A Christmas Calendar

Glossy Guide

1. Find a Real Tree
Not only are real Christmas trees infinitely more luxurious (the fresh scent is simply delicious), they’re also now more environmentally friendly than artificial ones. Irish growers will often allow you to visit and choose your own tree. Killakee Christmas Tree Farm on Killakee Road, Co Dublin, opens its forest of Nordman Firs (good for needle retention) on December 6-7 and December 13-14. Trees for sale are now pre-cut, but you can enjoy a stroll through the forest. For decoration, take a cue from Dolce & Gabbana, whose tree for Claridges this year has a woodland theme, all hand-painted blown glass and winsome animals. “We thought of an enchanted forest where the real meets the unreal, just as it does the night before Christmas,” the duo remarks. Look out for felt animal ornaments at Marks & Spencer (€27 for a pack of five), then finish the look with gold glass vintage-style pumpkin lights (€18 at Debenhams). If you’d prefer all the hard work done for you, Dublin 6 florist Blooming Amazing offers to not only supply your Christmas tree, but also install and decorate it. They can bring wreaths, swags, and bouquets, too – then dismantle and recycle afterwards. Tempting. From €295, www.bloomingamazing.ie.

2. Send A Handmade Card
Create your own Christmas card using a technique favoured by Picasso: Chester Beatty Library runs a lino-printing workshop on December 7 and 8, €60. Ireland’s first letterpress studio, One Strong Arm, opened last month in Steambox Studios, Pimlico, Dublin 8 and can facilitate letterpress printing (perfect for posh party invites too). If you buy cards, buy those with proceeds that go to charity, such as Barnardos, LauraLynn or Irish Cancer. Stock up on stamps now, the latest Harry Clarke stained glass designs from An Post are €17 for 26, including one free. An Post’s last posting dates for envelopes are December 6 for global, December 11 for the US, December 19 for Europe and December 20 for Ireland.

3. Go Pop-up Dining
With dinner reservations hard to come by, December is prime time for supper clubs and pop-up restaurants. Event organisers Hunt & Gather host their second annual Wilde Christmas Dinner at 12 Henrietta Street on December 5, 6 and 7. It boasts a seven-course meal by Gruel Gorilla, a Teelings whiskey reception and entertainment from Pettycash Collective. Dinner costs €50, Sunday brunch €40; www.huntandgather.com. Dublin Cookery School’s Pop-Up Restaurant Night is on December 12 (€45), and comes with a twist: just for Christmas, a seasonal five-course tasting menu, prepared by the school’s tutors at 2 Brookfield Terrace, Blackrock, Co Dublin; 01 2100 555. Full tilt at Christmas preparation? Have excellent Farm Restaurant (on Dawson Street and Leeson Street) deliver a delicious herby roast organic chicken for four plus potatoes, stuffing, vegetables and gravy (€40) on the Sunday before Christmas. Allow three hours notice. www.farmrestaurant.ie.

This story appears in the December issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Saturday January 3


Making a graceful exit ...

This is of course peak party season, and we advocate guests adopt the practice of “ghosting”. Also known as the French exit and the Irish goodbye, this is the art of leaving a social gathering without drawing attention to your departure. For a host, every time someone says goodbye it’s like a small stab in the heart. Was the party not fun? The food not good? The company not convivial? The host doesn’t need to know that you have a school run to do in the morning, or an early meeting. And they won’t notice if you simply slip away quietly. Don’t forget to send a note in the morning.

This story appears in the December issue of The Gloss. Find more features like this in next issue, out Saturday January 3