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  • Christmas In My City

    From snowy Sweden to sunny Sydney, via the skyscrapers of Johannesburg, we asked three very stylish women from around the world how they'll be celebrating, eating and getting dressed up this Christmas (with a few insider shopping tips thrown in, of course)...

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    Where do you usually spend Christmas?
    Now I have a daughter we spend Christmas at home, inviting family over for dinner! In Sweden we celebrate on the 24th December and a lot takes place on this day instead of the 25th! We eat Christmas lunch and dinner, the kids open gifts - usually after the classic Donald Duck special which airs at 3pm, and of course we dance around the Christmas tree. On the following days I relax and see more friends and family, along with watching the classics on TV, which I’ve
    seen a thousand times already. If the weather is nice and snowy we go ice skating or sledding! 

    How do you get in the festive spirit?
    I’m a minimal decorator and use natural materials. I hang thin wreaths made of lingonberry leaf in the window, and oranges with pomander which smells lovely in either a bowl or also hanging in the windows. We also have a couple of advent rods, simple black ones. I decorate our tree with mostly silver ornaments, but this year we’ve let our three year old shop for some new ornaments, so now we have unicorns and pink Santa’s - I guess the tree will get more fun every year!

    Where would you go Christmas shopping in your city?
    If I’m in a hurry, or want to get last minute gifts I’d go to the Mall of Scandinavia, they're open late and have a load of different stores.If I have a lot of time I go to the area around Östermalm and I might visit Sibyllans, a tea and coffee store to get some Christmas blended tea, they have a delicious flavour with mulled wine and also one with saffron.

    Where do you go for mulled wine and mince pies (or your equivalent)?
    At advent we have gingerbread cookies, saffron buns and mulled wine at home. We also enjoy this (and more) at the Christmas markets, I love the ones at Gamla Stan and Skansen.

    What will you be wearing over the festive period?
    To stay stylish in the cold I layer up and wear warm materials like wool. A warm beanie, scarf and mittens are a must for staying warm. I also wear a lot of longer coats to keep even warmer!  

    For Christmas parties and dinners I like to wear a nice top or blouse and leather leggings or a dress. My go to look is all black, it’s fool proof. Then I can play with accessories like a bright coloured or patterned bag or shoes.  

    What’s on your hush Christmas wish list? 
    A Cashmere Roll Neck Jumper - classic and warm! And I'm also in love with this colour block style. Another classic - these Leather Leggings can be worn with anything, such a great staple. Finally I’ve been looking for the perfect Leopard Boots for such a long time, now I've found them!

    Follow Caroline on Instagram @carolineblomst

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    Where do you usually spend Christmas?
    I head back to my coastal hometown for Christmas, an hour and a half away from Sydney on the Central Coast. It's usually hot and sunny and we start Christmas morning with a beach swim. After that it's time for present opening and croissants! A few hours later we head to relatives nearby for a Christmas lunch. It involves lots of seafood, salads and a BBQ. Following lunch we have a cocktail or two and play board games or watch movies. It's all very relaxed and informal.

    How do you get in the festive spirit?
    Every year I host a Christmas dinner party on a Sunday night and invite all my friends. Everyone brings a plate and we put the food on one big table like a banquet. I make punch and everyone gets a bit merry. It's such a nice way to catch up with friends - over a feast and bevvie! I usually decorate my tree with fancy baubles and lights. I'm definitely a 'more is more' person when it comes to Christmas. I love lighting the tree in the evening and listening to Christmas tunes. Mariah Carey album on repeat is a must at this time of year. Sorry not sorry!

    Where would you go Christmas shopping in your city?
    I head to Westfield CBD or Bondi Junction. My favourite Aussie high street stores are Country Road, Saba and Wittner. Department store shopping is up there too - David Jones is like our equivalent to Harvey Nichols. They have a floor dedicated to shoes and it's heaven!

    Where do you go for mulled wine and mince pies (or your equivalent)?
    Because it's hot here in Sydney, it's harder to find places doing mulled wine during the summer months. The Grounds, a very popular cafe and garden space holds an annual Christmas market which feels very traditional. Otherwise it's all about the bubbles and outdoor drinking in beer gardens! For mince pies you can buy them at your local supermarket, bakery or department store. Sydney-siders love their chocolate! Haighs is a beloved chocolate shop with stores around the country. It's a good place to stock up on quality Australian-made chocolate. Be warned it goes a bit nuts at this time of year!

    What will you be wearing over the festive period?
    I go all out for Christmas parties and this time of year in general, I love sparkles, sequins and anything out there. My go-to however is an all black outfit. Whether it's a black dress or playsuit (or separates) I'll blow dry my hair and add a red lip to totally play up the look. Sydney is very hot at this time of year and over the summer, so floaty options are a must. On Christmas day I like to wear a fresh white dress and fancy gold earrings.

    What’s on your hush Christmas wish list?
    Definitely the Clarissa Satin Skirt - it's perfect for party season and beyond! The Devore Star Dress is soooo cute for a plush dinner with the bestie or a date. I'm also really feeling the black Avebury Boots, very chic and good for when you just don't feel like wearing heels. Can't go past a stylish shirt dress in the summer, therefore the Domino Shirt Dress is a winner. 

    Follow Andrea on Instagram @leatherandlattes

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    Where do you usually spend Christmas?
    I usually spend Christmas wherever my family is. Whether we are on holiday in Thailand or at my grandmother’s home, which is where I will be this Christmas. She lives in a little town about two and half hours outside of Johannesburg. The weather is super warm in that province and her home is filled with lots pictures of all her grandchildren and baby pictures of my Dad and all his siblings. We will more than likely wake up very early on Christmas day to start cooking, eat a big lunch around lunchtime, spend the afternoon people watching from her veranda, then all take a drive down to the cemetery to visit my grandfather.

    How do you get in the festive spirit?
    I used to be a bit of a Grinch when it came to Christmas, but as I have gotten older I do enjoy getting into the festive spirit. I don’t really do any decorating or anything like that, but maybe I'll start this year and take along some decorations to my grandmother’s home.

    Where would you go Christmas shopping in your city?
    I love shopping online, so online store based in Johannesburg: Jimnojean is one of my favourite places to shop. I also enjoy shopping at Hannah Lavery in Parkhurst and Convoy in Melville, both of which are home to South African designers. When I am in Cape Town, I always go past Asha: Eleven, and always add to my jewellery collection with a piece or two from Dear Rae.

    Where do you go for mulled wine and mince pies (or your equivalent)?
    This isn't really a South African Christmas tradition and because it is super warm in South Africa during this time, we generally chase the sun, chase summer time drinks and eating experiences. My friends and I like to have lots of braai’s (barbeques) and group picnics over this time as well.

    What will you be wearing over the festive period?
    I basically dress how I dress any other time of year, except a little bit more weekend-like. With the weather being warm, summer dresses and the like are the order of the day. 

    What’s on your hush Christmas wish list?
    It is summer in Johannesburg, so anything easy to wear. I love anything flowy and roomy, yet stylish - so the Yasmin Dress and the Cicely Dropped Waist Dress. I also love the Ruffle Erica Knit Top and to accessorise the Wood Hoop Earrings.

    Follow Thithi on Instagram @travelgirlboss