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Social Pantry's Alex Head on how to dress up your Christmas table

Small but perfectly formed: Christmas will look a little different this year, but as Alex Head points out – at least we've got time to make it extra special

Social Pantry's Alex Head on Christmas table decorations

Even though we may not be able to spend time this Christmas with all the people we love there's no reason why we can't still enjoy a special festive and fun-filled Christmas day. I'm secretly excited that I don't have to cook for the normal 16 guests and instead, I am taking time to focus on the finer details; from carefully planning the tablespace to sustainable wrapping paper, I want to make this year extra special.

Social Pantry's Alex Head on how to dress up your christmas table

Social Pantry's Alex Head

I love planning my Christmas table as much as I enjoy planning the menu. From statement candles, festive napkins, and bespoke place names, I love making an impact and creating a memorable table. When creating your table, my top tip is to decide on your base colours and then use candles or flowers to add in some fun pops of colour on top.

There has never been a better time to get creative, with plenty of time spent at home why not create homemade place names or handwritten menus this year. It can be as simple as names written in gold pen on foraged leaves or simply pressing flowers to decorate your menus if you want to take it one step further.

I am going to keep my menu British this year and support local businesses where I can. My family are big cheese fans so one of the best jobs this year is to source a fully British cheese board. I'll be pairing the cheese up with a delicious zero-waste chutney from Rubies in the Rubble and plenty of port.

For the main course I will be including vegetables from my weekly Oddbox, cooking a turkey crown from my local butcher (remember to order in advance), perfect for feeding a smaller crowd.

When creating your table, my top tip is to decide on your base colours and then use candles or flowers to add in some fun pops of colour

When it comes to pulling off a great meal, my usual tips are: plan your menu well in advance and online shop a full week before. When planning your day, work back from the time you want to eat, do almost all of the prep in the days leading up, and, most importantly, when cooking keep a glass of wine in hand at all times!

With a focus on sustainability there are a few simple, and cost-effective ways to make a difference. I always buy a few meters of fun coloured reusable ribbon, it is the perfect way to up-style the standard brown wrapping paper.

Homemade crackers are all the rage this year, and why the hell not! If you're anything like me, you'll have never had time to make your own crackers. This is your year to do it: gone are the days of novelty plastic cracker pressies, it is time to put some thought into what your cracker holds.

The thought of embracing Zoom for some festive games might fill you with dread but planning your day is essential so you can fit in a quick hello or some family fun over Zoom if needed.

You can go all out with pre-planned murder mystery or create the Ultimate Gameshow Bonanza for all the family to enjoy. Think Who Wants to be a Millionaire x The Cube x Catchphrase. Take parts from your favourite gameshows and you'll be sure to get competitive whilst ensuring everyone loves at least one part of it! Or you might feel it more fitting to do the present opening over Zoom and leave it at that.

This year will definitely be different – but what's most exciting is that we have plenty of time to plan a perfect day with lots of special details.

Social Pantry's Christmas Dinner Box is packed with everything you need for a super-special festive feast. From £70; socialpantry.co.uk

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