The holidays look different this year, and we want to help you make the most of them. Most of us will be entertaining at home, and there are plenty of ways to make that experience magical, even if your guest list might look a bit smaller than in previous years.

Going all out has never been more necessary. First, interpret what that means to you – perhaps adding some extra decorations throughout the house, putting a favourite indulgence on the menu, opening a special bottle of wine from the cellar – and then, go for it. The challenges of 2020 have touched us all in some way, and a no-holds-barred holiday is a worthy antidote for the sacrifices we’ve had to make this past year.

The imposed restrictions and guidelines in place throughout the world beckon a rethinking. If you’re celebrating with immediate family – and therefore a smaller group – why not have lasagna for dinner in lieu of the traditional meal? Or better yet, why not have your meal delivered from your favourite local restaurant? You’ll feel good for supporting an industry hit particularly hard this year, hospitality, and you’ll have more time to relax. Everyone deserves an extra bit of relaxation this holiday season.

Many of us associate a particular type of wine or cocktail with happy memories, such as an Aperol Spritz during summer travels to Hotel Il Pellicano or drinking a glass of Alfred Gratien Blanc de Blancs at Brasserie Lipp in Paris. This holiday season is a perfect time to recreate those memories at home; whether a drink might feel ‘out of season’ or a champagne vintage hard to come by, they’ll be all the more enjoyable when you’re sipping them from the couch.

The shift in tradition also provides ample opportunity to rethink decor. Have you always wanted a bigger tree? More garlands? A bespoke wreath on your front door? Now is the time. We encourage festivity in leaps and bounds, whether that might look like a winter wonderland complete with Santa’s grotto in the back garden, or a gold and shimmer-splashed Studio 54-style holiday. Curating the atmosphere throughout the home, inside and out, will help everyone get in the spirit. Candles that emit traditional Christmas scents will be an olfactory call to our memories and create an extra level of cosiness, too.

Decor and cuisine and candles aside, if it’s proving a challenge for all members of the family to cultivate a sense of holiday cheer: distract. Maybe this isn’t the year to rewatch all of the usual favourite Christmas movies. Instead, let everyone choose a film set in a place they’d planned to visit but weren’t able, or go with a random theme such as ‘summer movies’ or ‘Julia Roberts romantic comedies’ – so long as said theme is heartwarming and a healthy reminder of conclusively happy times.

If you’re lucky to live somewhere it’s safe and permitted to gather, ask guests to make a donation to a charity of your choice on your behalf instead of bringing a hostess gift. Whilst it’s been well-established this year has been challenging for all of us, it has been much more arduous for some than others. Gifts, and things, don’t have quite the same caché as they usually do; giving back carries an additional gravitas.

Lastly, take a deep breath, and remember, next year things will (likely) return to a closer semblance of what we all determine to be ‘normal.’ A shift in every aspect of all our lives, simultaneously, is so rare. Make the most of the opportunity! It will be fleeting.


Should you need assistance in organising or implementing any of the above suggestions, please contact your lifestyle manager.