Children dream of visiting Father Christmas and his elves in Lapland. Fortunately, LaplandUK is making that dream a possibility – and this year they have shared tips for parents wishing to bring the magic of Christmas into their homes.
The co-founder of LaplandUK, Alison Battle, told HELLO! her top tips for making Christmas at home extra special this year. Meanwhile, the director of floristry, Carley Greenwood, shared her expert advice on homemade festive wreaths.
WATCH: King Charles' mammoth Christmas tree gets craned in at Sandringham
Keep reading to discover wonderful tips on everything from Christmas trees to sweet festive treats...
1. A Tree of Life - Let your tree tell your family story.
When it’s time to dress your tree, forget about the latest trends and colour palettes. Instead make your tree personal, like a tree of family memories.
Christmas tree magic
"I always take home a tree decoration from a place we’ve travelled to - over the years we’ve loved taking each decoration out of its box and recalling our family adventures. Our tree is still adorned with decorations the boys made while at nursery and primary school over 20 years ago. It’s an eclectic mix of precious memories that tell the story of our family."
2. Baking time is fun!
That’s the chorus of the song the Kitchen Elves sing at LaplandUK and true of Alison's family traditions too.
"Having studied at Heidelberg University in Germany as a teenager, I fell in love with the Christmas lebkuchen and gingerbread traditions. Every year when the boys were young, we would build and decorate gingerbread houses, and these remain a strong theme in the Lapland narrative today. To this day, all six of us still bake our Christmas cake together, each taking our turn to stir the mixture while making a wish."
Making children's wishes come true
3. Christmas greetings start at the front door.
Try a new tradition of designing your own timeless Christmas wreath - it’s the perfect way to create a warm festive welcome for any visiting guests.
"Look at drying out your own oranges and limes to layer texture, add nature hues with winter berries, bundles of cinnamon sticks tied with twine for scent, and finish with stems of fresh green seeded eucalyptus to bring the wonderful world of nature in. Don’t forget to include those all-important pinecones! Elves are born from pinecones, which is why we incorporate Norway spruce and red pine into our floral designs."
4. He’s been! Finding snowy footprints.
The romantic dream of Christmas simply must feature snow! Watch the children’s faces light up as they discover that Father Christmas has visited and left behind his snowy footprints.
Bring the magic of Father Christmas into your home
"Cut out boot-sized footprint shapes from card and lay them out on the floor. Sprinkle with icing sugar or artificial snow, all around the edges. Then remove the card templates to leave behind Father Christmas's snowy footprints."
5. Lights, lights and more lights!
You can never have too many fairy lights at Christmas time and that’s why LaplandUK is as twinkly as a wonderland can be.
"Fairy lights bring instant festive magic to any space and that’s true both inside and out – weave them amongst garlands abundant with dusty miller leaf, eucalyptus, and wild sea holly to bring warmth to your mantlepiece, staircase or even the Christmas dinner table. Children will love ‘Wish jars’, copper-wired fairy lights placed inside glass jam jars or vases.
"And don’t forget outside too - any hedge or tree you have in your garden, from fir to bay will become enchanting once twinkling with warm golden pea lights!"
If you would love to see how Alison, Carley and their 800-strong team of crew and cast members bring LaplandUK to life in the Whitmoor Forest then keep an eye out on tickets for 2023 going on sale in the New Year.
In the coming weeks, however, LaplandUK staff will be visiting local children’s hospitals with Father Christmas and his elves, helping to spread Christmas cheer amongst those who need it most.
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