1. Fill your home with the smell of roasting chestnuts.
Sometimes, it takes your nose to point you in the right direction. Start with a scent to put you in the mood for merry-making, and also to calm your nerves before guests arrive. Jo Malone suggests lighting the Roasted Chestnut Deluxe Candle an hour before guests arrive. Their limited edition scent this season, it's seasoned with nutmeg, cinnamon and clove, with a hint of caramel.
2. Dress your interiors with festive greens.
Green's the colour of the heart chakra — what else would you want to surround yourself with? Old-school kids can head to Far East Flora (trust us editors who continuously head there when we source for photoshoots) and pick up scented pine and ivy. You can also grab rosemary from your nearest supermarket. To mix up the bevy of grassland beauties, include some glassware, strips of ribbon and of course, a candle from Jo Malone — Pine & Eucalyptus is our choice.
3. Create a statement with a table centrepiece.
The best centrepieces are the ones which are edible, wouldn't you agree? You can be sure that almost everyone's a cupcake fan, and even if there's one or two who aren't, the dessert's still pretty to look at. Since you're strapped for time, just stack or layer cookies, cupcakes, breads and sweets and toss in a few candy canes for good measure. It's also a great way for strangers to come together if you're inviting different groups of friends.
4. Add a little mischief with sprigs of mistletoe.
"It started out with a kiss, how did it end up like this?" sang Brandon Flowers forlornly in Mr. Brightside. He probably unsuspectingly stood under a mistletoe, that's how. Hang one at the entrance and in between the kitchen and living room. Use it to your advantage, or as an excuse to bring the two friends you've been shipping for the past year together.
5. Add an element of surprise.
A good host is gracious, generous and most importantly, goofy — for you wouldn't want a stuffy, three-hour dinner where everyone sports a stiff upper lip. Sure, you have your fancy pants on, but that doesn't mean you can't let loose. Surprise guests with a handwritten secret about themselves by their place settings, but also make up for it by passing around Jo Malone's advent calendar for little treats. You can even make a game out of it and see who wins the covetable Lime Basil & Mandarin scent.
6. Savour a moment for yourself.
Three words: Treat. Your. Self. After all, you did the cooking, you probably did the cleaning (with the help of some friendly elves, of course) and you were the social lubricant for the night. The only person you'd like to see at the end of the day is Jo Malone, for she'll be the one who's scenting your bath with her Red Roses Bath Oil. We suggest having the Vitamin E Treatment Scrub within reach too — along with leftovers, a good book, and a glass of wine. Cheers.
For more on Jo Malone, click here.