Tag Archive: 2016

  1. Festive on BBC News

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    bbc3End of November 2016, BBC News journalist, Elise Wicker, came to Festive Productions and cheerfully discovered our tinsel factory. There, she had the opportunity to meet our tinsel expert, Jason Poulsom, who explained her how the shiny must-have is made.

    Elise found out that our high-quality tinsel is made from metallised PVC. Imported from China, the special and twinkling material, coming in 128 different colours, is cut into thin bands before getting attached to a sturdy wire thanks to our state-of-the-art machines, working similarly as candy-floss makers. Each tinsel piece measures 24 metres and their thickness varies between 25mm and 250mm.

    bbc4Festive Productions is the largest tinsel manufacturer in the UK with an average of 12.5 million of metres produced per year.

    Elise also learnt that tinsel does not travel well from abroad. Therefore, making tinsel in Britain guarantees higher quality. Indeed, besides being environmentally-friendly, tinsel made in the UK is less likely to flatten or get damaged as it is not shipped in hot containers.

    bbc5In BBC short-video, slow motion images wonderfully reveal the mesmerising aspect of our sparkly and colourful tinsel.

    Here is the full video.

     

  2. 15 Christmas dilemmas solved

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    Christmas is just around the corner. Whilst you are finishing essential preparations, you know you are not protected from any unforeseen event. Above all, do not get overwhelmed. For each issue, there is a solution.

    img_9951You do not know what present to get for one of your family members/friends. Getting presents can be extremely easy if you apply the following rule. When buying a gift, try to get something the person either wants, needs, can read, or can wear.

    Your fridge is already full. There is no space for any extra food. A full fridge might mean you have got enough to feed everybody on Christmas day. But if you are really missing food, then it could be a good idea to take some vegetables out of your fridge. Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts will be fine left on your kitchen counter.

    Your train/flight home is cancelled due to weather conditions/strikes. Worrying will not change anything to this unfortunate situation. Try to get the next train/flight without spending any money, and make sure to get reimbursed by the transport company. Do not forget to call your relatives to warn them of your delay. And most important, get yourself busy when waiting for the following journey. You could buy last-minute presents, start a new book, or watch a film on your electronic devices.

    You have no idea how to dress for the Christmas party. Sophisticated? Casual? You just cannot decide as no indication was given by the hosts. Your safest bet is to go for a casual chic look. But relax. There is no rule on Christmas day. As long as you feel comfortable in your clothes, it is the most important. So get your Christmas jumper out or your glittering outfit and wear it with pride.

    img_0047Someone is coming to your Christmas party at the last minute and you have no present to give this person. Many alternatives exist. You can get a bottle of wine or sweet treats at your local shops. If you cannot go there, be creative and make presents on your own. In case you really cannot make it, a Christmas card will do. After all, this person’s presence was not planned.

    You have ordered a present which will arrive after Christmas day. Think about printing out an image of the gift you bought and give it to the recipient with an accompanying note explaining the present will be hers/his very soon. Keep tracking the order and once you get the present, do not forget to give it to the person it belongs to.

    Some family members are no longer coming to your Christmas party. Their non-participation does not necessarily mean that Christmas is cancelled. Try to look at the positive side of the situation. You will have plenty of food and drinks. There will be no shortage, so no stress. You might even spend less time in the kitchen as you will have less people to feed, which means more fun for you.

     You forgot/burnt the turkey.  This is the occasion to go vegetarian. Get all the vegetables you have out of your fridge and concoct small snacks for your guests. For the main dish, you can make pastry with vegetables and cheese.

    You forgot about someone’s special diet/allergy/intolerance. You can only apologise and adapt your meal. Open your fridge and see what you can come up with. Ask your guests if they will be happy with your new preparation. They might even help you or give you some useful pieces of advice.

    The Christmas party is boring. If you are the host, change your initial plans. Turn some cheery music on and suggest some games to play. Do not hesitate to ask your guests what they would like to do. If you are the guest, resist the temptation to go on your phone. Instead try to make conversation with people around you and ask if you can help. Getting busy kills boredom.

    img_0027You cannot decide what Christmas programme to watch on TV. What about turning the TV off during Christmas day? Christmas is meant to be cheerfully spent in family. So avoid the traditional argument about what’s on TV and play games instead.

    The presents you have received are disappointing. Just pretend you like them. Thank people with a smile, and remember it is the intention that counts. You will be able to exchange your presents later. You can even give them to other people or sell them online.

    You have no batteries for your children’s toys. Although, they are likely to be disappointed with this inconvenience, it is possible to keep them happy by playing board games, or watching their favourite film. All children want is to spend time with their parents. You will have time to buy batteries after Christmas day.

    Your guests have decided to stay over, but you do not have enough space for them. Be an exceptional host and give your bedroom to your guests. You can have the sofa, or the mattress for 1 or 2 nights. Make your guests feel welcome by giving them fresh towels and some space to put their luggage.

    You have no idea what to do with your leftovers. You can use your vegetables to make a soup. This healthy dish might be perfect after days of heavy eating. If you still have meat, think about making a pie, or pastries. You can also use it in sandwiches.

  3. How to decorate your entrance

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    8

    designmag.fr / decorationlove.com

    The entrance to your home, comprising your front door, patio and hallway, is the first thing your guests will see when coming over for Christmas. It is therefore important to make an excellent impression. Not only should your entrance feel welcoming, it should also get your guests into a festive mood.

    General ideas

    Outdoor entrance

    Start with your front door. Whilst hanging wreaths or teardrops will give a fabulous and delightful look to your door, stockings, signs, or tinsel will add an original touch to your entrance. Do not forget to adorn your windows and the external sills with ribbons or garlands. Your patio can be embellished with refreshing plant pots, gleaming lanterns, or small trees.

    Indoor entrance

    Hallways are often disregarded as places where coats and shoes are carelessly dumped. Before decorating, clean your hall. You can remove your junk mail, out-of-season shoes, coats, and old magazines. This initiative will create space for your guests, and will make them feel more comfortable. After, getting rid of all your useless items, focus on decorating your pieces of furniture, such as your console table, bench, coat rack, and mirror. Remember to ornament your stairway case with garlands if present in your entrance.

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    JohnLewis.com / lights4fun.co.uk

    Themes

    It is essential to think about your overall Christmas design. If you have already decorated your tree, try to keep the same theme to show you have thought about your entire décor with fabulous coherence.

