The Underappreciated Role of the Holiday Table

You spend a lot of time thinking about your holiday meal. But what about the table that’s underneath it?

Like mistletoe and ugly sweaters, the communal table is an undeniable component of any holiday celebration. Be they priceless heirlooms or thrifted card tables (perhaps artfully hidden beneath holly-embroidered tablecloths), these pieces of furniture stand witness to the most significant meals of our lives, along with the arguments, the jokes, the stories, and the prayers we share year after year. With this in mind we asked some of our favorite chefs, food writers, and culinary thought leaders to share with us their favorite memories of the communal tables that have carried their holiday feasts. Here’s what they had to say.

Molly O'Neill

Food Writer and Cookbook Author

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Do Your Leftovers Bubble and Squeak?

A guide to the world’s most sustainable post-holiday recipes.

Now that the big meal is over, it’s easy to give in to temptation. But don’t order that pizza just yet. Though your fridge is full of scraps, that doesn’t mean you’re stuck with turkey sandwiches or microwaved mashed potatoes. In this slideshow, explore some of history’s most sustainable post-holiday meals, comprised mainly from repurposed leftovers. These simple dishes have been crowd-pleasers since long before someone thought cranberry sauce in a can was a good idea.

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Sustainability Tips for the Holidays

Make this season a little brighter—and greener—with ideas to make the holidays more sustainable.

This post is in partnership with Starbucks

Instead of wishing for a white Christmas this year, how about a green one? We know how tempting it can be during this season to go all-out, but instead of falling into the trap of reckless consumption this year, we challenge you to think outside the holiday gift box and try a more sustainable approach to the holiday season. Whether it's buying candied nuts in bulk to save packaging or opting for a sustainable Christmas tree, are you up to the challenge of making this holiday season a little brighter—and a whole lot greener? Here are some ideas to get you started:

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