Hosting Christmas for the first time? Holly Jade O'Leary consults for The Metro on how to host the perfect Christmas day.

The Metro

Expert Interior and Lifestyle consultant for The Metro

Read the full article here: How to handle hosting Christmas Day first time, written by Natalie Morris, Senior Lifestyle Editor

Enjoy planning the experience in advance. What is the room going to look like? Consider the festive ambience: make your own table centre pieces and wreaths, if you are on a budget, a few branches, some holly, or a candle arrangement can be easily picked up, or invest in a festive tablecloth, table runners and napkins and napkin rings to add your own artistic style.

Consider the dietary requirements of guests in advance. Are any of your extended family vegan and can you offer vegetarian options? About 30% of the UK population don’t eat meat anymore.

Gifts. Stock up on amazing gift wrap and little treasures, which can be continuously opened throughout the day, delighting the children. Confirm a time when you will open the big gifts; before dinner or after the feast. Today is all about the enchantment.

Playlist. What is going to be on the stereo? Think about your speakers to ensure the sound is of the best quality. Tailor the day’s music repertoire, from festive carols and classical music, to pop and soul or vintage classics and jazz up your Christmas Day. Sleeping arrangements. Do you have extended family staying? Make sure you have some big, cosy pillows scattered throughout the lounge so that any of the family who wish to doze after a long day can do so.

Booze. Invest in some beautiful glasses, and think of a few exciting cocktails to lengthen the experience; if you are going to be drinking from lunchtime, create a few low-alcohol recipes to prolong the festive joy. Think Buck’s Fizz, Mulled Wine and Christmas negronis. Holly Jade O’Leary, interiors and lifestyle expert

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