    The festive season is marked by many different themes. You can reinforce the traditional spirit of Christmas by favouring classical colours like red and green, amusing signs, and Christmas symbols such as mistletoe. Your Christmas design can also be glamourous and royal with gold and glittering decorations, leaf garlands, and candelabras. You can also bring elegance to your entrance by choosing silver ornaments and sophisticated reindeers. A romantic touch can be added to your home with luxurious floral decorations, such as red poinsettias and berries. Place nature at the core of your entryway by choosing greenery, animal figurines, plants, and wooden ornaments. You can create a Scandinavian realm by decorating your entrance with white stars, twinkling lanterns and frosted garlands. Immerse your entrance into the polar world by using blue, white, and iridescent snowflakes, stars, penguins, and bears.

    Traditional Spirit

    Jolly Santas, gleeful reindeers, and delightful plaques are perfect to bring a festive cheer to your home entrance. You can reinforce the traditional essence of Christmas by using red and green decorations.

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    1. 165cm standing reindeer (P007788)

    2. 69cm tree shape wall sticker with Christmas words (P007387)

    3. 38cm 2 asstd hat signs (P008842)

    4. 45cm bo musical Santa with violin (P003868)

    5. 40cm wooden frame sign with glitter (P007727)

    6. 180cm dancing musical Santa (P008606)

    7. 69cm bo Xmas sign with led lights (P006133)

    8. 60cm red ball wreath (P002714)

    9. 59cm x 36cm triple hanging sign (795987)

    10. 28cm lit dolomite train with music (P006680)

    11. 52.5cm Santa Stockings (P000316)

    12. 90cm red/white wooden garland (788880)

    13. 31cm dolomite Santa / sleigh with lights and music (P006676)

    14. 32cm metal tree with HO HO HO and Merry Christmas (P007529)

    15. 60cm lit sledge – reindeer (P008492)

    16. 87.5cm 3 asstd super value stockings (130412)

    17. 180cm red ball garland (P002715)

    Royal Christmas

    Create a world of refinement and glamour by favouring twinkling golden ornaments. Add sophistication to your entrance with majestic reindeers, elegant candle holders, and garlands made of superb leaves.

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    1. 180cm glittered juniper garland – gold (P002241)

    2. display:36 x set/3 square gift (NW59750WG)

    3. 15cm metal starburst ornament – rose gold (P007467)

    4. 45.5cm wire and glittered string Christmas tree (P007707)

    5. 22.5cm polyresin standing reindeer – copper colour (P007037)

    6. 15cm porcelain angular vase – copper (P006738)

    7. 70cm glitter mistletoe tree – gold (689729)

    8. 180cm gold glitter holly garland with gold berries (P000840)

    9. 35cm copper ivy wreath (P008541)

    10. 120cm gold glitter twig look tree in pot (256686)

    11. 9cm gold wooden noel letters (709342)

    12. 18cm gold ribbed effect candle votive (252688)

    13. 30cm gold glittered metal table top tree (109463)

    14. 60cm gold 5 point star (P007785)

    15. 180cm gold glitter grape leaf garland (K401841G)

    Elegant Celebrations

    Candelabras, reindeers, and jewel drops will definitely embellish your entrance with grace and elegance. Choose silver and white decorations to emphasize the delicacy of your décor.

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    1. 180cm silver sparkle holly garland (254897)

    2. 25cm acrylic icicle ornament (P007452)

    3. 18cm frosted twig wreath (P000810)

    4. 41cm polyresin cream and glitter Christmas tree (P007015)

    5. 25.5cm 2 asstd Santa – silver (P000606)

    6. 37.5cm acorn design candle holder (P000665)

    7. 15cm white reindeer head candle holder (711710)

    8. 15.3cm acrylic droplet (P007454)

    9. 40cm silver felt stocking with snowflake embroidery (P007606)

    10. 180cm silver glitter white ash garland (G401540S)

    11. 49cm metal heart card holder – silver (247233)

    12. 22cm set of 2 silver deer (688876)

    13. 37.5cm silver merry Christmas tea light holder (800629)

    14. 18cm silver/clear jewel tier droplet (262595)

    15. 50cm white stocking with white trim (P007863)

    Festive Romance

    Sprinkle romantic feels by decorating your entrance with stunning poinsettias and delightful red berries. You can complete your lovely décor with heart-shaped ornaments.

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    1. 7.5cm glittered red poinsettia candle ring (125579)

    2. 47cm red and tartan stocking with reindeer design (P007831)

    3. 26cm red poinsettias in pot (P004412)

    4. 33cm red velvet poinsettia wreath (P008583)

    5. 1.8m poinsettia garland (P000704)

    6. 30cm table centre piece in red berry (157822)

    7. 35cm berry heart wreath (802593)

    8. 1.80m (6ft) garland w/holly & berries (NYB11103)

    9. 70cm pine and red poinsettia teardrop (P006437)

    10. 60cm mixed berry wreath (P006431)

    11. 180cm two tone green pine garland – traditional (124640)

    12. 60cm red centre piece (P002726)

    13. twin pack 13cm poinsettia candle rings (805037)

    14. 180cm berry garland (P008578)

    15. twin pack of 7.5cm candle ring burgundy poinsettia (158027)

    16. 30cm 2 asstd gold wire tree and star (171446)

    17. Red berry hanging teadrop (P002723)

    Rustic Noel

    Turn your entrance into an adorable woodland realm by using decorations made of wood. Favour animals (reindeers, owls, foxes, and squirrels), pines, and small trees.

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    1. 15cm lying natural brown fox (P006589)

    2. 38cm woodland standing Santa (P008181)

    3. 25cm wooden Christmas tree (P007741)

    4. 40cm pine, cone and berry wreath (P000548)

    5. 55cm brown fur stocking (P007429)

    6. 34.5 X 25.5cm wood reindeer head (P000796)

    7. 28cm lit wooden star with reindeer scene (P008498)

    8. 35cm wood look cut out tree (688951)

    9. 1.20m natural tree garland (N979362)

    10. 40cm holly leaf rattan wreath (P000723)

    11. 90cm natural deer antler spray (P008557)

    12. 40.5cm polyresin large antler ornament – natural (P007029)

    13. 63cm burlap pine tree (P008561)

    14. 58cm bo lit rustic tree with timer function (P006548)

    15. 25cm rustic noel owl (P008214)

    16. 38.1cm rattan hanging basket with lights (P007416)

    17. 14cm x 21cm bo lit picture – winter scenes (P008849)

    Nordic Winter

    Frosted wreaths, shiny lanterns, and wooden stars are amazing decorative items to produce a Scandinavian world. Do not hesitate to add some splash of red in your Nordic décor.

