Christmas is just round the corner and we are all hoping to be able to enjoy the slight relaxation of rules to see friends or family in our extended bubbles.
After a year like no other, it seems even more important this December to be decorating our homes, making them a joyous and welcoming hub for the festive period.
But it can be easy to quickly feel overwhelmd with a never-ending to do list of jobs around the home and supplies to buy - and that is assuming you can shop locally, or the internet is delivering speedily.
Before the pressure mounts, we've come up with a few simple steps to help you take each task step-by-step.
Putting up Christmas decorations is the official sign that the holidays are on their way.
Fairy lights are often the most common type of outside decoration and can be placed along your guttering, windows or plants - making your house light up at night.
Other effectivee decorations can also include light-up wreaths for your front door, adding a festive look during the day and night.
The key is to welcome family though your dront door, making them feel wanted and loved before they even step over the threshold.
Normally we start to see decorations appearing from the start of December, but you may have noticed some keen beans decking their homes even earlier this year, in an effort to move 2020 along.
Whether you're transforming your home into a winter wonderland, investing in a festive wreath or keeping it simple this Deecember, it's important to include the whole family when dressing your house.
So, grab the Prosecco (or the fizzy apple juice for the little ones), pop some mince pies in the oven and start untangling the Christmas lights for the moment when everyone gathers around the tree.
One of the most effective decorations you can bring into your home is a scented candle, as a cost-effective and subtle way to add to you festive ambience.
Many people overlook the importance of getting the scent of your home right, especially when it comes to staging a property for viewings, such as using a mulled wine or winter berries smell in December.
Preparing the Kitchen
With Christmas dinner one of the most highly anticipated events of the year, it's key to be as organised as possible.
That way, you can avoid spending the entire day tucked away finalising kitchen preparations and clean-ups.
Give yourself as much space as possible by clearing surfaces in the weeks running up to Christmas. With plenty of seasonal recipes to choose from, it's also worth considering doing as much of the work as you can before the bug day arrives.
With the promise of leniency on the number of households able to meet, you may also need to stock up on alcohol and desserts to reduce the amount of shop runs needed, with enough glasses and cutlery to serve eveyone.
On Christmas day, the kitchen can be a natural place for family members to gather. By setting up a drinks table away from where you are preparing food, they can celebrate with you whilst keeping out of the way.
This year it feels important that we not only give to our loved ones, but we also remember those that aren't as fortunate as we are. That is why at Rettie we are supporting the charity Crisis. We had a lot of fun recently with a Christmas Quiz, where entry was dependent on a donation. Our team has so far donated over £850. And at our virtual Christmas Party on the 18th December, we will have a raffle with prizes donated by all our fantastic suppliers, with all the ticket money going to Crisis.
If you would like to find out more about the work that Crisis do you can find out more here
We fully support their aim to ensure that no-one should be homeless and alone at Christmas.