‘Tis officially silly season, and, whether you’re panic-shopping for turkeys or rueing the fact you were pushed into buying a Christmas tree halfway through November, it’s easy to lose sight of festive fun. Help is at hand. We’ve conspired with the Mondo elves to create a failsafe guide to finding your Christmas cheer. And it includes surprise rubies, wreaths made by Truman Capote, vintage jewels the size of baubles and Mondo baskets brimming with treats. Pour yourself a mulled wine, treat yourself to the next few days’ advent chocolates (we’ll never tell) and prepare to feel exceedingly Christmassy.
Act surprised, not shocked
Rehearse the following response: ‘What a nice surprise!’ It’s awfully useful in case of any shocking – or rather surprising – gifts from well-meaning in-laws/eccentric friends. In order to avoid disappointment, we suggest you leave mondocorsini.com open on the shared family computer in the run-up to the big day.
‘Tis the season to get crafty
Is it really the festive season without a DIY project or two? Just ask Truman Capote, who, in his autobiographical short story ‘A Christmas Memory,’ recalls “weaving and ribboning holly wreaths for all the front windows.” It nearly inspired us to book in for a wreath-making workshop, but then we re-read this Joan Didion essay about her misadventures in Christmas crafting and thought better of it.
Hang a shining star upon the highest bow
As for the rest of the tree, your imagination’s the limit. Well, within reason. Take cues from Jackie Kennedy, who started the tradition of a themed White House Christmas tree with her Nutcracker-inspiration creation. There were ornamental toys, birds and angels, tastefully – and sustainably reused – for a children’s-themed tree, another Christmas. If in doubt, hand-tied velvet bows, heirloom baubles and a sprinkling of fairy lights always make for charming decorations.
Baubles aren’t just for the tree
“May you jingle every bell today,” was the 2019 Christmas message from our favourite jewel-laden centenarian, Iris Apfel. We shall be embracing this maxim from now until at least mid-January by adorning our lobes with one-of-a-kind vintage jewels – from the Mondo Bijoux collection, naturally. Think golden hoops and gemstone-embellished earrings.
You can always rely on the classics
It’s hard not to feel at least a smidgen of cheer when one is sat in the velvet-lined seats of the Royal Opera House, in the presence of the Sugar Plum Fairy. If you’ve missed out on tickets this time around, set an alert for next year (and every year after that!) and instead, stay home with a few classic ‘40s Christmas films. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ followed by ‘Miracle on 34th Street’ is guaranteed to melt even the most stubborn of Scrooges. And if that doesn’t work, a glass or three of very boozy eggnog should do the trick.
Embrace unexpected stocking fillers
Unplanned gifts aren’t always a bad thing – Richard Burton once surprised Elizabeth Taylor with a 8.24-carat ruby ring in her Christmas stocking. No nectarines in sight. Speaking of stockings, how about swapping them for Mondo baskets? (Apparently, Audrey Hepburn treated her guests to Christmas baskets filled with nuts, fruit, sweets and gifts.) Presents in a receptacle you’ll actually use. Chic.
Extend the festivities"A good conscience is a continual Christmas," said Benjamin Franklin. In lieu of that, we say wearing red throughout December and until at least Spring is a novel way to extend the good cheer. As Diana Vreeland once quipped, “I can’t imagine becoming bored with red – it would be like becoming bored with the person you love.” We quite agree.