By Åse Anderson in London
Christmas is one of the most popular times of year to get engaged, and it's pretty obvious why. The festive season is already filled with magic, wonder and joy so adding romance to the mix makes the moment you reveal the engagement ring all the more special.
The Christmas tree and all the twinkling lights make a beautiful backdrop. However, Christmas celebrations invariably involve family and friends so careful planning is essential to ensure the big moment doesn't get lost between the carving of the turkey and the Queen's Speech.
If you haven't decided on a ring yet, head over to our bridal section, where you will find an extensive selection of rings to suit every bride-to-be and guides on how to buy an engagement ring if the prospect seems overwhelming.
Once the ring is sorted, the next thing to decide is whether you want your proposal to be a private moment - with just the two of you - or a public one that involves other family members (who may or may not be aware of your plans). Whichever you choose, there are plenty of creative, fun and romantic ways to propose during the Christmas holiday.
A fun option is to hang the ring box on the Christmas tree or hide it somewhere in the room for her to find once all the presents have been opened. The hide-and-seek element can be expanded by drawing a little treasure map or sprinkling confetti on the floor to lead her to the hiding place. You can also buy a transparent Christmas bauble that opens up to hide the ring in before placing it on the tree.
For a private proposal on Christmas morning, you could put the ring in her Christmas stocking with a note saying "will you marry me?" attached to it. Or how about putting the ring box inside a number of bigger boxes with the largest one wrapped in a big bow? Alternatively, present her with five small wrapped boxes containing a different word (will, you, marry, me), with the ring hidden in the last box. Number the boxes to ensure that she opens them in the right order! If there is a mistletoe, you could hang the ring from it and ask her to marry you before sharing your first kiss as an engaged couple.
If these ideas lack the grand gesture you're after, more elaborate proposals include dressing up as Santa to present her with the ring or spelling out "Will you marry me?" in Christmas lights on the roof of the house or in the garden.
For a Christmas proposal away from home, consider taking her on a romantic walk, stopping by the local Christmas lights to pop the question. Or finish off a hard day of Christmas shopping in your favourite restaurant and present her with the ring over a bottle of their finest Champagne. A snowy landscape will add to the romantic feel so if you live in a cold climate you could organise a sleigh ride or ice skating session to set the scene for the proposal.
As you can see, the options for creating a romantic Christmas proposal are virtually endless. Now you just have to keep your fingers crossed that she says yes!