How to make a quick Christmas party atmosphere in minutes
Christmas seems to come round quicker every year. Panic not. We've got 10 quick and/or easy tips that will have your place singing Christmas louder than "Jingle bells".
1. The simplest and most obvious way of creating instant Christmas atmosphere is to get a Christmas tree. It doesn’t have to be big, but it does have to be real, and have that delicious pine needle-y smell. If you don’t have space for a whole tree, nab some branches. Most florists will sell them at Christmas time. Decorate the mantelpiece, the window ledge, or the centre of your table.
2. Go for a walk and collect a large-ish branch (deciduous or evergreen, it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s pleasing to the eye). Hang it from the ceiling above your table and hang baubles and decorations from it, and you have instant wow factor.
3. Christmas means you can go totally overboard with decorations, from mistletoe, ribbons, tree decorations, fairy lights and most importantly, candles. You can put candles in paper bags (burn resistant), hurricane lamps, tealight holders, jam jars, clusters of leaves, fireplaces, mantelpieces, on the stairs, outside in the garden... Just don’t leave them unattended. Party Lites do some nifty glass spheres and candle pillars that you can stuff full of whatever fits that season – pine cones for Autumn, cranberries for Winter…
4. Not got much space? Hang small hurricane lamps over your dining table – anything you hang from the ceiling will save space on the table.
5. Tree baubles – there are such beautiful ones nowadays – don’t limit them to your tree, take them to the table as well. Put some long twigs in a hurricane lamp or plain white or glass vase, and hang your baubles from there. Or use a bauble to personalise each place setting for your guests
6. Partridge in a pear tree – spray paint 5-7 under-ripe pears and hang them from a stout stick. Decorate with a bird decoration, and hey presto, instant Christmas carol conversation starter.
7.Go Montessori – make your own snowflakes. Fold up squares of paper into triangles and cut out little wedges and shapes. Open them up and you’ve got instant snowflakes. If you rope in some children, you’ll easily make 25 – hang from the ceiling and you’ll have a beautiful snowstorm.
8. Twinkle twinkle - cut an assortment of stars from tinfoil and then hang with string from the ceiling. Make lots of them – at least 20-30, in all sizes. As the candle lights from the table heat them, they’ll slowly rotate and sparkle. Such an easy and effective way to bring your table to life.
9. String fairy lights above your table, in low loops they’ll look like circus lights and create such a warm glow.
10. Stick on the crooners – it’s the only time of year you can get away with full on cheese, so whip out the Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby. Chestnuts roasting on an open fire anyone?