‘Tis a holiday season like no other — and as we near the end of a challenging and tumultuous year, we find ourselves facing celebrations in quarantine. Still, at SheKnows, we’re inspired by Oprah’s saying that one should aspire to “Stay in the light.” And so, for our first-ever digital issue — aptly named “Home for the Holidays” — we bring you the stories, pro tips, recipes, and gift picks that will help you and yours have a magical holiday.
Read on for our intimate cover story with Kelly Ripa on the simple joy of a small family gathering; Zooms with Giada De Laurentiis on cooking and Nate Berkus on decorating; Bird Bakery Founder Elizabeth Chambers demonstrating how to make an easy edible gift; recipes from around the world; our Holiday Gift Guide and much more! Because, as Berkus told us, “Even if family's not coming or even if you're not having your big annual holiday party or whatever your family traditions are, I hope you decorate the house in the way that makes you smile, even if it's just for you. Because I think we all need that right now.”
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One Holiday Table,
Two Festive Looks
By Tamara Kraus
photos by george chinsee
Before you dive right into shopping for all new plates and decor, take things one step at a time. “I fall in love with one thing, and work my way around that,” says Garretti. Pick a special plate, family heirloom, or plant you already have at home.
Use your everyday dinnerware and shop for a handful of new décor items like cloth napkins, placemats, and centerpieces for a new look. These small items will have a big impact without the steep price tag.
Leave out the tablecloth if you have small kids or if you’re trying to make things more casual. Statement-making chargers or textured placemats will still elevate the table, while creating zones for each seat. Best of all, you can easily wipe them clean.
Get the family involved. You’ll make a more meaningful table if you make it an activity for everyone. Garretti made these tables with her mom, and included family heirlooms and one-of-a-kind items from her travels. Bonus: These items also make for great conversation starters and let you revisit your favorite memories.
Make sure your centerpieces aren’t higher than your guests’ eye level. Create dimension by staggering the height of centerpieces, like Garretti did here with the mix of shorter topiaries and taller candelabras. Pro tip: Set the mood with candle-only lighting — the flattering glow will make everyone look great!
Choose non-perishable centerpieces if you don’t want to worry about plants dying right away. That way, you can also leave them out on your table for weeks or months — and enjoy them throughout the season. If you don’t have a green thumb, you don’t have to use a live centerpiece — or one that involves greenery at all.
By erika janes
Chic & Practical Decorating
Tips By Nate Berkus
If you keep things sort of neutral — metallics, ivories, and greenery and natural materials — that can be Hanukkah. That can be Kwanzaa. That could be Christmas.
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It’s no surprise that when you take a virtual stroll through Nate Berkus’ homes — via his gorgeously curated Instagram, that is — you’re surrounded by dreamy interiors that feel elegant, inviting, and accessible all at once. Open spaces, natural materials, pops of greenery, and neutral color schemes are hallmarks of the interior designer, author, and former TV show host’s aesthetic. Even with two young children — 5-year-old Poppy and 2-year-old Oskar — Berkus and his husband, fellow interior designer Jeremiah Brent, decorated their airy Los Angeles home in a “sea of ivory.”
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story & photos by
4 Ingredients, 1 Delicious DIY Gift: Peppermint Bark
Semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
White chocolate, chopped
Crushed peppermint candy
1. Add water to saucepan until saucepan is about 1/3 full. Place heatproof bowl on top to create a double boiler and turn on the heat to medium.
2. Put the semisweet chocolate in the bowl and stir until one-third of the chocolate is melted.
3. Stir 3/4 teaspoon peppermint extract into the chocolate.
4. Turn off the heat and continue stirring until all of the chocolate is melted.
5. Pour into the baking dish lined with parchment paper and spread in an even layer.
6. Set aside at room temperature and allow to set for about 30 minutes.
7. Repeat the process with the white chocolate.
8. Pour over the semisweet chocolate and spread in an even layer.
9. Sprinkle immediately with the crushed candy, gently pressing it into the white chocolate. Set aside at room temperature until firm.
10. Lift the bark out of the pan using the parchment paper and break or cut it into pieces.
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by erika janes
The Art of Edible
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The key thing to look for when buying store-bought sauces is that tomatoes is the first ingredient.
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by KENZIE MASTROE
The Global Table
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by tamara kraus
Gift Guide for Everyone
on Your List
“It's really hard because I think the older people in my family are really nervous about getting together with the younger generation and that's sort of heartbreaking a little bit. So I'm not 100 percent sure. I think that we're going to probably
have to do a little tiny
in-person celebration with a
very small group and then a bigger sort of Zoom holiday. I think that that's probably
the best we're going to be able to do this year.”
