A dinner place setting

Is it just me or has the start of the holiday festivities begun earlier and earlier these past few years? I have a feeling it is because we’re all longing for the wonder, nostalgia and magic of this season a little extra, especially in 2020. 

We’re decorating our homes in the first days of November. We are welcoming Christmas trees into our spaces and adorning everything with garland. Those cheesy Hallmark movies (that we all secretly love) are playing on TV, and peppermint lattes are calling our names. 

If you’re hosting your family or friends this year, consider these ideas to bring intentionality into your celebrations. 

Host an intentional holiday meal.

The best conversations and stories told seem to happen around the dinner table. The holiday season is the ideal time to engage in the practice of sharing an inviting meal with your community. 

The holiday season is the ideal time to engage in the practice of sharing an inviting meal with your community. 

Create a warm and beautiful atmosphere by adding fresh florals and greenery, candlesticks, pretty linens and your best dishes to your table. (Pinterest will be your best friend for this!) Add place cards and pair friends or family next to someone they wouldn’t normally gravitate toward in order to build new relationships or foster deeper ones. Add conversation cards around the table, such as Darling Dinner Cards, to encourage deeper connection.

Lastly, invite your family or friends to prepare a nourishing meal together before gathering around to eat. You can be as creative as you’d like here. One of my favorite holiday memories was turning Friendsgiving into brunch—complete with homemade cinnamon rolls, warm, pour-over coffee and a fruit and granola charcuterie board. 

Set out a Polaroid camera to capture memories.

Set out a Polaroid camera for guests to capture candid moments, silly group photos and details of the celebration. Polaroid images are nostalgic and become instant, tangible memories to carry home. Make sure to have a lot of film on hand. If you don’t own a Polaroid, then you can ask friends or family to borrow one or purchase disposable cameras instead. 

Host a movie marathon.

Nothing will give you the warm and fuzzy holiday feelings quite like curling up under a pile of blankets for a Christmas movie marathon. If you’re inviting your friends or family to join you, get classic holiday films queued up on your TV. Set out mugs for tea or hot cocoa and have lots of blankets on hand. Light your favorite holiday scented candle, and if you are able to, light a fire in the fireplace.

Nothing will give you the warm and fuzzy holiday feelings quite like curling up under a pile of blankets for a Christmas movie marathon.

There you have it—a simple, perfectly cozy atmosphere for an afternoon or evening of getting lost in the magic of holiday films. If music is a better fit for your celebrations, then prepare a playlist mixed with classic and modern holiday music to play throughout the night. 

Plan a staycation. 

Between shopping for gifts, preparing your home for guests, planning celebrations and a hundred other activities on your calendar, the holiday season can be a whirlwind. A staycation is the perfect way to slow down and celebrate in a restful and intentional way. 

Find a space through a travel site like Airbnb that is beautiful and cozy, surrounded by nature like a cabin in the mountains, or if you live in a city, somewhere in walking distance to a local coffee shop or cafe. Anywhere you can retreat away from the world for a few days works! Make this new tradition special by sharing meals, spending time outdoors, shopping locally around town for holiday gifts, indulging in those cheesy Christmas movies and keeping space from technology for a few days as you make memories. 

What is your favorite way to celebrate the holidays? What are some of your tried-and-true hacks for hosting during this busy time of the year?

Image via The Tony Li Project

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