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    1. 35cm silver cone wreath with white berries (684762)

    2. 55cm Christmas stockings (P007844)

    3. 40cm folding white paper snowflake (P008601)

    4. 60cm snowflocked berry, cone tree (255290)

    5. 180cm red berry and cone garland (P002717)

    6. 21.5cm table top ceramic star with led lights (P007407)

    7. 16cm 4 asstd wooden letters – X M A S (P002520)

    8. 29.5cm resin Santa decoration (P007017)

    9. 33cm snow pine wreath (P008559)

    10. 41cm Nordic red metal tree (688791)

    11. 24cm lit reindeer lantern (P008494)

    12. 53cm 2 asstd lit reindeer with words (P008493)

    13. 55cm grey, red and white stocking with snowflake (P007830)

    14. 63cm burlap snow pine tree (P008547)

    15. 180cm berry and cone white garland (P002709)

    16. 39cm pinecone rectangular container (P000337)

    17. 28cm bo whitewashed lit star with deer design (P006550)

    Polar Yule

    Penguins, polar bears, snowmen, and snowflakes will help you create a winter wonderland scenery in your entrance. Icy lights and holographic decorations are also perfect to represent the atmosphere in the pole hemispheres.

    7

    1. 140 led chasing window light star (695577)

    2. 20cm silver / white wooden NOEL text table piece (P004153)

    3. 40cm 6 point holographic star (P006980)

    4. 30cm holographic honeycomb ball (P004169)

    5. 274cm holographic garland (P006978)

    6. 31cm flocked penguin – grey and white (P004107)

    7. 30cm led white berry wreath (P006610)

    8. 90cm white walking bear (P000409)

    9. 16cm lit porcelain snowman (P006843)

    10. 84cm 3 asstd long leg standing snowman (ND210083)

    11. “26.6cm “”LET IT SNOW”” hanging sign with glitter” (P007618)

    12. 25cm 3 asstd clear acrylic snowman (634422)

    13. 88cm white standing bear (P000411)

    14. 26cm geometric white penguin (P008827)

    15. 50cm 3d digital star (806522)

  4. Christmas Symbols: origins and meaning

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    They are everywhere during the festive season! Christmas symbols, such as candy canes, poinsettias, and wreaths, invade the public and private spheres every December. Despite their omnipresence, their origins and meaning remain unknown from Christmas aficionados.

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    8.5cm gold glittered double church – 261031 / 2 pcs x 15cm twin shiny finish hanging – ERD/1

    Bells

    Bells have always occupied a central part in many cultures. Generally speaking, bells are rung to announce important events, both cheery and tragic. In ancient times, bells were thought to chase mischievous spirits. They were also used to get people together in order to pray or celebrate.

    Today, in most countries, church and altar bells are played at midnight as Christians believe Jesus Christ was born at this precise time. Bells have also become popular decorative items believed to protect households.

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    13cm berry and cone candle ring – P001159 / 24cm 2 asstd pheasant candle hold – P000700

    Candles

    It is unknown how candles and Christmas became associated with each other. Candles were used during ancient Winter Solstice celebrations as reminders of spring’s comeback. Also, papers of wax were offered to Saturn.

    During the Middle Ages, a large candle was left shining on Christmas day to represent the light emanating from the star of Bethlehem.

    During the Victorian times, candles were used to decorate Christmas trees. They were soon replaced with electric lights to reduce fire hazards.

    In modern days, Christians have been putting candles beside their windows hoping the bright light would guide Jesus Christ into their home.

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    13cm bell candy cane – P007640 / 40cm sleigh bell candy cane decoration – 176496

    Candy Canes

    According to the legend, in 1670, a German choirmaster wanted children to remain silent through Christmas nativity services. So, he gave them cane-shaped sweets to keep them quiet. The candy’s form was thought to symbolise the crook carried by the shepherds who visited baby Jesus.

    Although delightful, this story is likely to be untrue, as candy canes first appeared in Germany about 250 years ago. The sweets were simple white sugar sticks.

    In early 20th century, the sweets, which acquired their cane shape throughout the years, started being adorned with red stripes flavoured with peppermint. Candy canes became extremely popular in the 1950s after the McCormack family commercialised the sweets in the US.

    Nowadays, candy canes are now believed to represent the ‘J’ in ‘Jesus.’ And whilst white is associated with the Christ’s purity, red is considered as the blood poured when he died on the cross.

    7

    17cm traditional holly & red berry pick – 805372 / 11.3cm silk screened holly pick – 125944

    Holly

    Sprigs of holly have been used as winter decorations since ancient times as they would remind people of spring coming back soon. In a general manner, holly used to be worn by druids who believed it had magical powers due to its leaves remaining green all year long.

    Holly sprigs were also hung on Christians’ homes during the Roman pagan festival of Saturnalia. This habit would help them avoid prosecution. Holly rapidly became the symbol of Christmas as the number of Christians rose dramatically.

    Holly is now thought to have set the basic colours of Christmas (green and red). Moreover, Holly green leaves remind us of the crown of thorns worn by Jesus when he was crucified. Red berries represent the drops of blood shed by Jesus because of the thorns.

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    35cm mistletoe bunch – P014434 / 58cm 2 asstd mistletoe spray – P014444

    Mistletoe

    This parasitic plant growing on willow, apple and oak trees were first used by druids for its healing powers. The pagan priests used to cut mistletoe from oak trees and divide them into sprigs. They would use the plant to protect themselves from evil spirits. Also, druids had decided that enemies passing under mistletoe had to go through truce the next day. Due to this belief, mistletoe became a symbol of peace.

    The kissing tradition comes from England in the 16th century. Originally, you had to pick a berry before anyone could kiss you. And, if all the berries were gone, there would be no kissing at all.

    Mistletoe is now believed to bring good luck in life. Also, mistletoe wood is thought to have been utilised to make Jesus’ crucifixion cross.

