Christmas is just around the corner, and if you haven’t already begun preparing your home for the festivities, it’s high time to start (psst, we’re also in the midst of Advent, a traditional time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas, which spans for four Sundays before the big day).
For the ultra-organised, your Christmas tree, ornaments, stockings and more are likely already on deck and ready to go. But for those who have yet to begin (or sticklers for tradition who only put up their trees 12 days before Christmas, meaning 13 December; or for Catholics, who don’t tend to put up their trees until Christmas Eve), read our guide below on how to get your home looking like holiday goals with our favourite, showstopping festive home décor items.
Get the Greenery
The most essential item for Christmas decorations is, of course, the tree. If you haven’t bought yours yet, the first thing you need to know is that typical varieties in Hong Kong include the Noble firs and Douglas firs. Noble firs typically do not shed its needles as much and have stronger, sparser branches which makes it great for hanging heavy ornaments. Douglas firs are way bushier, usually not as expensive, and are known to be more fragrant. If you want the middle ground between these two common types, Sophie’s Christmas Trees, which has been importing Christmas trees from Oregon for over 20 years, sells Fraser firs. These give off an even fragrance as well as strong needles in a bushy, conical shape.
If you wanted to check out your tree in person before buying, make a day out of it and head to Chun Hing Garden in Yuen Long, which offers grade A trees straight from US plantations for you to pick from.
For compact Hong Kong apartments, you may be tempted to get festive with a mini tree instead. Shop from Juju Flowers for their tabletop-sized, pre-decorated mini Christmas trees (HK$660–770). Over at Ellermann, you can also purchase the ‘A True Christmas Tradition’ gift crate (HK$2,600), which features a 40cm tree and an assortment of lights, baubles, ribbons, acorns, gold ink and brushes to decorate your own tree.
Looking for modern alternatives? TREE’s latest holiday collection features star and tree-shaped volcanic rock decorations (HK$295) that fit in anywhere from your kitchen counter to your office desk, as well as whimsical signage and tea light holders made with natural materials.
For Christmas decorations that last for years to come, some of the most convincing plastic trees we’ve seen are from Indigo Living, which sells a wide array of styles from snow-capped firs to ones pre-lit with fairy lights, as well as assorted wreaths that range from rustic to gilded varieties. They also sell a variety of wreaths.
Speaking of wreaths, Zara Home has a truly eclectic range that doesn’t just involve green pine needles, while Bydeau’s natural wreaths are great alternatives for our tropical climate, featuring beautifully fragrant eucalyptus leaf and wild arrangements.
Nail the Ornaments
A fir is just a tree until you deck it out with your favourite ornaments. We love TREE’s new cinnamon wood ornaments (HK$35 each), which are cut in minimalistic shapes and give off a subtle, but incredible spicy aroma reminiscent of snickerdoodles.
You can also pay homage to Hong Kong with the cute decorative collections (HK$350) from stationery retailer The Lion Rock Press, which feature symbols of Hong Kong heritage, such as teapots and steamed char siu baos.
For something a little more elegant, Lane Crawford never fails. Shishi As has created a range of adorable bird-shaped ornaments (HK$80 each), which add a little woodland whimsy to your tree with pops of red cardinals, bullfinches and other songbirds. The brand’s feather-filled glass ornaments (HK$60) also add an ethereal air to your tree.
If you’re looking to host a fabulous holiday bash, the tableware should reflect that. Alessi’s array of gold tableware from its Extra Ordinary Metal collection features everything you need, from bottle coasters to fruit bowls to serving platters to decorative under plates. The collection plays with brass using an old jeweller’s technique named Etruscan Granulation, which covers a surface in granules of precious metals, creating amazing textures.
For a grand affair, Christofle’s Iriana crystalware is a worthy investment, with sleek, timeless lines that are sure to impress guests for years to come. Pair the wine carafe (HK$7,390) with red or white wine glasses (HK$770) of your choice, and round out the collection with the matching champagne flutes.
If you’re a fan of sweeter champagnes, you may choose to serve it in classy champagne coupes reminiscent of 1920s Gatsby-esque and mid-century celebrations. Also known as champagne saucers, you can order them from the Ferm Living Ripple collection from La Gent London (£30 for two plus £25 international shipping), which also has matching wine carafes (£31) and stackable tumblers (£36 for four).
Instead of using cheesy wineglass charms to differentiate between each glass, Baccarat has got just the thing for more eclectic (but equally classy) parties. The Bubble Box champagne glass set (HK$7,950) includes six varying crystal champagne glasses from different collections, all handmade in France.
Proudly display your cocktail collection (and perhaps a few new holiday additions) in none other than an elegant bar cart. iDecorate Shop offers quite a few to pick from, including the elegant Gatsby Round Gold Bar Cart (HK$3,500). With its unique look, it’s versatile enough to use even when you’re not entertaining, as extra kitchen storage space, a toiletry shelf, or even as an end table. For a fun and stylish way to serve punch and other drinks at a get-together, you’ll want to pick up a crystal drink dispenser like this one (HK$3,852) from iDecorate as well.
Sometimes it’s truly the scent that captures the warm and cosy feeling of the season, and whether you have a real Christmas tree or not, the Cire Trudon Étoile candle (HK$1,280 for holiday set of three from Lane Crawford) gives off a gentle whiff of Japanese hinoki cedarwood together with sweet notes from sandalwood, tonka bean, patchouli and rose.
Diptyque’s holiday candles (HK$350-690 from Joyce Beauty) are equally on point. The Frosted Forest features notes of fir needles, hinoki wood and mint to create the scent of a lush frosted forest; Incense Tears is characterised with incense, myrrh and cinnamon; and Fiery Orange sounds just like a hot toddy by the fire, with notes of Italian blood orange, smoky wood and cloves.
For a knockout scent as well as presentation, Antica Farmacista’s Silver Cedar candle and fragrance set (HK$1,680) will do the trick, making your home smell of the amalgam of cedarwood, sandalwood, black spruce, juniper, Italian cypress, as well as gin, whiskey, and a touch of white amber and leather.
Featured image credit: iStock/merc67