The holiday season always feels like magic to me, and this year—given what this same time looked like in 2020—gathering family and friends feels even more special. This week, we’ve collected our tips for hosting a smooth, festive, and warm holiday gathering at home.
PHOTO: Melissa & Sacha Leclair setting their table in the Leclair Home
CURATE YOUR MENU
If your hosting duties involve cooking this year’s big meal, I can’t stress enough to plan your menu well ahead of time! I like to follow up with family and friends on the guest list to ensure any new dietary preferences or allergies are considered before I finalize each component of the meal. A tip that was passed my way is to use local, seasonal fruits and vegetables as a guide to inspire your menu. This will not only ensure the availability of ingredients on your list but also help develop flavour profiles.
PHOTO: Melissa Leclair getting dinner ready in the Leclair Home
CLEAN & DECORATE IN ADVANCE
I always tackle any deep cleaning and decorating at least a week in advance of guest arrival. Creating a quick checklist can help you break up the work and make sure it all gets done. Freshen up bed linens in any guest bedrooms, dust furniture, vacuum tough-to-reach areas, and scrub those time-consuming showers and baths. A deep clean before you decorate will help you feel more relaxed and prepared for hosting, and leave you time for any last-minute grocery or decor runs.
PHOTOS: Melissa & Sacha Leclair decorating their Christmas tree in the Leclair Home & the Leclair Home Kitchen
SET THE TABLE THE NIGHT BEFORE
We love to set the dining table the night before a big holiday meal to ensure we have everything we need. A visual of the setting might inspire those last little details that elevate your tablescape and wow your guests! I also take inventory of my serveware and place setting pieces in advance to make sure I have enough. A few items to consider: platters, small plates, dip bowls, serving spoons, cheese knives, and napkin rings.
PHOTO: LD Shoppe dishware featured in the Leclair Home
ALWAYS AIM FOR AMBIANCE
Use fresh-cut stems like pine, cedar, birch, and magnolia to bring life to your table setting, sideboard, console, and coffee table decor. Nothing feels more festive than the real deal! Set the mood with seasonal candles scented with balsam, fir, cedar, cardamom, cinnamon, tobacco, or vanilla to evoke cozy feelings and bring back fond holiday memories.
Whether you’re visiting family this year or hosting loved ones in your own home, we hope this season is filled with special moments in beautiful spaces!
Ready to plan your holiday gathering? Let LD Shoppe help!