How To SLEIGH, all day every day this Festive Season
With Christmas and New Years quickly approaching, I wanted to share some tips for SLEIGHing this holiday. It'll be my first December in London, and my first without the majority of my family. Luckily I've got a few relatives flying in on the 24th for both Christmas and New Years, so we can dispense with the Blue Christmas sadness. In addition to coordinating the delivery of gifts overseas and working a 9-5 job, I'll also be cooking a *few* meals. This year, yours truly will be hosting both Christmas Eve dinner and Christmas Day and throwing an intimate fete on New Year's Eve...it's fair to say I'll be a bit busy.
The thought of juggling a few menus, a party and a full-time job means I spent the greater part of the weekend doing what I do best ... making lists. Here I'm sharing some of what I've come up with so far. With stress at an all-time high this time of year - there is little room for error or delay. Read on to find out how I'll be shaking up traditions this year, and keeping my cool whilst doing it.
Last year I shared my "Christmas In a Cup" cocktail recipe and I thought, why mess with a good thing? Gin + anything works just fine for me and with the Refresh service from Nestle, you can have all your favourite soft drinks delivered right to your door.
For New Year's bubbles are an absolute must! As I ring in 2017, I'll be adding gold flakes and raspberry compote to champagne flutes for an elevated take on the requisite champagne toast. After all, they say the way you spend New Year's is how you'll spend the rest of the year, and I plan to spend 2017 prosperous! What better way to nod to prosperity than sipping champagne dusted with real gold flakes surrounded by family and friends?
Planning my menu far in advance means I was able to take advantage of delivery slots this week from my favourite grocers. I'm looking forward to waking up on Christmas Eve with fresh turkey and fish delivered, (hopefully not down my chimney!). I'll be trying out a few new recipes which can you see on my Pinterest, page, and sticking to some family favourites. I've already called in my aunt's "secret family stuffing recipe" ... scroll down to download your own copy. Kidding, of course, I'm under strict instructions to guard it with my life!
Last year I spent the month of December in Canada, during the days while my friends and family were at work I had plenty of time to tackle shopping lists and even handpaint my own wrapping paper. This year a lots changed, I'll be shipping most of my gifts abroad so I'm relying on brands like MR PORTER, ASOS and Amazon for delivery guarantees and speedy service. The bonus for gifts that aren't leaving the UK, (mostly gifts for myself) is that I can take advantage of MR. PORTER's same day London delivery and ASOS' next day delivery in the UK.
One holiday tip I read over on MR PORTER's edit, is that a tree in the city just looks sad.
"A tree in town always looks a bit like a dead man in the corner. They don’t look happy." - Mr, Mark Francis Vandelli
Taking note of Mr. Francis-Vandelli's advice and skipping on the charlie brown tree in favour of excess candles and fresh garlands and wreaths, will not only save the hassle of a pine needle cleanup. It'll leave more room in my house for the inevitable NYE gatecrashers.
I've booked a cleaner for before and after all the major hosting days, so that's one less thing to worry about! I've started using Hassle.com, which is like the Uber of cleaning services. Available throughout the world, you can use my promo code fmlk28 to save £15 off your visit clean!
Last but certainly not least... is what to wear? I take holiday dressing less seriously than I do say, vacation dressing (no moodboards or pre-planning this december!). While you certainly won't see me donning an ugly christmas sweater, twinkle lights or a Santa hat - I will be sporting a surplus of checks, plaids and gingham in Christmas-y colours. I'll be missing 80% of my family but the added pomp of a red and green check will help add that festive feeling! Try out some tartans and checks for yourself