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Back to Xmas

Festive FOMO? Find home comforts and Xmas joy!

No parties (fewer hangovers), but more time to jingle your bells and nail Christmas at home. Go wild with decs, create new traditions and sashay up to the 25th in style.

There’s no question that this Christmas is going to need a slight rethink – after all, many of the things we take for granted just aren’t going to be possible. But instead of lamenting what could have been, here at Muddy we’re embracing the change and looking on the bright side. No more rubbish office parties, or trying to accommodate 5,000 different dietary requirements for Christmas lunch or running yourself so ragged that you start the new year in need of a holiday.

Instead, this is the year of starting new traditions, focussing on the important stuff, and going big on home comforts and seasonal joy. With shops reopening, it’s time to go crazy with the decs and ditch the slanket and create stylish, cosy Christmas staycay straight out of Love Actually. To give you some inspo, we’ve gone wild in aisles at Camp Hopson – Newbury’s oldest and only independent department store. And because they missed out on all the Black Friday fun, they’re offering up to 30% off in store until Sun 6 Dec.

Here’s how we’re making this Christmas the best one yet…

Deck the halls

Camp Hopson Tree Ornaments
The White Company pre-lit Christmas tree, £395; The White Company tree skirt, £45; Christmas tree baubles and decorations from £2.50; The White Company 1.8m green and berry garland, £75 and Alter candles, £4.25.

Tree up? Whether you went early and lit up your house so it can be seen from space or you’re just starting, this is the year to go big and bold. Each Christmas, I buy one or two new show-stopping baubles to add to the collection – think of it as a tinsel time capsule. But this year no room should be safe from fairy lights, foliage and baubles. If you’re crafty, head into the woods and forage for foliage to create something that smells as good as it looks or simply throw faux foliage down the bannisters, across the mantelpiece and table before adding, lights and baubles. Jessy up the kitchen with a festive flourish. Put up multiple trees, hang decs from a vase of twigs and lots and lots of candlelight. Anything goes.

Find your Christmas spirit

Camp Hopson Bar essentials glassware. carafes and artisan spirits
Silver plate, £6; LSA balloon goblets set of 2, £45; LSA Champagne flutes set of 2, £40; LSA tumblers, £35; selection of gins from £32.

No office parties, no drinks with friends (unless you want to freeze your ‘you know what’s’ off in sub-zero temperatures). But that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the Christmas spirit. What better time to create a home bar. You’re not trying to create a replica pub, think Mad Men sophistication. A place where you can stylishly display your favourite tipples, have glasses to hand and all the bots you need to launch cocktail hour at a moment’s notice. Drinks trollies and cabinets look amazing but the top of your sideboard or a stylish side table will do. It’s probably good time to check the glassware sitch – chips and anything emancipated from the pub during your student days will kill the mood.

Baby, it’s cold outside

Camp hopson Blankets
FROM TOP: The White Company grey big knit blanket, £120 from £120; Luxury cashmere throw, £170, cream alpaca cable knit throw £400; wool and cashmere check throw, £170.

It’s not ideal socialising with your friends and family in winter. But it can be done. We just need to channel the aprés ski vibes – base layers, hats, gloves and thermal socks on. Have piles of blankets to wrap up in, mulled wine and hot chocolate simmering on the BBQ and you’re golden. Oh, and these Le Creuset mugs are a game changer for hot drinks in cold weather. Using a specialist clay they keep your brew toasty and the stoneware is thermoresistant to -23°C.

Le Crueset Hot Chocolate
Le Creuset stoneware mugs, £15 each, available in a rainbow of colours

Try tablescaping

Malini fur rug (on chairs), £35; The White Company green garland, £75; LSA wine glass set of 4 £40; LSA carafe, £30; The White Company tealight holder, £6; The White Company bud vase £6; Monsoon Mirage 44-piece cutlery set, £99; Royal Worcester dinner plate coupe, £14; Royal Worcester bowl, £19; Gisela Graham berry napkin ring £2; Alter candles, £4.25; Venetian dinner candles £2.50

OK, I admit it. I’m a sucker for a trend – and tablescaping has been one that’s featured heavily in 2020 (the things we did to get through lockdown). Who knew that laying the table could be turned into an art form? Not me. But Christmas is definitely a time to take pleasure in setting your table in anticipation of the much hyped festive feast. As we’re not going out anywhere, this is your time to shine. Make a style statement with colour, textures, beautiful linen, little design details and invest in accessories such as napkins, candles and vases. Enjoy the view before the first red wine spillage and the gravy tsunami hits the white table cloth.

Christmas Eve traditions

Camp Hopson PJS
The White Company silk PJs, £198

Christmas Eve is my absolute favourite day. Usually spent drinking bubbles with friends, before tip toeing home slightly tipsy to tackle the gift wrapping (yes, I amd that disorganised). Sadly not happening this year. So new traditions need to be conjured up. The kids always get spinky spanky new pyjamas, but this year we’re all getting a pair. Now if you all want to wear ironic matchy-matchy jim jams, no judgement here. But I’ve been very, very good, so a luxurious pair of silk PJs is the least I deserve. Once we’re all togged up, we’ll have a Santa slumber party and watch a Christmas movie (you’ll find 17 cheese-free festive films here) and mainline seasonal snacks. Twiglets, Cheeselets and Celebrations. In fact anything gloriously retro that are guaranteed to give you the gift of heart burn until the kids bounce on your head at 5am.


How The Grinch Stole Christmas

The gift of zzzzz

Sheridan organic cotton duvet set, £119.50; Men’s Ralph Lauren PJ top £45 and bottoms £55; Women’s Dorina PJ top £24 and bottoms £26.

While we can’t promise Father Christmas will leave a hottie in your stocking (maybe next year), we can give you the gift of a quality night, snuggled up in fresh bed linen, star-fishing in high thread count organic cotton. Pop an After Eight mint your pillow and you can pretend you’ve been whisked off to a boutique hotel with all the festive vibes of a Richard Curtis movie. I know it’s a bit of extra effort to change the beds on Christmas Eve, but it oh so worth it when you slide in and hear the crinkle of fresh linen. You may need to work on the room service, but for now five star slumber is all yours.

Keep calm and carry on!

The White Company Winter candles Camp Hopson Newbury

Let’s face it, Christmas can be stressful enough without the anxiety of a global pandemic factored in, so this year you absolutely have permission to write the whole thing off. Strip back anything you don’t deem essential, limit family visits if it’ll keep you sane, try and get some vitamin D where possible, and remember that in years to come, this will all be a distant memory. We’ll cheers to that!

**While Camp Hopson’s doors are temporarily closed, why not explore and shop online at their sister store,, where a collection of Home, Gifts, Beauty, Accessories and Toys await?!

Find more ideas here


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