The Harvey Nichols Guide to Christmas Day 2019From last-minute gifting to the perfect festive outfit, read on to discover how to make this year's Christmas the best yet.

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…


The big day is nearing and the final preparations are underway. You’ve got your look sorted – even if that means you’ll be wearing a classic Christmas jumper/pyjama combo – the presents are wrapped under the tree and you’ve prepped a few extra save-my-soul bottles of bubbly – just in case you find yourself in need of a little added ABV support.

But no matter how prepped you are, there always a lingering chance of unforeseen occurrences that leave you frantically dashing about. So, in the final stage of our winter survival guide, we’ve got the means to make sure you’re ready whatever happens.

Here’s to the ultimate stress-free, no tantrums, turkey-practically-fist-pumps-you-as-it-comes-out-of-the-oven Christmas.

FESTIVE BEAUTY

Picture this: It’s 9am, and here it comes… that slow-brewing awareness that this isn’t just any other day. It’s Christmas Day, and pretty soon there will be numerous hungry faces, young and old, arriving at your door, ready for their version of ‘the perfect Christmas’. But before you can even think about them, you’ve got to get yourself ready.

The mid-winter bashing has taken its toll on your skin and your hair hasn’t come out from under your beanie since November. Time for some quick fixes to restore your glowing complexion, (and gents, this is one of the times of year it’s not OK to sport a scruffy beard, so get shaving) so you can then get to the more important things like your first glass of bubbly.

HELP! LAST-MINUTE GIFTING
The perfect presents to placate those unexpected visitors.


PLUS ONE, ANYONE? From flaky distant family members who keep changing their attendance status to partners of friends you’ve forgotten include, sudden additions to the table setting can cause a bit of stir. While you might be able to make the delicious goose-fat potatoes go a little further, you need to get a gift, stat.

HELLO OCTOBER says...

“At all costs, make sure you avoid doing your last-minute gifting on Christmas morning like I have in the past! Driving to a 24-hour convenience store at 6AM was not my finest moment. Last-minute gifts that never fail include bath/shower products, several tins of luxury chocolate biscuits, novelty Christmas jumpers or a good bottle of whisky... The ultimate gifts that are bound to be a hit among my closest female friends are Monica Vinader pieces (any rose gold jewellery, in general, will also go down a treat), a beauty advent calendar, Whistles slogan t-shirts and a Bella Freud mini candle set or six.”

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Our last minute gifts are the perfect saving grace; from wish-list worthy presents and the ultimate stocking thrillers to boozy treats, chocolate feasts, and Christmas hampers – appealing to someone’s appetite is usually a win. Candles are another great option for an unexpected visitor.

FIVE FIVE FABULOUS says...

“You can't go wrong with a few cute colours from Essie, a La Mer lip balm and a YSL mascara. Also a Netflix subscription! Nothing better than nursing your food baby with hours and hours worth of Netflix!”

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DON'T BURN THE TURKEY!
The drinks, the food and the Brussels sprouts alternative to chow down on this Christmas.


Having said that, who said you even need a turkey? The age old combination of turkey, ham, and those politely-declined Brussels sprouts is quickly going out the window, making way for a new era of foodie festive favourites; why not book an alternative Christmas dinner and let someone else do the work for you.

HELLO OCTOBER says...

“Christmas day in my family is the one day of the entire year where eating becomes a sport. We see who can consume the most, and are convinced that calories simply don't count. We kick things off with our advent chocolate as a little warm-up and work the day from there. I'll never be without a heavy dose of chocolate (a Cadbury selection box is normally glued to my hand), a never-ending supply of stuffing and a serious supply of pigs in blankets. But most importantly the mulled wine absolutely must not stop flowing - under no circumstances. All this without a single Brussels sprout in sight.”

SHOP HAMPERS

LET THE FUN BE GIN

As for celebratory libations, you find yourself deciding to move on from traditional bubbles, and opt for the comeback-tipple of choice; gin. Plus, it’s no longer just a debate over whether to serve with lime or cucumber. No no, it’s about the type of gin you’re sipping; the botanicals, the aroma and how many processes it went through to make it to your dinner table. Not only could you include gin within your Christmas day drinks, but sloe gin in particular makes an excellent glaze for rich cuts of slow-roast lamb, pheasant and venison.

SHOP GIN

With any luck (and a bit of Dutch-courage-induced patience – administered responsibly, of course), by the end of the day you’ll have only averaged 1.2 arguments and two screaming children and will be suitably nourished, in mind, body and style.