    4

    80cm silver velvet poinsettia – M854034/S / 57cm metallic red poinsettia with sequins – P006386

    Poinsettias

    Poinsettias come from Central America, and more precisely, Southern Mexico. According to the popular tale, a poor Mexican girl, named Pepita, decided to attend the Christmas Eve service in her Church. Deprived of money, she had no present to leave next to the nativity scene and felt quite ashamed. Her cousin, Pedro, reassured her by telling her that even the smallest present ever would make Jesus happy. Pepita, feeling a bit better, decided to make a small bouquet with weeds she picked from the roadside. Pepita walked to the altar and offered her present to baby Jesus. After kneeling down and putting her bouquet near the nativity scene, the weeds started bursting into luxurious red flowers. Her weeds became wonderful poinsettias. This event was qualified as a true miracle.

    From that day on, poinsettias are known as ‘Flowers of the Holy Night.’ Poinsettias are also believed to represent the star of Bethlehem which guided the wise men to baby Jesus.

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    30cm bronze metal star – P002524 / 11cm red glitter star ornament – P007481

    Stars

    On Christmas Eve, the wise men noticed a bright and immense star in the dark sky. Possessing deep knowledge in astronomy, the three kings immediately understood something important was happening. So they decided to follow the star, known as the Star of Bethlehem. This astral sign brought them to baby Jesus Christ.

    Even if nobody can say what really occurred that night, it is believed the star was the result of a conjunction of planets in the sky.

    Now, stars are must-have during Christmas. They signify high hopes and ideals.

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    40cm snowberry wreath – P000712 / 60cm mixed berry wreath – P006431

    Wreaths

    In ancient Rome and Greece, wreaths, often made of laurels, were considered as victory signs.

    Advent wreaths arose with pre-Christian Germanic peoples who used to gather wreaths to express their hope for the coming spring. These traditional wreaths were evergreens decorated with 4 candles (3 violet and 1 rose) and 1 candle in the middle. Each week, a candle was lit. The fifth candle was lit on Christmas Eve.

    Nowadays, wreaths, mainly used as decorations, represent immortality.

  5. How to decorate a mantelpiece

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    9Your fireplace mantel is a central spot in your house. Often used as a background for joyful family pictures, your mantelpiece will make a huge difference if beautifully decorated.

    Rules

    Before decorating your fireplace mantel, remove anything on and around it. Emptying your mantel will allow you to have a clearer vision of what you can do. Start by evaluating the unique characteristics of your mantel. Look attentively at its colours and shape as these features will help you in your design mission.

    Try to take the overall style of your living room into account. And, do not forget the rest of your décor. Matching your mantel to your Christmas tree will dramatically reinforce your decorating theme.

    It is essential to choose a theme. In general, 4 main themes can be distinguished.

    Merry Spirit focuses on the traditional and cheery aspects of Christmas. Therefore, this theme would require red and green ornaments, Santa decorations, jingle bells, and gleeful signs.

    If refinement is your byword, then Winter Chic appears to be the perfect theme with its gold, copper, and silver candle holders and reindeers.

    The third theme is Christmas Gardens which places nature at its core. Whilst you can choose to go with the rustic version by favouring wooden decorations, pine cones, and woodland animals, the romantic variant is often composed of red berries and poinsettias.

    Finally, Polar Festivities will suit you if you like Nordic Santa, penguins and snowflakes.

    When you decorate your mantel, focus on 3 key parts: above, on, and below the piece. Whilst you might want to hang wreaths or signs on the wall above, you can place garlands, candle holders, flowers, figurines, or lights on your mantel. Do not forget to hang your stockings underneath your mantel. Make sure they match your décor.

    Think about safety. Avoid placing heavy and unstable elements on your mantel as they could fall down and hurt anyone passing by, especially the little ones. It is also important to keep inflammable items away from your fire.

    Merry Spirit

    Bring a festive cheer to your fireplace mantel by adding jolly Santas, amusing signs, gleeful buntings, and musical bells.

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    1. 21cm lit sitting Santa (P004525)

    2. 30cm 2 asstd red metal Christmas signs (P007721)

    3. 32cm believe decoration (P008187)

    4. 39cm red felt stocking with christmas pudding (P008698)

    5. 180cm red ball garland (P002715)

    6. 59cm x 36cm triple hanging sign (795987)

    7. 27.5cm lit Santa with music (P006684)

    8. 31cm dolomite Santa / sleigh with lights and music (P006676)

    9. 38cm red Christmas sign (P007745)

    10. 39cm red felt stocking with holly design (P007339)

    11. 45cm sitting Traditional Santa (P008342)

    12. 40cm x 40cm merry christmas sign (795956)

    13. 15.3cm sitting antique finish santa (170951)

    14. 32cm metal tree with HO HO HO and Merry Christmas (P007529)


    2

    15. 28cm lit Santa and tree (P004523)

    16. 19cm 2 asstd plush stocking shape decoration (P007679)

    17. 50cm red/green merry xmas sign (808243)

    18. 44cm 2 asstd sitting santa and snowman (P007823)

    19. 52.5cm Santa Stockings (P000316)

    20. 25cm 2 asstd wicker wreath – Santa / snowman head (116973)

    21. 10cm x 1.5cm 3 asstd jingle bell wreath (117161)

    22. 18cm 2 asstd bo snowing musical lantern (P006363)

    23. 90cm red/white wooden garland (788880)

    24. 23cm 2 asst red and green table top tree (248711)

    25. 16.5cm 3 asstd candle holder – red / green (P000702)

    26. 10cm brights jingle bell tree trim (256112)

    27. 7cm 2 asstd gift parcel snowglobe (787128)

    Winter Chic

    Create a glamourous and elegant realm by using golden, copper, and/or silver decorations, such as majestic reindeers, wonderful candle holders, and graceful plaques.

