I must admit, Christmas this year has crept up on me. The previous year’s promises of getting ready early this time have truly flown out of the window (this happens every year though). “It barely seems as if Halloween was yesterday, Christmas is ages away yet” but these honeyed words to myself are only my pathetic attempt at brushing the onrushing Christmas festivities under the carpet. Christmas is nearer than I think, less than 4 weeks away in fact, am I prepared? Am I hell!
Thankfully the saving grace in this day and age is the internet. Gifts can be researched and purchased in a matter of minutes and delivered within a few days and if you shop wisely, you can save yourself a lot of money and drinkstuff.com is a perfect example, a treasure trove of gifts from the quirky to the reassuringly useful. It makes a much less stressful (and let’s face it; warmer) alternative to the dreaded Supermarket, the veritable 24 hour bazaar of last minute treats filled with frantic shoppers and stressed-out mums in full-on festive frenzy mode. Besides I doubt Mum would be happy to unwrap a box of Mr Kiplings and a bag of onions on the big day.
Of course, there’s the other preparation, Christmas logistics. Where are you going for your festive fayre? Who’s coming over? Will Aunty Sue and her special dietary requirements or your Cousin David and his rag-tag feral children throw all your carefully laid plans to ruin? Probably; but at least you can be prepared in other areas to make the passing of Christmas day easier.
Getting the perfect Christmas table
By this I don’t mean going off to a branded furniture superstore and shelling out on some flat-packed coated chip-board (although if you don’t have a table you might want to consider it), I am of course talking about setting up and decorating your festive dining table.
Obviously good quality tableware is a good place to start and with a bewildering choice of patterns, shapes and styles to choose from it’s hard to settle on something for such a big occasion. To help; drinkstuff.com offer a wide selection of tableware ideas from crockery and creative tableware ranges which will hopefully give you some inspiration.
Matching ranges create a harmonious and eye-catching display without the clashing of mismatched patterns and shapes (unless that was the look you were going for? After all: “Vintage” is all the rage these days), personally as a former chef all my crockery is white, that way the food does all the work without competing against the plate for attention and there’s no chance of having mismatched crockery as everything’s the same colour, but then I am playing it a little too safe, some patterned crockery works very well depending on how you present your food.
If you're looking to jazz up your table, little touches like Napkins, Napkin Rings, Place Mats, Glassware and quality Cutlery make the difference between an average table and an amazing table. There are truckloads of Christmas centrepiece ideas online from the austere to the magnificent. I’ve compiled a selection of the best and most inspiring ideas here.
Raise your glass
I briefly mentioned Glassware earlier, I can’t reiterate enough that quality glassware makes all the difference, as well as having the right glass for the drink. Countless times have I raided the cupboard for glasses for a toast, resulting in the moment being soured as guests cheer with Champagne cantered in a “Keep Calm and Drink Tea” mug, not a scenario I’d want to repeat! Especially on Christmas Day!
If you're looking for Glassware, drinkstuff.com is most certainly your friend. There’s an astounding range of glasses in all shapes, sizes and colours to suit any occasion and budget from Champagne Flutes, Wine Glasses, Tumblers, Hiballs and more. For Christmas there are beautiful hand crafted ranges from LSA, especially their Moya, Polka and Bar lines which include some wonderful boxed glassware items that really are something special, even worthy of being gifts themselves.
Also take a peek at restaurant favourites; Durobor who produce a wide range of sturdy glassware in various shapes and sizes with some very contemporary lines available including their top selling Alternato and Cancun glasses. Don’t miss other wonderful ranges from Libbey, Arcoroc and Artis to name but a few, who offer some amazing quality glassware. Have a browse through the full selection of glassware lines here for some inspiration.
When it comes to Christmas drinks, your creativity is your only limit. Whether it’s a simple glass of Champagne, a round of festive cocktails or some speciality hot mochas, there’s plenty of ideas compiled online here.
So with the advanced preparation and general online procrastination all done you can now relax. The heat has been taken off you with the Christmas prep. Of course there’s still the food shop and the organising to do, but that’s the easy bit!