Is it ever acceptable to propose at Christmas?

Under the mistletoe, down on one knee – is a tinsel-trimmed proposal ever a good idea?

The twinkling lights. The falling snow. The gift giving. Christmas is undoubtedly one of the most romantic times of the year – and we haven’t even started on the Baileys yet. But there is a dangerous side to all of this merry-making: research shows that, year after year, Christmas is the most popular time for proposals.

Proposals aren’t dangerous, we hear you cry! True. But, before you shout "Scrooge!" and get down on one knee anyway, perhaps take a moment to think. Are you proposing because you’re ready, really in love and the timing is just magically, monumentally right? Or, has that third glass of wine and the fact you’ve just successfully cooked a massive turkey got you riding a confident Christmas high?

If it’s the latter, it’s time to press pause. Snap shut that ring box and have a read of our top tips for festive proposals. That way, even if you’re dead-set on taking the plunge inbetween carolling and Christmas dinner, you won’t wake up on Boxing Day with regrets…

Step away from the drinks cabinet: are you sober?

We’ve all been guilty of over-generosity after that sixth or seventh drink, haven’t we? And, if you have a track record of drunken rashness, the Christmas cocktails – we’re looking at you, snowballs – will make you even more likely to pop the question. 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’re planning to hide a ring box in her stocking. Coast through Christmas on festive joy alone and seriously consider saving your proposal for a sober, memorable day in the new year.

Does she really want her family there?

Another thing about Christmas: it’s not very private. If your bride-to-be, for some reason, decides she doesn’t want to tie the knot with you, then you don’t want to be popping the question in front of Uncle Geoff. That’s an unsalvageable situation. You’re better off getting that perfume she originally hinted at and not risk 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 family 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 "Instagram Live".

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

Every year, we feel the pressure to top the gifts we gave the year before. It can be stifling and can sometimes drive a man to desperate measures. However, when the big day creeps up on you from the depths of December – and if 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?

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?

The weather outside might be frightful and have us going all kinds of crazy to keep our spirits up, 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, brighter nights for your engagement party, and fewer people behind-your-back whispering: “a Christmas proposal? How cliché…”

Still going ahead with it? Alright, then – read our guide to popping the question at Christmas...

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