THE chaos of party season is approaching.
Before the barrage of work dos, festive gatherings and prosecco-fuelled secret Santas begins, you need to be prepared.
Follow Jenny Francis's handy A-to-Z guide to all the essentials to make celebrating the season a stunning success.
A is for…advent calendars
YOU’RE not taking the Christmas countdown seriously if you haven’t bagged yourself an epic advent calendar.
If you’re thinking of ways to lighten December from the election Grinch, then go shares with family and friends for a fun advent calendar.
- The Gin Explorer Advent Calendar, £99.95, from Drinks By The Dram – buy now
- The Naked Marshmallow Co. advent calendar, £17.50 – buy now
B is for…brows
THIS party season it’s all about upping your brow game.
Hi Brow Lamination sees brows brushed into shape, then false hairs placed into the desired style and position.
Have a look in your area for beauty salons that are offering the biggest beauty trend of the winter.
C is for…cava
IT’S the popular alternative to prosecco but cheaper and, in our opinion, often much tastier.
This is the season of the Cava comeback. Bag yourself a bottle for your festive parties.
- Contevedo Cava Brut, £5.29, from Aldi – buy now
D is for…dry shampoo
YOU cannot and should not attempt to enter party season without this brilliant grooming product.
This instant hair wash in seconds means more time in bed, less washing, less heat styling and less damage.
- Batiste dry shampoo, £2.99, Superdrug – buy now
E is for…eco-friendly wipes
YOU are about to get through more face wipes than Santa will munch through mince pies.
This year, thanks to brands becoming way more environmentally friendly, you can stock up on biodegradable ones.
- Simple X Little Mix biodegradable cleansing wipes, currently £1.79, from Superdrug – buy now
F is for…flat shoes
IF you and your feet are going to make it through the next two months without crying out for help, you need to invest in a good pair of shoes.
We love foldable shoes that you can pop in your handbag for the end-of-the-night kebab run.
- Shoes, £40, from Butterfly Twists – buy now
G is for…gin
THIS spirit has been having a bit of a moment for the past year, but this party season it’s not just about drinking any bog-standard gin.
Festive gin flavours are everywhere, and we can’t get enough of them.
- Candy Cane Gin Liqueur, £9.99, from Aldi – buy now
H is for…hangover patches
ALREADY dreading those seasonal headsplitters? There’s a growing trend for 2019 of hangover patches.
They are supposed to replenish lost nutrients and help the body to restore its natural balance, reducing your hangover.
- B-On 1 Patch, five-pack, £11.99, from Amazon – buy now
I is for…instant glam
GOT to rush to a festive gathering when you are feeling more drab than fab? Then stick on a hairband.
The hottest party accessory this season, it gives your locks a new lease of life.
- Coloured jewels, £19.99, from New Look – buy now
J is for…jazzy decorations
BAUBLES and tinsel are so last year. These days your tree isn’t en vogue unless you have a glittery hot dog, a festive pug or a knitted turkey hanging from it.
- Christmas Pooch Garland, £12, Talking Tables, from John Lewis – buy now
- Crochet Turkey Christmas Decoration, £8, from Urban Outfitters – buy now
K is for…Keepcup cocktails
KEEPCUPS aren’t just used for coffee any more – they have now become a party must-have.
People are taking their KeepCups to knees-ups to fill up with cocktails, beer, gin and tonic or whatever, to reduce their use of plastic cups.
So have you got yours?
- KeepCup Original Radiant coffee cup, 340ml, £12, from Selfridges – buy now
L is for…late-night shopping
HELP to save the British High Street by heading there for a browse – and more importantly, a buy.
With bricks-and-mortar stores extending their opening hours, there’s no excuse for not venturing out.
Wrap up, take snacks, get those presents bought in one night and make a tradition of it.
M is for…mulled everything
ARE you partial to mulled wine? Well, if not, you might want to broaden your horizons.
Mulled cider, mulled rum punch and mulled gin are all getting warmed up in time for the festive season.
