As a child I’d awaken to the aroma of a Chole Bhature in the Kitchen, and it put a smile on my face to know that my mother had risen at 6 am to prep our feast of Chole Bhature, Bread PAkodas,Ragi Idli’s and plenty more holiday classics. The day always involved a classic Hindi bollywood movie on the TV, moving furniture and pushing tables together, breaking out fine chinadinner sets , and finally, my aunts, uncles, and cousins galore would arrive around 1pm. I always felt a palpable pride in beautifying the house, and a sheer excitement of stuffing myself with far too much holiday food.
Few yeras ago mom changed my childhood home to a new modern and realistic one through us ,where I celebrated about 34 holiday dinners. It felt a bit wistful, but traditions must change, and this year marks my first year hosting the holidays in my home. My mom will pass the baton, teaching me how to make all of her tried-and-true classic dishes that my Grand mothers taught her (she joked that I can swoonify and organi-cize her recipes). A huge contrast from my childhood memories of holiday dinners about 10-15 family members.
In light of these changes, I began thinking about new traditions to reflect our more intimate gathering, to spark excitement as we navigate new beginnings. I also chose to hone in on the positive aspects of a smaller group—I could delve even further into a beautifully curated tablescape and more elaborate, refined dishes and desserts—details that often get overlooked in large family events. Hosting in my own space offered a unique opportunity to get really swoony, and one creative choice led organically to the next.