If you’re anything like me, the start of dark nights and cold weather makes you want to:
a) eat sausages and potatoes, followed by sausages and potatoes, followed by sausages and potatoes
c) shop for endless chunky knits that, despite high hopes, will not make me look like Cameron Diaz in The Holiday.
So, as it’s too soon to shop for presents, here are seven lovely home gifts that start to say, very quietly, that it’s kind of, almost, Christmas.
I’ve never really gone for garlands, unless you count a good old fashioned paper chain, but these festive bells could change my mind. Don’t wait for a tree to wrap them around – try them over a headboard, wound round the staircase or draped over the mantelpiece. If you prefer something less jingly jangly, try the silent but lovely felt snowflakes.
Candles + Christmas = not a new concept. But I thought these two from John Lewis were a bit different, especially the one with stars encased in a clear gel. Very classy.
The festive duvet cover
Having browsed several homey websites, George at Asda is smashing it when it comes to festive duvet covers. Pop one of these on your bed in the run up to Christmas, or take it with you if you’re staying with relatives. Pre-wash it in a festive-scented fabric softener, too, if you’re really going for it. I secretly love the crazy bauble pattern, but there are more muted, traditional versions too, starting from £10.
The extravagant side plate
These are a bit pricey – but who even needs four? Treat yourself to a special plate for mince pies only, when you’re wrapping presents and wondering whether a glass of sherry will mean you are turning into your Aunt Edna. Moonlit forest dessert plate, £16, Anthropologie.
The unnecessary (but necessary) bird
Who can resist a cute fake bird that’s been rolled in glitter and has a feathered tail? ME. At £4 a pop for the red (rather stern looking) one and £5 for the golden pearly queen, you probably can’t have these baubles all over your tree, but try them as little table decorations, clip them to lampshades and sit them on bookshelves to add some woodland festive charm. From a selection at John Lewis.
If you can’t be flamboyant at Christmas, when can you? Swap your cracker hats for these elegant party crowns, £12 for 4 at Anthropologie.
The fancy glasses
I’d buy these in a heartbeat even if it wasn’t Christmas – in fact I did at the weekend, for a suitably chic PR friend’s birthday present. Come at me, Bucks Fizz. Find them in various shapes and sizes at Next.
How do you inject a bit of festive fizz into your home? Let me know in the comments below!