This year, the holidays are all about comfort. So, let’s renew with old traditions, such as decorating the table and setting the tone, for festivities reminiscent of yesteryear. And of course, let’s not forget to spread the magic with some thoughtful gifts for the ones we love.
1. Organized decorating
If you’re feeling uninspired when it comes to your holiday decorations, don’t run off to the stores without first choosing a theme. When you have a clear idea in mind, you’re less likely to throw pointless things into your cart (such waste!), and instead only buy what you need.
Winning theme ideas
Green and red
Classic Christmas colours! And they can be found in every shape and size. For example, you can use fir branches (natural or synthetic) to create a festive table runner. You can also use green tablecloths or placemats to add a splash of colour to your dining room. You can then use red Christmas balls of various sizes to embellish your fir branch table runner, or arrange a few cranberries and candles in the centre of the table, for a relaxing ambience.
Psst! The colour combination possibilities are endless: gold, silver, and blue are also popular choices.
Celebrate Christmas like your grandparents did! Incorporate traditional must-haves, such as mistletoe in your doorways (kisses are mandatory!), Christmas stockings (filled with little surprises), a wreath on your front door, and of course, a beautiful poinsettia displayed for all to see.
Décor you can eat
Feel like making edible decorations but want something other than the traditional gingerbread house? How about a gingerbread man garland? So easy to make and so fun to devour come January 2nd!
Another great idea is to tie cinnamon sticks and dried orange slices with twine and arrange them on your table—perfect for making flavourful infusions and garnishing cocktails.
Figurines always add a magical touch to the holidays, especially those sculpted in wood, like nutcrackers, or made from material other than plastic, such as ceramic (think a nativity scene) or glass (especially when it comes to Christmas balls). And don’t forget about your stuffed Santa Claus, elves, and reindeer!
2. Organize a gourmet gift exchange
Nothing beats a homemade gourmet gift. They’re great because not only are they made with love, but they’re also delicious and won’t end up in your closet or junk drawer, like so many trinket gifts do.
So, dust off your grandmother’s old recipes and whip up a few batches of cream fudge, chocolate fudge, truffles, turtles, cookies, donuts, and granola.
3. Prepare a lumberman (and lumberwoman!) feast
Imagine your guests have spent the day outdoors, chopping wood at -20oC. What kind of meal would you serve them? Think meat pies (including, of course, tourtière Lac-Saint-Jean), cranberry jelly, stuffed rolls (if you’re feeling adventurous, try your hand at a sandwich cake!), meatball stew, stuffed turkey, marinades (homemade ketchup, pickled beets, onion jam, etc.), macaroni salad, and mashed potatoes.
For dessert, serve a chocolate or vanilla Yule log . . . or both! And in keeping with tradition, decorate your logs with small figurines, a snowman, fir trees, miniature houses, etc. Another classic dessert? A good old fruit cake!
4. Play classic carols
A festive playlist will really get the party started! Make sure to include classics like Silent Night, Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and Jingle Bells!
And to ring in the new year, get swinging with classic Quebec rigodons, such as Le jour de l’An, La Bolduc, La Bastringue, and Le temps d’une dinde.
5. Plan a morning-after brunch
If you still have a little energy left, organize a morning-after potluck-style brunch. Ask your uncle to bring potato donuts, your mother to bring cinnamon buns, your brother to bring smoked trout, your sister to bring hollandaise sauce for the eggs benedict, etc. Complete the menu with a decadent panettone and salted caramel bread pudding, served with hot chocolate.