AND HER GRUELLING FESTIVE MASTERPLAN
DO YOU dream wistfully of the perfect Christmas? The one person in the world who knows exactly how to pull it off is Carole Middleton. Here’s how to have a Very Carole Christmas . . .
PLAN MONTHS AHEAD GET your festive plans under way as soon as Halloween is over. Throw away your pumpkins and start thinking about Christmas.
LOTS OF TREES, PLEASE NOT only does Carole have a modern ‘ themed’ one and a ‘memory’ tree with baubles from Christmases past, she also puts one in each of her grandchildren’s rooms. Source trees from a nearby estate. BOX
CLEVER STICK to one theme, such as ‘all red, or all craft paper, or make a big thing with the ribbons’. To make sure there are no oddly shaped presents under the tree, collect boxes throughout the year.
POP ON A PINNY OPT for a classy red dress — possibly from designer label Goat. When cooking, wear a pinny over it. If there are kids that need entertaining, copy Carole’s husband Michael, who has been known to don a Sumo wrestler outfit on Christmas day.
ALL THE TRIMMINGS DON’T just cater for carnivores. Carole has recently gone vegan but still plans to serve up meat as well. Consider having the main meal in the evening, with champagne and smoked salmon for lunch. But if there are young children, do move it forward to lunchtime.
STRICTLY FUN DON’T spend the whole day cooking. Fit in a visit to church, a dog walk, or even a festive episode of Strictly.
BALANCING ACT A STRUNG- OUT host or hostess makes everyone tense, so be organised. But don’t get hung up on perfection. Often mistakes make things memorable.
GAME ON YOU can’t beat traditional parlour games such as musical statues and sardines. DRESS CODE ALWAYS make the it clear on an invitation. Don’t give the impression an event is casual if it isn’t. PERFECT PRESENTS BUY thoughtful gifts. A Christmas Market is often the best place for lastminute shopping.
THREE MUST-HAVES ‘MY CHRISTMAS essentials are mince pies, mulled wine and mistletoe,’ says Carole.
MANNERS MATTER ALWAYS make sure to write thank you letters. ‘Within ten days ideally.’