“Jeremiah and I have kept a very tight quarantine since March… And so Christmas this year is going to be the four of us. And hopefully after the holidays, we'll start being able to see everybody else. But most of my family's on the West Coast, and it’s just not feasible to get there or have them come to us. And that is going to be very different this year.
“We're going to have the kids open up presents with their cousins. So we'll mail everything and then have the little ones all together on Zoom. It’s going to be chaotic, but we'll get through it.”
“We're going to have a little bit of our family — like only four other family members — get tested before they get here. And when they get here, they’ll get tested. We have rapid tests. And we're doing tests like three days apart, like just to make sure. It's crazy, the things you have to think about. But my husband's been very protective because specifically, I'm pregnant. So they have to get tested and we're only going to be around each other because that's the way I love Christmas to be. All of our beautiful Christmas traditions we'll still share.”
“Normally we would go on a trip somewhere, but I think this year is just going to be about Mark coming home, because he's been gone in Vancouver since August. So it's just going to be a reunion, really, for us — the kids and me and Mark. And it really will be a celebration. We miss him terribly!”
by justina huddleston
Make-Ahead Breakfasts for
a Big Family
by TAMARA KRAUS
The Best Places to Buy
Holiday Décor Online
by kristine cannon
Get Turkey, Ham & More Holiday Meats Delivered to Your Door With These Services
by sara kitnick
You Should Add These New Albums to Your Holiday Playlist Now
by louisa ballhaus
All the Best Holiday Specials You
Need to Watch This Month
by lilian burns, louisa ballhaus
The Best Kids Holiday Movies
You Should Watch Now
by amelia edelman
Real Kids Model Festive Holiday
Looks for All Genders
by sabrina rojas weiss
64 Stocking Stuffers for Absolutely Everyone On Your List
by TAMARA KRAUS,
ELIZABETH YUKO, alicia kort
Self-Care Gifts Under $50
BACK TO TOP
We tasked Alice Garretti, the sales director of her family’s New York City-based catering business, Acquolina, with curating two holiday tables anyone can
recreate: a country-casual version for Thanksgiving and an elevated tablescape
for your at-home Christmas gathering.
he center of holiday celebrations comes down to one thing: the holiday table. Luckily, it’s one thing that isn’t canceled this year, so if you’re like us, you want to give it some extra attention to make the holidays feel just as special as any other — even if you’ll have some virtual visitors at your table this year. From the food you eat together to the memory-making conversations you have, the table sets the scene for it all, so choosing a pretty (and kid-friendly!) tablescape that complements the food is key. But where to begin?
Alice Garretti knows a thing or two about getting creative at the dinner table, especially when plans don’t go, well, as planned. Her parents’ New York City catering business, Acquolina — where they curate gorgeous tables to highlight the menu — was at risk earlier this year since catered events were literally off the table.
“When COVID hit, my parents went from having a very successful business one day — then people started canceling events,” she says. Garretti, already a busy mom of two, stepped in to help keep the kitchen alive, keep people employed, and find a way to provide clients with something comforting at home: food. Thus, Acquolina To Go was born.
Follow along to see how the party-planning pro, who designed these looks along with her mom, Yolanda Garretti, brings two holiday tables to life. Draw inspiration from the accents she pulled from her own home, and click on the blue stars on the photos to shop the looks.
By Erika Janes
Photos By David M. Russell,
Kelly Ripa on the Gift of Family
The Live with Kelly and Ryan star on a reimagined Christmas, the holiday tradition that gets her kids excited, and why she and Mark give each other "the gift of not giving each other anything."
I used to get really, really upset about
mundane nonsense that doesn't matter. Now
I find myself just saying, ‘If I just get to see
my parents, that would be great.’
~ Eugenia Miranda Richman
blue stars to
shop the look
blue stars to shop the look
Our mission at SheKnows is to empower and inspire women, and we only feature products we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission of the sale.
The Bird Bakery founder shares her favorite edible gift, pretty packaging hacks, and the entertaining secret that always saves her.
by KENZIE MASTROE
The celebrity chef dishes on elevating store-bought staples, pasta (of course!), and why she once served pizza for Thanksgiving.
Giada De Laurentiis
Celebrating in 2020
From left: Mother-daughter duo Yolanda Garretti and Alice Garretti of Acquolina Catering.
Holiday Recipes From
Around the World