Christmas, children, is not a date. It is a state of mind.

Mary Ellen Chase

The last few days before Christmas always seem to be spent running errands, ordering groceries, pick up last minute gifts, and dealing with the general chaos that the holiday brings.

If today feels like another day of to-do lists and holiday- induced stress, we want to invite you for just a moment, to imagine a few days into the future to Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.

Picture relaxing on the sofa or sitting down to a holiday meal. Your gathering is probably a lot smaller than usual, but the traditions you cherish are still alive and you’re enjoying a moment of calm and peace after a busy season and a difficult year.

Even in these times of unease and difficulty, making time for the Christmas and spending time with the ones you love is worth the time and effort.

We have a couple tips to help you prepare for one of the highlights of any holiday season: a Christmas meal.

Most of us have a special meal that caps off the anticipation and joy of the season as we break bread together and we think that spending those extra few moments preparing your table for a feast are absolutely worth it.

How to prepare a holiday table.

Choose Your Centrepiece

We love beautiful candle holders and tapers of different heights to add depth and elegance to any gathering. Especially around the holidays, candlelight feels merry and bright and it’s the perfect way to make your family meal feel extra special. If you have some on hand, scattering a few pinecones or clusters of bright red berries can also add a touch of texture and colour to your table.

Select Linens

Now is the perfect time to bring out an heirloom tablecloth or something bright and joyful. If you want to explore a varied colour palette, classic linen napkins in dark jewel tones on a lighter tablecloth is a fun, festive look for your table scape.

Dishes + Serveware

Find a polishing cloth and set to work renewing your silverware if it’s been collecting dust! We highly recommend pulling out all the stop and using your prettiest cutlery and serveware to make this time feel out of the ordinary. Yes, we’ve been cooped up at home all year, and yes it might feel a little silly to go all out – but creating an atmosphere of festivity and joy will absolutely help put you in the spirit of Christmas.

Create a Menu

If you want to add that final touch to a place setting, handwrite your menu on a card to set on each plate. It’s a beautiful way to add elegance to the meal and will answer the most pressing question of all: “what are we having for dinner?”

Go Phone-Free

For this one, special meal, encourage your family members to come to the table without their phones. Research a list of conversation starters, ask each person what their hopes are for 2021, most importantly – spend this time together savouring the tastes, smells, and togetherness that the holidays bring. We love reading together as a family and often use time around the table to read a Christmas story like the ones found in Nigel Slater’s Christmas Chronicles.

While all these tips are things we’ve found that can make a meal feel more intimate and special, we also know that whatever way you choose to celebrate and whatever traditions you have for your family are so important at this time of year. Make sure to embrace them – even if this time feels different and strange.

Wishing you the merriest Christmas and a wonderful New Year!