    1

    1. 17cm porcelain star – gold (P006706)

    2. 35cm copper ivy wreath (P008541)

    3. 18.8cm Merry Christmas hanging ornament – gold (P007495)

    4. 30cm gold glittered metal table top tree (109463)

    5. 50cm white stockng with white trim (P007863)

    6. 8.5cm 3 asstd gold table top snowglobe (788989)

    7. 9cm gold wooden noel letters (709342)

    8. 180cm copper ivy garland (P008540)

    9. 20cm porcelain tree – gold (P006712)

    10. 24cm 2 asstd pheasant candle holder – gold (P000700)

    11. 35.5cm potted tree decoration – gold (P000699)

    12. 180cm golden glitter holly berry garland (254781)

    13. 28cm lit porcelain Santa – gold (P006722)

    14. 40cm metal chunky cone shape tree with led lights (P007545)


    2

    15. 40cm silver felt stocking with snowflake emboidery (P007606)

    16. 22.5cm polyresin standing reindeer – copper colour (P007037)

    17. 49cm metal heart card holder – silver (247233)

    18. 22cm set of 2 silver deer (688876)

    19. 30cm luxury spiral sleigh bell tree-silver (176373)

    20. 37.5cm silver merry christmas tea light holder (800629)

    21. 200cm gold pearl bead garland (709922)

    22. 16cm 3 asstd approx silver glittered (236565)

    23. 23cm 2 asstd standing santa with decoration (797714)

    24. 31.5cm reindeer style sleigh – champagne (P000664)

    25. 13cm metal plated flat word – silver (P006662)

    26. 180cm silver glitter holly garland – white berries (P000839)

    27. 31.5cm silver glitter standing reindeer (P007441)

    28. 25cm cone tree with glitter and sequin (P007604)

    Christmas Gardens

    Give your mantelpiece a natural and refreshing look by choosing flowers, red berries, pine cones, and adorable forest animals.

    1

    1. 180cm mixed berry garland (P006432)

    2. 8cm glass wood effect tea light holder – reindeer (P007427)

    3. 47cm red and tartan stocking with reindeer design (P007831)

    4. 11cm red candle holder with holly design (P007165)

    5. 35cm berry heart wreath (802593)

    6. 13.5cm owl in glass jar (P000672)

    7. 25cm 2 asstd gold polyresin reindeer (117864)

    8. 180cm two tone green pine garland – traditional (124640)

    9. 40cm red felt stocking with tree embroidery (P007605)

    10. 45cm berry wreath (P008577)

    11. 27cm brown standing table top reindeer (P007556)

    12. 34cm wood effect candle stick (P008191)

    13. 33cm red velvet poinsettia wreath (P008583)

    14. 12cm twig tealight holder w/leaf & berry (N979352)


    2

    15. 27cm moose wreath (P003918)

    16. 22cm bo lit reindeer star with timer (P006955)

    17. 34.5 X 25.5cm wood reindeer head (P000796)

    18. 15cm standing brown bristle squirrel (684977)

    19. 180cm cinnamon and cone garland (P002711)

    20. 30cm red berry pine cone wreath (P006586)

    21. 29cm standing deer with pine cone body (P000558)

    22. 25cm rustic noel owl (P008214)

    23. 53cm brown fabric stocking with fur trim (P007430)

    24. 21cm woodland owl (P008208)

    25. 52cm brown and cream patterned stockings (P007828)

    26. 15cm lying natural brown fox (P006589)

    27. 30cm bo lit reindeer tree with timer (P006958)

    28. 180cm berry and cone green garland (P002699)

    Polar Festivities

    Produce a winter wonderland scenery by favouring Nordic Santas, frosted garlands, white and clear figurines, as well as penguins and polar bears.

    1

    1. 40cm nordic Christmas tree (P008194)

    2. 60cm berry and cone white wreath (P002708)

    3. 55cm christmas stockings (P007844)

    4. 32cm white willow hanging heart wreath (712557)

    5. 17cm porcelain star – white (P006707)

    6. 14.8cm table top ceramic star with led lights (P007408)

    7. 70cm 2 asstd sitting grey and white gonk (P007813)

    8. 160cm snow pine garland (P008586)

    9. 8cm 3 asstd snowflake candle holder – white (P000640)

    10. 33cm snow pine wreath (P008559)

    11. 28cm lit porcelain Santa – white (P006723)

    12. 50cm grey stocking with button detail (P007866)

    13. 16cm lit porcelain snowman (P006843)

    14. 180cm berry and cone white garland (P002709)


    2

    15. “26.6cm “”LET IT SNOW”” hanging sign with glitter” (P007618)

    16. 12cm standing penguin – grey (P001138)

    17. 20cm silver / white wooden NOEL text table piece (P004153)

    18. 13cm/15cm 2 asstd polar bear tree trim (122165)

    19. 17cm x 56cm shiny steel/glass lantern (NQ410622)

    20. 53cm red knitted snowflake pattern stocking (P007582)

    21. 370cm holographic spin garland (P006979)

    22. 22cm white ceramic reindeer lying down (P007394)

    23. 25cm 3 asstd clear acrylic snowman (634422)

    24. 119cm snowflake garland – blue (P007623)

    25. 2 asstd 15cm acrylic penguin (177349)

    26. 30cm white walking bear (P000413)

    27. 19cm geometric white penguin (P008830)

    28. 19cm tabletop snowman (P007859)

  6. How to save money this Christmas

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    Not only is Christmas the most enchanting moment in the year, the festive season is also a moment during which money is being significantly spent. Indeed, last year, British households spent around £800 on Christmas. Between presents, food and drinks, it is easy to consume more than expected.

    The first piece of advice would be to save money at least 3 months before Christmas. If you put £200 aside a month from September, you will save £600 for your Christmas shopping. Planning your finances ahead will therefore make preparations less stressful and you will be able to keep a great fraction of your December salary.

    img_0047Christmas presents

    Whilst gifts are central to Christmas celebrations, they can be quite costly. Here are some tips to limit your spending.

    The key is to plan ahead. Set an overall budget. List the people you are willing to buy presents for. Favour your immediate family, then your closest friends. Your extended relatives and friends will not resent you if you do not get anything for them. Associate each name with a particular gift and the maximum amount you want to spend over this person. Take your list with you when you go shopping and write down the price you end up paying for each present. So if you spend more than planned for a family member, you can choose to reduce the initial budget of another person’s present on the list.

    If you have a large family, you can choose to run a Secret Santa. Everybody picks a name and has to anonymously offer a gift to this person. With this game, you can save plenty of money whilst having fun trying to guess who had your name!

    Consider making your own presents. You can get a basket and fill it in with homemade treats such as jams and cakes. You can also write a poem or a song, make a mini film, knit pieces of clothing, or even make a collage. Besides limiting your expenditure, you will enchant relatives and friends who will particularly appreciate the efforts you put into their gifts.

