engagement ring

Is it ever acceptable to propose at Christmas?

We weigh up the pros and cons of getting down on one knee under the mistletoe...

Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most romantic times of year. The heady concoction of twinkling lights, extravagant gifts and heavy, heady cocktails can seasonally swirl together and whip even the most level-headed gentleman into a loved-up fervour. And that’s one of the most dangerous fervours there is. In fact, research shows that, year after year, Christmas continues to be the most popular time for festive-feeling, starry-eyed romantics to pop the question.

Now, we aren’t suggesting that your perfectly-orchestrated festive proposal will automatically be a failure because you’ve scheduled it for Christmas morning. In fact, there are plenty of success stories to suggest that it’s popular for a reason. All we’re saying is that the evidence is there that women aren’t head-over-heels about being proposed to under the mistletoe.

With this in mind, Gentleman’s Journal has snapped shut its ring box for the festive season, and instead put its energies into crafting a handy ticklist on Christmas proposals. This way, if you are going to take the plunge between carolling and Christmas dinner, you won’t wake up on Boxing Day regretting anything (excepting that fourth Baileys).

Am I sober?

Is it ever acceptable to propose at Christmas?

We’ve all been guilty of being a little too generous after too much tequila. And, if you have a track record of drunken rashness, the crazy cocktails of Christmas — we’re looking at you, Snowballs — are likely to make you even more likely to get down on one knee. Remember, it’s harder to backtrack on ‘will you marry me’ than ‘I’ll get the next round’. Especially if she’s already shared the news on Instagram…

Our advice? Steer clear of the booze altogether if you’ve hidden a ring box in her stocking. But really, we’d suggest coasting through Christmas on festive joy alone and saving your proposal for a sober, memorable day in the New Year.

Does she really want family there?

Is it ever acceptable to propose at Christmas?

Here’s another thing about Christmas: it’s not a private affair. If they, for some reason, don’t want to tie the knot with you, and you end up asking for her hand in front of your Great Aunt Edna, that’s an unsalvageable situation. You’re better off getting that perfume she originally hinted at — and not risking the red faces.

Even if you do get the answer you were hoping for, you’ll steal all of those moments in which she wanted to surprise her friends with the flash of a new diamond ring. Because, somewhere in the room, there’ll be a tech-savvy cousin who’s a fiend for social media — and your big news will be broken before you can say ‘Facebook Live’.

Am I doing this because I didn’t get her a gift?

Is it ever acceptable to propose at Christmas?

Every year, we feel the pressure to top the gifts we gave the year before. It can be stifling. But, while many resort to holidays or sports cars in answering the dreaded, annual instruction of ‘surprise me’, it can sometimes drive a gentleman to desperate measures.

In a nutshell, if the big day creeps up on you from the depths of December and you’ve not yet planned a gift — do NOT attempt to solve that oversight by getting down on one knee. You’d be better off hoying the brandy bottle into your Christmas tree and setting the whole thing alight*.

*Other, less fiery options include: rescheduling the exchange of gifts; booking a city break for early next year; bagging a bargain for her in the Boxing Day sales.

Am I just doing this because it’s Christmas?

Is it ever acceptable to propose at Christmas?

Forget rose-tinted glasses — Christmas is more like a pair of month-long, high-strength beer goggles, covering everything in a saccharine-sweet, candy-coated film. You’re not in work, you’re never completely sober and there’s an awful lot of cuddling in front of the fire watching heartfelt nonsense on TV.

The temptation to luxuriate, overindulge and make reckless romantic decisions in this seasonal limbo will be tempting. But try to edge back from taking the leap — when January rears its wintry head the drop may look a lot more risky.

Am I doing this to cure my S.A.D?

Is it ever acceptable to propose at Christmas?

The weather outside may be frightful, and have us going all kinds of crazy to keep our spirits up (what’s cracker-pulling all about, really?) but, eventually, the cold air will warm and the dark days will brighten.

So, even though proposing may seem like a good way to bring cheer to winter, a sunny spring day really isn’t that far away.

And trust us, she’ll be grateful if you wait. Spring will bring a more photogenic natural light for the obligatory ring snap, lighter nights for your engagement party, and fewer people behind-your-back whispering: “a Christmas proposal? How cliche…”

Looking for more festive inspiration? These are the best cocktails to serve this Christmas…

Further Reading