Last year’s holiday season was even more of a blur than it typically is, a whirlwind of constantly shifting expectations and scaling back and figuring out how, exactly, to approximate the usual approaches to holiday cheer in a world where nothing was usual.
But this year, as we inch toward whatever the new normal might be, there’s a growing feeling that doing whatever brings you joy should be the new “tradition”: Yes, make enough mashed potatoes for 12 (whether or not you have 11 guests to serve them to). Tackle that elaborately cheffy roast turkey recipe, and if it doesn’t work out, say screw it and just order takeout. Throw a dinner party with nothing but side dishes and Champagne. Whatever! The idea of celebration should be all about what makes you feel comforted or accomplished, and allows you to relax or go whole hog as needed. With that in mind, this year’s Eater at Home for the Holidays is all about bringing joy to the dinner table — no matter what form that takes.