    Know who you are buying for. Do not spend too much for children as they do not value presents according to their price. As long as they receive entertaining toys or games, children are pretty happy. As for teenagers, money can be a good alternative to traditional presents.

    img_1568Christmas meal

    Convince other family members to participate. Ask each person to concoct and bring a dish. This initiative will definitely delight people who like feeling included in Christmas preparations rather than being passive guests.

    Try to cook as much as possible. Buying pre-packaged food, although tempting, is way more expensive than making sweets and cakes yourselves. Cooking can be the perfect family activity if children are involved in the process.

    Buy food and alcohol weeks before Christmas. Every time you go to the supermarkets for your usual groceries, add extra items that you will use for Christmas. Favour biscuits, cheeses, and alcohol. These products can be stored longer. Benefit from supermarket’s discounts on food nearly expired. Once bought, freeze your food.

    Try to turn to cheaper brands for products such as hot beverages, soft drinks, sauces, and snacks. Low-cost products are just as tasty as branded items. You will barely notice the difference.

    As you know Christmas is often synonymous with waste. So, try to go easy on food proportions. List how many people are coming for lunch or dinner. Next to each person, jot down any food preferences or special diet. This will help you plan your Christmas menu. Then, choose meals for the following days. This will allow you to plan dishes using potential leftovers!

    If, despite all these tips, you do not manage to save money, have a look back at what you have been doing wrong. Where did you spend more than planned? Why? What can you do differently next time? Most importantly, do not give up. Saving money during this festive time is a true challenge that requires serious training and commitment.

     

     

  7. Secret Santa presents under £15

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    Secret Santa is a Western custom, which consists of anonymously offering a present to a person randomly picked. This incredibly popular tradition comes from Scandinavian countries where people, to imitate Santa, knock loudly at the door before leaving presents without getting caught.

    Every year, Secret Santa invades workplace. Although cheery, Secret Santa can be tricky as it is quite difficult to choose a gift for someone you do not see often outside the office. Here is a small guide to help you in your quest for the perfect present.

    Work Essentials

    Give your colleague something that will be useful within the workplace. You can encourage her/his organisational skills with weekly planners, or stimulate her/his coffee addiction with gleeful mugs.

    1

    1. Gothic Garden Sculpted Cup with Straw – Paperchase (£8.00)

    2. Rudolph Heat Change Mug – Paperchase (£5.00)

    3. Christmas Snack Boxes – Paperchase (£8.00)

    4. Purple and Green Pens, Black Ink – WHSmith (£6.99)

    5. Star Wars BB8 Heat Change Mug – Asos (£5.50)

    6. Eric the Memo Elephant – Find me a gift (£9.99)

    7. The Boss / The Real Boss Mugs – Tesco (£5.43)

    8. Cosy Cardigan Mugs – Not on the high street (£7.00)

    9. Knock To Accomplish Sticky Notes – John Lewis (£8.95)

    10. Linea Hipster Cat Mug – House of Fraser (£3.50)

    11. Pusheen A5 Notebook – John Lewis (£5.00)

    12. 2017 Mini Desk Calendar – Kikki K (£3.00)

    13. Gemma Correll Ceramic Travel Mug – John Lewis (£9.00)

    14. Bento Lunch Fridge – Find me a gift (£8.99)

    Food & Drinks

    You can choose to play it safe with delicious snacks and drinks. Whilst sweets and chocolate are enjoyed by everybody, hot beverages can only put a smile on your colleague’s face.

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    1. Mug Cakes – Prezzybox (£7.95)

    2. Nutella: The 30 Best Recipes – Amazon (£5.00)

    3. Rubies in the Rubble Pear, Fig and Port Christmas Chutney – Fortnum and Mason (£5.00)

    4. Dog Lovers Hot Chocolate Mug Set – Next (£8.00)

    5. Bacon Jam – The Present finder (£3.99)

    6. Coffee Stencils – Prezzybox (£8.95)

    7. Chocolate Brussels Sprouts – Amazon (£10.00)

    8. World’s Hottest Chilli Powders in a Matchbox – Not on the high street (£6.50)

    9. Candy Floss Sugar, Vanilla – Prezzybox (£5.95)

    10. Gluten Free Mug Brownie Mix – Prezzybox (£5.95)

    11. Piccadilly Sweet Parade Strawberry Bonbon Jar – John Lewis (£5.00)

    12. Christmas Pudding Fudge – The Present finder (£6.99)

    13. Natalie Milk Chocolate Smart Phone – John Lewis (£2.75)

    14. Ceramic Cupcake Dish – Matalan (£5.60)

    Beauty & Care

    Enchant your colleague with sophisticated and atypical beauty products such as perfumed lotions, soft lip balms, foamy soaps, and protective creams.

    3

    1. The Bearded Man Company Moustache Wax – Not on the high street (£10.00)

    2. Hand & Nail Collection Set – Marks & Spencer (£3.50)

    3. Bubble T Body T-tox Travel Essential in Moroccan Mint Tea – Debenhams (£9.60)

    4. Snowman & Robin Lip Balm Duo – Asos (£4.89)

    5. Caudalie Hydration Essentials Christmas Cracker – Look Fantastic (£10.00)

    6. Woodspice Mixed Shower Gel – Marks & Spencer (£2.50)

    7. ‘Handsome Hands’ Hand Cream – Not on the high street (£8.00)

    8. Gin & Tonic Hand Wash – The Present finder (£9.99)

    9. Toast and Jam Body Wash – Prezzybox (£8.95)

    10. Mr Uomo Man Bucket Gift Set – Morrisons (£5.00)

    11. Academy of Colour Metallic Nail Art Set – Debenhams (£8.00)

    12. ‘Selfie Preparation Kit’ Make Up Bag – Not on the high street (£10.00)

    Warm Clothes

    Make sure your colleague does not catch a nasty cold this winter by buying her/him a fashionable hat, a delightful scarf, or fluffy socks.

