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'TIS THE SEASON

Your essential A-Z guide to celebrating the Christmas party season in style

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.

 It will soon be the Christmas party season, so make sure you're prepared by arming yourself with the essentials
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It will soon be the Christmas party season, so make sure you're prepared by arming yourself with the essentialsCredit: Getty

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

 Everyone loves a good advent calendar, so why not treat yourself to a luxury one this year?
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Everyone loves a good advent calendar, so why not treat yourself to a luxury one this year?

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 season it's all about eyebrow lamination - many beauty salons are now offering this treatment
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This season it's all about eyebrow lamination - many beauty salons are now offering this treatment

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

 Celebrate with some bubbly, but opt for cava as its a popular but cheaper alternative to prosecco
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Celebrate with some bubbly, but opt for cava as its a popular but cheaper alternative to prosecco

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

 If you're heading out after work, quickly freshen-up your hair with dry shampoo
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If you're heading out after work, quickly freshen-up your hair with dry shampooCredit: Alan Duncan 2014

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, Alpha XR - buy now

E is for...eco-friendly wipes

 As you prepare to go through more face wipes than ever, be eco-friendly and switch to biodegradable ones
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As you prepare to go through more face wipes than ever, be eco-friendly and switch to biodegradable ones

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 Alpha XR - buy now

F is for...flat shoes

 Any heels-lovers will know it's always a good idea to keep a pair of flat shoes close to hand
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Any heels-lovers will know it's always a good idea to keep a pair of flat shoes close to hand

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

 Gin is still having its moment, as now you can get your hands on festive flavours
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Gin is still having its moment, as now you can get your hands on festive flavours

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

 With all the Christmas parties, you're going to need something to replenish lost nutrients and alleviate headsplitters
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With all the Christmas parties, you're going to need something to replenish lost nutrients and alleviate headsplitters

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

 Stay on trend by sprucing up any outfit with a jewelled headband
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Stay on trend by sprucing up any outfit with a jewelled headband

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

 Don't just stick to standard baubles and tinsel - try some wacky decorations like this pooch garland
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Don't just stick to standard baubles and tinsel - try some wacky decorations like this pooch garland

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 for coffee, you can use it for your cocktails, beers and wines to reduce the use of plastic cups
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KeepCups aren't just for coffee, you can use it for your cocktails, beers and wines to reduce the use of plastic cups

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

 Why not make a tradition out of Christmas shopping by wrapping up, taking snacks and treating yourself to a mulled wine
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Why not make a tradition out of Christmas shopping by wrapping up, taking snacks and treating yourself to a mulled wineCredit: Getty

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

 Mulled-drinks are a must-have every holiday season - we love this Heston spiced mulled cider
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Mulled-drinks are a must-have every holiday season - we love this Heston spiced mulled cider

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

 It wouldn't be Christmas without a cheesy festive flick and this year we're watching Noelle
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It wouldn't be Christmas without a cheesy festive flick and this year we're watching 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

 This season bigger is definitely better so opt for something sparkly to make a statement
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This season bigger is definitely better so opt for something sparkly to make a statement

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

 Amuse your guests with personalised touches like these elf decorations
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Amuse your guests with personalised touches like these elf decorations

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 hottest hairstyle this winter is the quiff, look to celebs like Emma Wills for style inspo
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The hottest hairstyle this winter is the quiff, look to celebs like Emma Wills for style inspoCredit: PA:Press Association

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

 This ruffle dress is perfect for when you're on the go as it can be layered with knitwear or easily paired with heels for a night out
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This ruffle dress is perfect for when you're on the go as it can be layered with knitwear or easily paired with heels for a night out

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

 You never know when secret Santa could strike, so always keep a last-minute gift in your handbag
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You never know when secret Santa could strike, so always keep a last-minute gift in your handbag

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

 If you want to relax and get that spa feeling at home, try a pulse point rollerball
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If you want to relax and get that spa feeling at home, try a pulse point rollerball

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

 Your skin will probably be in need of some TLC too, so get your hands on a good face mask
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Your skin will probably be in need of some TLC too, so get your hands on a good face mask

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 Alpha XR - buy now

V is for...virtual parties

 If you fancy a night in but don't want to be anti-social, host a virtual party
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If you fancy a night in but don't want to be anti-social, host a virtual party

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

 Don't let parties be a snooze - liven up any do with a fun word game
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Don't let parties be a snooze - liven up any do with a fun word game

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

 Apparently big pants sales are on the rise, with many women saying they're a party season saviour
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Apparently big pants sales are on the rise, with many women saying they're a party season saviour

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.

Y is for...yule log tea

 Tea-lovers will want to get their hands on this delicious yule log flavoured tea
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Tea-lovers will want to get their hands on this delicious yule log flavoured 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 such a hectic month you should get some much-needed rest, aided by this sleep-inducing candle
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After such a hectic month you should get some much-needed rest, aided by this sleep-inducing candle

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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