You’ve chosen a theme – perhaps from our cornucopia of suggestions – invited the guests and the turkey is browning in the oven, so all that’s left is a few individual finishing touches to make your Christmas Day go with a bang!
The sharp scent of pine needles evokes the very essence of Christmas. If you’ve decided to plump for a little festive fakery with an artificial tree this year, capture the fragrance of the season with a handful of fir branches instead. You can buy affordable offcuts from most Christmas tree suppliers which, when paired with other aromatics such as bay, cinnamon, cloves and clementine peel, make irresistible additions to your dining table. Tie little bundles together with florist’s wire or twine and add a name tag so they double as place settings.
A feast for the eyes
A large glass bowl or vase filled with Christmassy items can make a stunning centrepiece for your table (and will last longer than a bunch of flowers). Choose a bowl that’s right for your table – this beautiful goldfish-style design from Habitat is a beauty – and pack it with baubles, battery-powered fairy lights, pine cones, oranges or pastel-coloured paper pom-poms. You could even fill it with tiny gifts hidden inside layers of popcorn for an after-dinner lucky dip.
Christmas dinner is a marathon, not a sprint, so ease your guests into the party mood with some fun fizz and pre-dinner nibbles. Prosecco cocktails make the perfect ice-breaker. Pour a drop of fruit gin into a flute – damson or sloe gin always goes down well but do try this gorgeous gooseberry gin liqueur – and top with ice-cold fizz. All the supermarkets are selling lots of pre-prepared canapes, however, we think you can’t beat a supple ribbon of expertly smoked salmon layered atop thinly sliced brown bread and anointed with a squeeze of lemon. Perfection!