As Christmas approaches shops become busy and there seems to be so much to do – present buying, card writing, and just as importantly getting our home perfect for the festive season! Jobs just can’t wait until January! Right?
We caught up with guest presenter and ‘Face of Christmas’ at QVC, Gill Gauntlett, to get some handy hints and tips on how to get you and your home ready for the main event. Her first piece of advice? “Sit back, take a deep breath and start enjoying it; don’t make more work for yourself than is needed!”…
This time of year is always the busiest for me, being a Christmas guest I have a full schedule at QVC so the best way I cope is to pace myself and try and to enjoy the moment.
I love Christmas for many reasons and am always so excited when the time comes for putting up the tree and seeing the decorations shimmer.
I like to create the right impression for my family and visitors, which means having a home that is clean and welcoming. So I do tend to get rid of the clutter I’ve collected through the year!
Once that’s done I go to town and have a good clean through. The Vax carpet shampooer comes out and everything gets a makeover! My very busy life means this is something I can’t always do as thoroughly as I want – what do they say? Clean house, dull life!
I try to aim for the 1st December to start with the decorations, I usually do it over a few days, it’s a working progress to get it right.
My tree is of course Bethlehem Lights and pre-lit and it’s mostly silver and white. My daughter, Ella loves to put the decs on and always insists she put the last one on the top. We also have one of the slim trees as last year Ella was away at college and I wanted her to feel at home, she’s a home girlie!
I do believe Christmas is the one time nothing is over the top! I love glitter and lights, always have. I attach garlands on the stairs, and around my mirrors and dresser. I have wreaths on the fireplace and on doors inside and out!
I love the fact that the Bethlehem Lights Christmas decorations are battery operated and on timers, because this makes them so easy to put up! My wreath and garlands are many years old but as good as new, the new style this year is. The teardrops from Bethlehem Lights are also a fab way to add that touch on a hall table, coffee table, window etc.
I have my trees either side of my front door lit by a set of 50 clear lights on each. This year I have also bought a white wreath from QVC to add a different touch to the bathroom and a reindeer head to hang in the downstairs loo!
The only thing I miss is the smell of a real Christmas trees, so I get a handful of eucalyptus and pop it in amongst my tree, garlands and wreaths. I also go to the tree farm and get a few off cuts from the tree to make a display in my dining room…
I always have my dad to stay as he is the main cook, with the rest of us helping (not bad for 85). We always have Turkey, from the local butchers and beef… Christmas dinner wouldn’t be complete without sausages wrapped in bacon and Brussels sprouts. My dad makes lovely honey covered carrots and the best ever home made stuffing! I do love cranberry sauce, homemade of course but also must insist on bread sauce!
Christmas pud is always a tradition in our house; my husband loves brandy cream, I don’t like it so always have either pavlova or trifle as well… we still put the coins in the dish though!
I set the table Christmas Eve, this is my job! Never forgetting the crackers, as I do love posh crackers I usually wait until the last minute to get them when they are generally half price! After dinner we sit around the table and play whatever new game I managed to get! The men in the house wash-up, excluding dad! (I know the girls get it easy but we do all the groundwork in my house)
Over the years wrapping has changed for me, I now wrap presents as I go, I used to leave it until, Christmas Eve with my husband when we would sometimes be wrapping until the wee hours, but as the children grew it’s changed slightly!
When they were little my husband would talc the bottom of a welly and make snow footprints at the fireplace, even told my children it was magical snow that didn’t melt! Those where the days!
Christmas for me is all about getting together with family and friends and I do appreciate I am lucky to have so many. I always try and make sure everyone dear to me has a place to go at least a dinner to eat!
Boxing Day is always cold meat, ham cooked in coke, turkey and beef with big hand cooked chips and pickles! Cards and games all the way. It’s probably the one time of year the TV is only on in the background!
Over the years we’ve had a few dramas at Christmas time but I can honestly say we have a wonderful time and could never imagine being anywhere else but at home!
Thanks to my mum who recently gave me a necklace with the perfect words my new motto from now on is, “Think less live more!”