Carols Christmas cards, littlegreypress
Usually, I’m much more organised about writing Christmas cards and would have had them all posted off by now, but I’m running a little behind this year and have only just started thinking about writing some. Each year, I like to choose just a few cards that are a little more special for close friends and family. This year, I’m rather tempted by these lovely handprinted cards available on Etsy. - Miranda
One of the Old Fashioned Girls’ favourite artists, Emily Sutton, has illustrated a lovely compendium of Christmas stories published by Virago. Inside are stories by plenty of middlebrow favourites, such as Nancy Mitford and Stella Gibbons. I think I might just treat myself to help me get into the Christmas spirit! – Rachel
At the moment I’m feeling a little sorry for myself as I’m struggling with a nasty chest infection. Helping to keep my spirits up, though, is reading this delightful collection of Christmas stories by L.M. Montgomery. I adore all the Anne books, and, as a child, I also loved the TV series. Watching the clip at the bottom of this page made me feel very nostalgic (or maybe it’s just all the medication….). - Miranda
I love this video. I watch it every year. If only my neighbours could take note; instead of a classy timed-to-amazing-music display to enjoy, I have a cuddly Rudolph on steroids flashing into my window from the roof opposite all night long. Brilliant. – Rachel
As Rachel has picked her perfect party dress for the season, I thought I’d share my own choice. I must admit, I love a bit of sparkle this time of year, and this dress is my number one choice for New Year’s Eve. I adore the 1920s inspired cut. - Miranda
I went to my school’s Christmas Concert last night, in a very atmospheric Victorian chapel, which has put me in a festive mood. I can’t wait to curl up this weekend and watch my all time favourite Christmas film; Home Alone, of course. What are your festive favourites? – Rachel
The Life and Soul Gift Set, £22
I adore the beautiful and quirky travel guides and stationery from Herb Lester Associates. The gift sets are lovely, or you can buy each item individually. The website is full of brilliant ideas for gifts for your travel hungry friends. I’m pretty tempted to the New York Burger Map and Writing London myself…. - Miranda
Image credit – http://www.justlaine.com
If I were the type to make my own christmas decorations, this is what I’d make. Narnia in a jar! What’s not to love? - Rachel
With the start of December, the Christmas countdown has well and truly begun. As well as festive-fueled joy, this thought can strike panic in the hearts of many (mine included). Juggling all the Christmas parties, Secret Santa shopping (what on earth are you supposed to get for £5 these days?!), gift buying, decorating and cooking is challenging to say the least. If, like me, you approach department stores this time of year with mortal dread and are a bit stuck as to gift ideas, then I hope you find these suggestions for edible homemade gifts useful. I’m always surprised by how thrilled people are to get something home made, and it’s amazing how far a mason jar and some ribbon can go in prettifying your efforts. Here are my favourite ideas for treats to include in a homemade Christmas hamper (or for great stocking fillers):
1. Parmesan shortbreads. Very yummy, highly addictive and extremely easy to make.
2. Chocolate bark. You can really play around with the toppings for this. White chocolate with cranberries and pistachio nuts looks so festive.
3. Christmas chutney. Great to use with leftover cold meats.
4. Granola. Provides a bit of a healthy counter balance to all the Christmas food and drink.
5. Roasted rosemary nuts. These are great for your Grandfather / Uncle / Father for whom you cannot possibly buy socks again.
I’m thankful for living within spitting distance of London’s theatreland, which is always full of exciting shows to look forward to. I can’t wait to see the stage version of Shakespeare in Love, coming to London next summer; I can imagine just how fabulous it will be! Priority booking is open now! – Rachel