Many of us are feeling the urge to go ‘all out’ this Christmas. From food fests to decorations and lights, brightening up the place feels very much needed right now. After all, when life gives you lemons, sometimes it helps to slice and slow bake them, before creating a gloriously sustainable festive wreath to feel good about…
So many houses with be covered in twinkling lights as the trees go up, and Christmas decorations are all well and good, but for December 1st, it’s Advent you need to ready your home for.
“This year, we’re expecting Christmas to be bigger and bolder than ever, thanks to 2020 being a much smaller and isolated affair,” says Holly Harper, head of inspiration and new partners at notonthehighstreet.
“For many of us, this will mean making the most of seasonal decorations for longer, especially during Advent. And whilst we don’t all want to have the Christmas tree up and lights on the front of the house from the beginning of December, decorating for Advent is a great way to inject a little Christmas spirit into the home, without going overboard.”
Advent brings with it calendars (obviously), wreaths, candles and a few twinkling touches, giving your home a sprinkling of festive love. Then, a couple of weeks later, you can bring out the big guns and decorate the tree.
It means you won’t get bored of the way your home looks before the big day, and helps you enjoy those mini gifts of Advent (sweet treats, the anticipation of Christmas…) just that little bit more.
At notonthehighstreet, ‘Advent Calendar’ has been amongst the top 10 search terms since the beginning of September, showing that shoppers are clearly looking to make a big deal about the festive countdown. And why wouldn’t you? Is there anything nicer than peeling open a door and receiving a tiny gift every day of December – I’m pretty sure we all deserve it.
And calendars come in many shapes and forms- from those stuffed with make-up and skincare to ones containing mini bottles of prosecco.
You could also opt for sustainability and make your own, instead. The beauty ones are great for saving and re-filling in future years – sometimes with gifts or edible treats, challenges or inspiring words – it’s a lovely ritual to bring out annually. Or you can wrap mini presents and hang them from string – brown paper works a treat for this, and can be made to look festive with red ribbon.
Who doesn’t love a flickering wintry candle to make your home smell festive? All the main stores sell these in abundance, and you can either pick one up with your food shopping or Christmas presents, or treat yourself to a Jo Malone – the queen of all candles. Try their Orange Bitters or Pine & Eucalyptus – they’re both divine.
“We’ve seen advent candles return in a big way this year,” Harper continues, “both in more traditional ways and modern ones.”
“This year, it’s all about elongating the festive season, and making the most of celebrations with family and friends,” says Andrew Tanner, design manager at Habitat. “The approaching Advent offers the perfect excuse to start the seasonal transformation early. Home accessories and tableware that give a subtle nod to winter work best, giving the home a wintry feel that can be layered with decorations come Christmas.
“Think sumptuous faux furs, celestial candle holders, acorn-themed accessories and crisp pastel tableware. The beauty of these pieces is that they can be used all year round, so no need to store away come January.”
“We also recommend decorating with wreaths and garlands that offer a more subtle nod to the season, whilst leaving the more overtly ‘Christmassy’ decorations for later on in December,” adds Harper. “Some of our favourites include patchwork design or dried flower options.”
And excuse the repetition, but better still, make your own. Entwining twigs and flowers around a wreath shape and winding wire to keep it in place is a simple (and mindful) process, and can cost as much or as little as you like. Add a few fairy lights and your home is transformed into a sensationally subtle winter wonderland.