to dry them is a must, and an extra thoughtful touch is to provide a spare toothbrush, comb and some sweet smelling toiletries. And then just before your guests are due to arrive, add some fresh flowers and a bottle of water by the side of the bed.
Keep the Kids Busy
If the children are happy and occupied, the adults will by happy too. Keep a few of the decorating jobs, back so the the children can help and feel involved. Decorating their bedrooms themselves is always a good idea as they will be much more willing to go to bed. Cunning plan. And so that the adults can have some quiet time to catch up and do adult things, plan a movie night. White Christmas or Home Alone or any family favourite will keep them content and even more so if there is popcorn and treats.
Plan Some Special Outings
There’s no denying, Christmas can also be stressful. Even more so when you have a houseful of guests and everyone is getting under everyone’s feet. The trick is to plan a few outings away from the house, and it’s up to you if you join them or not. Midnight mass or a long country walk are always a good idea and they will return refreshed, energised and much more content.
This post was written in partnership with Christy, a historic British interiors brand producing luxury bed linen and towels.. All views however are entirely my own.