Where do you stand on plastic Christmas trees?
Ho, ho, ho. You are joking, aren’t you?
You see the interiors of more houses than most. What are your top interior design tips?
Candy stripes never go out of fashion.
And I particularly like scatter cushions around fireplaces—soft landings guaranteed. Even better if it is an overstuffed cushion, though for some odd reason Mrs C says when she sees one she thinks of me.
Mrs C is really the one to ask about interiors, in fact. She did an Inchbald course this year and plans to launch her own interior-design practice. The elf market is untapped, she says, and their taste in decoration has hardly moved on in 1,000 years.
You see the interiors of more houses than most. What makes your spirits lift when you drop down a chimney?
A lift. In larger houses, especially Belgravia, we’ve recently seen a trend for dumb waiters straight to the children’s bedrooms. I can send my sack straight up. Most considerate.
Do you prefer traditional or contemporary design?
Our stables are due for an upgrade. In fact, we have got consent to knock down and rebuild. I have decided to go minimalist—polished concrete, monochromatic, functional. RedBook found me the most sensational architects, a boutique East End practice that happens to have a knack for handling planning issues in Finland. I haven’t told the reindeer yet about our plans. They may be upset to see all the bells and holly go.
What are the trends for interior design change in 2020 and beyond?
I am not the best person to ask. If you want to know about Christmas trends yet to come, Ebenezer Scrooge is your man.
How do you decorate your Christmas tree?
The elves are kind enough do it for us and they do like to choose a theme. It can get a little wild. Let’s just say I am hoping for a bit more gingerbread and tinsel this year, and a bit less Love Island.
Are you doing anything different for Christmas this year?
I have been training the elves harder than ever, working on stamina and endurance. They have really bulked up, so we’ve had to go up a size or two in their outfits. Over the final week before Match Day we will be running through drills, but frankly if they haven’t perfected their wrapping skills by now…
How does Christmas Day end for you?
We are worn out after Christmas Eve, as you can imagine. So Christmas Day itself is feasting and R&R in front of a crackling fire—as you know, I invented hygge. And there’s the Queen’s Speech, of course.
Then it’s an early bed for us. I always like to wait until Mrs Christmas has drifted off before I give a little whistle for Rudolph. He is waiting outside the door. He tiptoes in and slips under the quilt. We are quite strict with him so it’s the only night of the year he joins us in bed. It can get a little tickly.
I am the last one to close my eyes as I like to watch his red nose slowly dim as he falls asleep. Before you can say ‘Donner and Blitzen’ we are all snoring—merrily.
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