    4

    1. Ultra Fluffy Mittens – Asos (£10.00)

    2. Christmas Tree Beanie – Asos (£10.00)

    3. Sock in a Box – Next (£6.00)

    4. Urban Eccentric Christmas Santa Slipper Sock – Asos (£4.00)

    5. Touchscreen Jersey Gloves – Marks & Spencer (£9.50)

    6. Wine Stripe Check Scarf – Dorothy Perkins (£8.40)

    7. Faux Borg Palmwarmer with Paw and Heart – Asos (£7.00)

    8. Christmas Glittery Dinosaur Ankle Socks in Bauble – Asos (£3.50)

    9. 2 Pack Penguin Hand Warmers – Matalan (£3.50)

    10. Christmas Unicorn Cosy Sock Gift Box – Asos (£5.50)

    Games

    Bring some fun in your colleague’s life by offering her/him an entertaining game. Quizzes, puzzles, and colouring books remain highly appreciated.

    5

    1. Paladone Festive Trivia Quiz – Boots (£4.00)

    2. Sudoku Puzzle Cube – Debenhams (£5.00)

    3. Play that Tune Quiz Game – Tesco (£9.99)

    4. Inconsequential Dilemmas Book – John Lewis (£9.95)

    5. Magic Tricks Set – Marks & Spencer (£12.50)

    6. Colour Your Own Globe – Marks & Spencer (£10.00)

    7. Pub Quiz – Marks & Spencer (£12.50)

    8. Domino Cube – Find me a gift (£7.99)

    9. The Biggest British Pub Quiz Book – The Present finder (£9.99)

    10. Dog & Cat Origami – Marks & Spencer (£8.00)

    11. Talking Tables Quirky Trivia – John Lewis (£4.00)

    12. Fun Sticks TV Film – Marks & Spencer (£5.00)

    13. Great British Bake Off Colouring Book – Amazon (£4.99)

    14. Photo Booth Kit – Marks & Spencer (£8.00)

  8. How to decorate your Christmas table

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    After the present opening, the second most awaited moment in Christmas is the succulent feast served on a well-decorated table. Gathered around the Christmas table, relatives and friends do not only content themselves with food, they also have long fascinating conversations and can play fun games. The dinner table is therefore at the core of Christmas celebrations. So, make sure to dress it with stunning and unique decorations.

    1

    Deavita.fr / Red Magazine

    Before adorning your table:

    Take some time to count how many guests will be joining you, so you can choose the type of table(s) you wish to eat on. Favour round tables if you are welcoming less than 10 people, otherwise a rectangular table will surely do. Do not hesitate to add 1 extra table if you think your guests might feel a bit squeezed.

    Making a seating plan is essential. Take into account the age ranges of the people coming for dinner. Try to place people with similar ages next to each other as they might share the same interests. Concerning children, they might find the festivities more entertaining if they sit together far from adults and their serious discussions. Whilst allocating a seat to each guest, ensure you are sat next to the kitchen to facilitate the constant and frenetic return-trip of the delicious dishes.

    Do not decorate your table before deciding the colours that will dominate your design. Try not to use more than 3 shades so your table catches attention in a pleasant way. Also, you can choose up to 2 vivid colours. If you select more, your table will look quite kitsch.

    To help you choose the right colours, think about a particular theme. Christmas offers plenty of possibilities. You can go full traditional, or have a preference for a polar scenery or the Scandinavian culture. You might want your décor to be sophisticated, romantic or rustic.

    2

    Trendenser.se / Guardian.co.uk

    Steps to follow when decorating your table:

    1. Cover your table by using a table cloth, a runner, and/or mats.

    2. Place your centre piece. You can create your own by mixing ornaments such as candles, flowers and baubles. Just make sure your centre ornament is impressively imposing but not too big to prevent guests from seeing each other.

    3. Put large decorations, such as candelabras, bowls, figurines, and jars first! You will then know if you have enough space for other decorations. If not, you will be able to rapidly change your initial plan without having to start over.

    4. Do not forget your plates and cutlery. And add napkins which match the cover of your table.

    5. Add finishing touches with tree decorations, like baubles put in glasses, vases or bowls, garlands running in the middle of the table, pine cones in plates, but also confetti, seating cards, and crackers.

    6. Finish your décor by decorating the back of your chairs with a bow made of elegant ribbon.

    Décor by theme:

    Traditional Glee

    Besides dressing your table in red and green, make Santa the main protagonist of your story. Sprinkle your table with Christmas symbols, such as jingle bells. Use traditional items in an original way. For example, why not try to put forks and knives in stockings, or slide napkins into Christmassy hanging signs?

    1

    1. 8.5cm 3 asstd red jingle bell (116812)

    2. 17cm wooden hanging sign with Merry Christmas (P007535)

    3. 71cm Jingle Bell cluster – 3 asstd colours (P001271)

    4. 21cm lit sitting snowman (P004526)

    5. 18cm nordic snack bowl (P006692)

    6. 23cm 2 asst red and green table top tree (248711)

    7. 19cm Santa coat design plate (P001312)

    8. 39cm red felt stocking with holly design (P007339)

    9. 18cm white merry Christmas sign (P007744)

    10. 18.5cm 2 asstd antique finish santas (170937)

    11. 45cm sitting Traditional Santa (P008342)

    12. 150cm red felt table runner with snowflake trim (P007362)

    13. 6.5cm bell shape salt / pepper pot set (P001315)

    14. 20cm 2 asstd table top signs (P008837)

    15. 12cm Santa snack bowl (P006672)

    16. 180cm green glitter holly garland with red berries (P000841)

    17. 31cm dolomite Santa / sleigh with lights and music (P006676)

    18. 16cm Santa and tree snowglobe (P007077)

    19. 8cm set of 2 santa salt and pepper pots (P006669)

    20. 16.5cm 3 asstd terracotta candle holders (123667)

    Winter Wonderland

    Favour white, clear and holographic decorations. Your table should be inhabited with cosmic and polar emblems such as stars, snowflakes, icicles, penguins and bears. Snow globes are perfect items to bring an ounce of magic to your table. You can also embellish your table by spreading artificial snow.

