Spare a thought for the creatures not normally name-checked in the Nativity story. We’re talking alpacas, cows and lobsters, of course. These have now been given glitzy, sequin-studded makeovers courtesy of Yonder Living to guarantee top-tier status on your tree.
Reinventing the wreath is a bit like reinventing the wheel, so you’ve got to hand it to Dobbies Garden Centres for this novel idea. Collect all those Insta-friendly succulents that have been gathering dust since you bought them in summer, grab an Oasis ring, and soak some moss in water before pinning it and the plants to the ring, all secured with more pins and wire. Just ensure you’re on hand to spritz to keep it looking shipshape all the way up to the big day.
We’ve come to expect pretty marvellous things from Belgian master chocolatier Pierre Marcolini. Open up its merry-go-round-style advent calendar and you’ll find beautifully illustrated hot-air balloons, gift-bearing giraffes and leaping reindeer, all concealing doors to mouthwatering praline, nougat and caramel treats.
For Christmas morning treats with serious rock’n’roll edge, you can’t beat Brit designer Jan Constantine. What could be better than reaching into this divine faux fur number for your Terry’s Chocolate Orange. We’re predicting it will be a, er, roaring success.
Pop into Harrods and you’ll find the Nutcracker rocking an array of novel looks, from candy-cane stripes to jester-style pantaloons and head-to-toe glitter, all topped off with an impressive assortment of fluffy headwear. And if you’ve tired of a traditional Christmas, invest in the tallest statue and use as an alternative to the tree, meaning someone will always be on guard to keep an eye on the gifts below…
FRESH FROM THE GARDEN
There’s something so appealing about the natural look of the new glass Carrot decorations from Petersham Nurseries. They'll also make a lovely gift for a green-fingered friend!
It’s not just the bulbs lighting up Harrods that are set to dazzle this Christmas. The shopping icon’s Circus collection is every bit as spectacular, brimming with more shimmering, sugary-sweet decorations than you could stuff in a striped marquee. Expect carousel ornaments decked with Swarovski crystals and sequin-strewn baubles, all washed down with glittery popcorn and candyfloss decs. Taking to the stage are ringmaster, hare and elephant dolls by Alice Mary Lynch, each hand-stitched from vintage textiles and treasures.
ALL THAT GLOWS
More charming than traditional Christmas calendars and a good way to avoid excess chocolate, the Betti Advent candleholder has 24 numbered slots to let you blow out a candle for every day of Advent. We love the rustic patina of the galvanised iron finish.
SINK OR SWIM
We get the impression St Nic is feeling overstretched this year. Head to Flying Tiger Copenhagen stores and you’ll see he’s outsourced delivery duties to a host of slippery friends, including this diligent turtle. This guy is equal parts kitsch and cute, but don’t be surprised if things don’t turn up on time.
Hoping for a white Christmas? These charming Deco Snowflake paper decorations are the second best thing. Strewn around the home, they’ll capture the mood of the season.
DECK THE HALLS
Decorative garlands have been used to festoon our homes since Roman times and these pretty paper chains will make a classic addition to your decorations. Choose from three kits: Star Ribbon, Plaster Bower and Mistletoe. Happy decorating!
There’s nothing like the smug satisfaction of peering under the tree and noting that your gift contributions are the best-dressed in the pile. Schedule a dash around John Lewis & Partners and it’s an achievable feat; its Emerald collection boasts jewel-toned papers printed with lush leaves and toucans for a pretty, albeit unseasonal, tropical touch.
The place to go for ribbons, tassels and trimmings, VV Rouleaux, is a joy to visit at Christmas. A gift tied in the Striped cotton grosgrain ribbon in Vintage Blusher, Black or Pitch Blue (all shown), will stand out from the pile.
On the House: Sophie Heawood's Property Binge. This week, town houses that feel like country homes
Sophie Heawood trawls Rightmove so you don't have to. This week, she unearths houses in towns that are like a breath of country air
By Sophie Heawood •
10 ideas for small gardens on a budget - how to maximise style for minimal cost
Small gardens on a budget are still easy to make look good. Especially with these clever ways to make the most of your outdoor space without a big spend
By Sarah Wilson •
Christmas tree recycling: what are the options?
Christmas tree recycling - 7 alternatives after 12th night
By Jacky Parker •
The best storage for packing away Christmas baubles and decorations
Keep Christmas baubles, decorations and fairy lights packed away in an organised, easy to find way for next year – you can thank us later
By Lotte Brouwer •
Tour this Victorian home in south London where industrial meets decadence
This vibrant and colourful Victorian home in south London boasts a cinema in the basement...
By Livingetc •
Last minute Christmas gifts for under £50 - perfect for design lovers everywhere
Last minute Christmas gifts for that person who loves good design
By Livingetc •
Perfect poinsettias: how to look after your poinsettias to make them last all winter
All your poinsettia questions answered: keep your poinsettias alive and healthy for longer with these expert tips and advice
By Lotte Brouwer •
Fornasetti candles - fun, fragrant and festive
Fornasetti candles feature iconic designs and sensational scents
By Jacky Parker •
How to style a Christmas tree – from on-trend looks to classic styles
Dressing the Christmas tree is a tradition that marks the beginning of the festive season—and there are plenty of different ways to decorate. Read on to discover Christmas tree trends for 2020 and how to style a Christmas tree like an expert.
By Mandi Keighran •
Best glass baubles - how to do a refined Christmas in style
Our edit of the best glass baubles bring a gentle sophistication to your tree
By Alison Davidson •