So grab a glass and get in the Christmas spirit.
- Heston Spiced Mulled Cider, currently £3.99, from Waitrose – buy now
N is for…Noelle
YOU can’t beat a good, old cheesy Christmas film. And this year, Noelle, starring Anna Kendrick as the daughter of Santa Claus, is sure to tick that box and is out this week.
Book your tickets, grab your popcorn and indulge in pure festive fun.
O is for…over-sized
CHANNEL the Eighties and prove that size really does matter.
Whether it’s huge shoulders, puff sleeves, voluminous skirts or sky-high heels, bigger definitely is better this season.
- Gold sequin dress with oversized sleeves, £140, from asos – buy now
P is for…personalisation
THERE used to be a thing for getting your initials or name printed on things, but this year you can go a step further and do it with faces.
Be the hostess with the mostest and get your family’s faces printed on a personalised elf garland – well, just because you can.
- Laura Jean Paper and Party, £36, from Not On The High Street – buy now
Q is for…quiffs
THE hair style both men – and women – are rocking for parties this year. Go big or go home.
See celeb inspos Emma Willis and Katy Perry.
R is for…ruffles
MAKE sure you have all the frills this party season with a ruffle dress.
For the perfect desk-to-dancefloor outfit, wear a jumper over the frock in the day – and rock it on its own at night.
- One-shoulder dress, £69.99, from Giambattista Valli X H&M – buy now
S is for…secret Santa
EVERY year we get caught out with Secret Santa.
Make sure that you always have a lol-worthy gift in your handbag to avoid suffering any last-minute awkwardness when other people get the gifts out.
- Piccadilly Sweet Parade Sparkling Wine Flavour Gummies, £5, from John Lewis – buy now
T is for…tender loving care
DON’T forget to give yourself a little TLC over the next six weeks – and it’s even more useful when it’s portable.
Try a pulse point rollerball for the most convenient way to get that spa feeling wherever you are.
Roll the oil on to your wrist or temple – and breath.
- Tisserand Aromatherapy Retreat Rollerball, £9, from Boots – buy now
U is for…unicorns
THEY are the mythical creature that refuses to budge. And yes, they are STILL emblazoned over everything.
Whack on a unicorn face mask on a night off to give your skin a dose of much needed moisture post-party.
- Soo’Ae Unicorn Glow Hologram Face Mask, £3.49, from Superdrug – buy now
V is for…virtual parties
TRUST us, it’s a thing. You log on, wear a Christmas hat, arm yourself with a glass of wine, and talk to colleagues via a joint video camera.
The best bit? You can wear your PJs and the journey home is as far as the sofa is from your bed.
W is for…word games
SICK of awkward get- togethers? Then pull out a word game.
Firstly because it stops you getting stuck talking to your bosses partner/weird uncle/single neighbour. Secondly, because they are just great fun.
- What Do You MEME: Mean Girls Edition, £10, from Urban Outfitters – buy now
X is for…X-tra large knickers
THEY will become your party season saviour. Last month, John Lewis reported sales of big pants were up by 11 per cent.
Comfy and supportive, invest in some Bridget Jones style knickers.
- Briefs, £12, from M&S – buy now
Y is for…yule log tea
THIS is the perfect cuppa for that Christmas party comedown.
Brew yourself a Yule Log loose leaf tea and sip down those tasty choccie flavours as you recover from some festive over-indulgence.
- Yule Log Pud Tea, £3.39, from Etsy – buy now
Z is for…ZZZZZZ
AFTER a full-on week of late boozy nights, some much-needed shut-eye is all that you crave as the words “I’m so tired” make up most of your conversation.
Don’t forget to factor in the odd early night and try a sleep-inducing candle to help you feel relaxed – just remember to blow it out before nodding off.
- REST The Sleepy One candle, £39, from eym naturals – buy now
Lidl goes 'Big on a Christmas you can believe in' for it 2019 ad
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