    2

    1. 13cm glitter snowflake – iridescent (P001452)

    2. 10.5cm 4 asstd frosted penguin ornament (171378)

    3. 8cm light blue frost snowflake glass ball (P006951)

    4. 119cm snowflake garland – blue (P007623)

    5. 17cm glitter snowflake – blue / white (P007324)

    6. 8cm white glass with CHRISTMAS word (P002160)

    7. 20cm holographic star ball (P006976)

    8. 19cm geometric white penguin (P008830)

    9. 12cm 2 asstd clear acrylic bears (061334)

    10. 274cm holographic garland (P006978)

    11. 8.5cm 3 asstd silver table top snowglobe (788996)

    12. 10cm glitter starburst ornament – blue (P007240)

    13. 22cm reindeer and tree waterglobe – white (P002738)

    14. 40cm Trio snowflake spray – silver iridescent (P000842)

    15. 2 asstd 15cm acrylic penguin (177349)

    16. 12cm 2 asstd terracotta bears (P006850)

    17. 16cm lit porcelain snowman (P006843)

    18. 19.5cm white sitting bear (P000414)

    19. 11cm / 12cm 4 asstd dancing polar bear (159260)

    Glamour Glitz

    For this theme, gold, copper and silver are your best friends! Dress your table with refined sparkles, elegant candelabras, majestic reindeers, wonderful jewels, and luxurious flowers. Consider illuminating your table with candle lights and placing your seating cards on glittering baubles!

    3

    1. 14.5cm silver glass candle votive (252619)

    2. 22.5cm polyresin standing reindeer – copper colour (P007037)

    3. 6 x 8cm 2 asstd Glastic Ball with glitter finish (P002061)

    4. 31.5cm silver glitter standing reindeer (P007441)

    5. 25cm cone tree with glitter and sequin (P007604)

    6. 37cm standing sparkling reindeer (254699)

    7. 15cm porcelain angular vase – copper (P006738)

    8. 18cm gold ribbed effect candle votive (252688)

    9. 70cm copper single rose stem (P008543)

    10. 17cm acrylic 2 drop droplet (P007455)

    11. 15cm porcelain tree – copper (P006713)

    12. 180cm champagne gold poinsettia garland (170395)

    13. 70cm Glittered cone spray – silver (P000997)

    14. 40cm 3 asstd beaded gold net dec (236602)

    15. 24cm 2 asstd pheasant candle holder – gold (P000700)

    16. 15cm 3 asstd glitter keys – silver (P001616)

    17. 35cm glass goblet candle holder (786626)

    18. 8cm copper ball with snowflake (P003524)

    19. 8.5cm 3 asstd gold table top snowglobe (788989)

    20. 180cm copper ivy garland (P008540)

    21. 11cm x 9cm antique gold glass votive (252749)

    Enchanting Woodland

    Whilst wood is the key material to use here, brown and green are two colours which amazingly suit this theme. Make your table look rustic by placing forest animals, trees, antlers, chestnuts, leaves, and pinecones on your table.

    4

    1. 16cm 2 asstd wood look owls (689026)

    2. 30cm bo lit reindeer tree with timer (P006958)

    3. 180cm cinnamon and cone garland (P002711)

    4. 13.5cm owl in glass jar (P000672)

    5. 8.5cm 2 asstd pudding candle holder (P000581)

    6. 9.5cm 2 asstd pinecone and acorn decoration (689002)

    7. 36.5cm polyresin antler Christmas tree (P007025)

    8. 11.2cm polyresin robin on logs (P007034)

    9. 90cm gold deer horn spray (P008558)

    10. 11cm 3 asstd leaves ornament (P000625)

    11. 13cm brown reindeer hanging decoration (P007557)

    12. 1.20m natural tree garland (N979362)

    13. 7.7cm squirrel in glass dome decoration (P007107)

    14. 24cm polyresin acorn (P007036)

    15. 17cm decorated pine cone with glitter – gold (P007695)

    16. 15cm 2 asstd standing woodland squirrels (254033)

    17. 11.5cm 2 asstd wood / glass tealight – brown (P007520)

    18. 8cm glass wood effect tea light holder – reindeer (P007427)

    Scandinavian Noel

    White, blue and red are tones that will perfectly represent the Scandinavian theme. Let Gonks, Scandinavian version of Santa Claus, comfortably settle on your table. Not only will they bring a funky touch to your décor, they will amuse and intrigue your guests. Enhance your Christmas table with lanterns and frosted items to give a Nordic impression.

    5

    1. 34cm standing nordic gonk (P006116)

    2. 24.5cm lit porcelain tree (P006844)

    3. 29.5cm resin Santa decoration (P007017)

    4. 40cm folding white paper snowflake (P008601)

    5. 15cm porcelain star – white (P008695)

    6. 24cm lit reindeer lantern (P008494)

    7. 17cm snow pine cone (P008591)

    8. 180cm berry and cone white garland (P002709)

    9. 50cm snow pine spray (P008548)

    10. 22cm white ceramic reindeer lying down (P007394)

    11. 16cm lit house – blue (P006730)

    12. 15cm porcelain tree – red (P006714)

    13. 13cm 2 asstd porcelain tealight holders (P006728)

    14. 8cm 2 asstd snowflake knit pattern decoupage ball (P007051)

    15. 22cm 2 asstd Santa with round short feet (P007856)

    16. 20cm 3 asstd nordic gonks (P006702)

    17. 23cm nordic Santa pals (P008199)

    18. 10cm white glass geometric drop (P006907)

    Festive Romance

    Spread affection and love during your Christmas dinner by adorning your table with red and gold prestigious ornaments. To suit this theme, berries, hearts, feathers, and flowers are more than appropriate!

    6

     

    1. 30cm table centre piece in red berry (157822)

    2. 20 x 12cm twig twin tealight holder (N979353)

    3. 11.4cm 2 asstd polyresin gold pheasant (P007030)

    4. 180cm red poinsettia garland (P008582)

    5. 70cm Glittered cone spray – red (P000999)

    6. 7.5cm gold trinket box ball (P007190)

    7. 48cm poinsettia and berry table centre (P001179)

    8. 12cm red glass heart with flower design (P007132)

    9. 11cm red candle holder with holly design (P007165)

    10. 3m red mini berry garland (4715527R)

    11. 25cm 2 asstd gold polyresin reindeer (117864)

    12. 7.5cm candle ring in burgundy velour poinsettia (157983)

    13. 14cm 2 asstd porcelain feathers – cherry red (P006853)

    14. 46cm cream peony table centre (805358)

    15. 75cm red velvet poinsettia spray (P008580)

    16. 60cm red centre piece (P002726)

    17. 8cm Scroll Ball – Matt Gold (P001829)

    18. 3.5cm berry candle ring – red (P000761)

    19. 20cm 2 asstd glittered lily & daisy table centre (253562)