Once the RE store is closed on Christmas Eve and everything has calmed down, I really get into the spirit – although we start designing and buying for the next year in January.
I spend Christmas Day at home in Northumberland with my husband Alan and our gorgeous cats, Pixie and Bobble, who always refuse to wear their Santa hats!
It’s lovely and peaceful; eating roast goose with all the trimmings is our tradition and, of course, watching the Queen’s speech.
Every year I go on a Christmas shopping trip with my friends. So far our destinations have included Hong Kong, Mexico, New York and Marrakech, but we started it all off a few years ago with a day trip to Harrogate. Wherever we go, we do research beforehand to search out local products and markets, so we can bring back a unique selection of items that give a flavour of that particular place.
My advice for Christmas shopping is to seek out the unusual and to buy things when you see them – don’t leave it to the last minute. Also, use clever, inspirational wrapping, as presentation is really important. The best vintage present I ever received was a fabulous silver-topped Edwardian sporran that Alan bought me on our first Christmas together – it’s one of my most treasured possessions.
I don’t go wild with decorations, but at home I have a wall covered in antique French mirrors and frames, which add twinkle in candlelight. Living in the countryside also means there’s lots of holly and ivy, which can be used to create a natural, seasonal look.
The most popular Christmas decorations we sell at RE are the vintage blown-glass baubles, which are getting harder to find, and our glass-lidded balls, which can be personalised with contents, such as sweets, ribbons, feathers or chocolate coins. This year we also have a range of handmade charmed decorations, which are colourful, fun and gorgeous.
When I’m not working or sourcing items, I love to stay on our 1954 fishing trawler, which used to be the post boat to the Isle of Arran. We keep it on the west coast, which is an hour and a half away. It’s a home away from home.