Embracing the festive season with grace and charm, Christmas bon ton takes center stage as an essential aspect of holiday celebrations. Aspiring to elevate the art of etiquette during this joyous time, Etiquette Influencer, Author of Monica’s Christmas Style, and Founder of tahble.com shares a few bon ton secrets to spread yuletide cheer with poise and sophistication.
WHICH GIFTS SHOULD BE AVOIDED AT CHRISTMAS (PARTICULARLY FOR ITALIANS)?
IOTTI: Never give objects or things that may remind of superstitions (pins, pearls, knife sets, etc.), especially in Italy. Never give body or facial creams, shower gels, or any kind of soaps, as they can be misinterpreted. Never give perfumes unless you are very close and have a good understanding of the person. Never give household appliances, for heaven’s sake. Never give overly personal items. The gift should be chosen for the person receiving it, not just because we like it.
PANETTONE AND PANDORO, WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT CUSTOMS FOR EACH?
IOTTI: The panettone arrives on the table intact, on a beautiful elegant stand, together with a nice long serrated knife. It will be the hostess’s task to cut and serve a slice of panettone to her guests on a dessert plate. Panettone is strictly eaten with hands, holding it with the left hand and breaking off small morsels with the right hand and then bringing them to the mouth.
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As for pandoro, the rules are different. It is tasted with a dessert spoon and fork because it is usually served filled or accompanied by various creams such as chocolate and chantilly cream. Therefore, it is prepared in the kitchen by slicing it and dividing it in half, dusting it with powdered sugar on dessert plates, which will then be served on the table to the various guests, offering them different types of creams.
Each guest will serve themselves from the designated cup using the appropriate serving utensils, based on their preferred cream or creams. In this case, a dessert spoon and a small dessert fork are used, which the hostess will have already set on the table. Using the spoon, a little cream is placed on a piece of pandoro, and with the fork, the pandoro with cream is brought to the mouth.
WHAT ARE THE MUST-HAVES TO ENSURE CHRISTMAS CHARM AT THE TABLE?
IOTTI: In my opinion, the Christmas table should be majestic, yet at the same time welcoming and magical, reflecting the spirit of Christmas and family. I like to say that it should be formal to celebrate the richness of Christmas and informal to convey a sense of warmth and family. Therefore, it is set with 3 important chargers:
- Tablecloth: The tablecloth plays a significant role. Depending on the design concept of your table and the chosen color scheme, you can opt for a richly embroidered Flanders or family linen tablecloth, or go for the classic Christmas Tartan with coordinating napkins.
- Decorations: Decorations are essential and should never be missing on a table of this kind. Those who know my tables know that I love to create magical atmospheres with themes to immerse my guests in a fantastic Christmas mood. For Christmas Eve dinner, candles of varying heights are a must, creating a magical atmosphere, in addition to a coordinating centerpiece. For Christmas lunch, an impressive centerpiece will be important to amaze your guests. From beginning to end, whether it’s Christmas Eve or Christmas lunch, everything must be beautiful, welcoming, and magical.
- Tableware: For those who have silverware, it is imperative to use it—high-quality plates and tableware, as well as fine cutlery and glasses.
To make this innovative concept accessible to everyone, Monica has launched a special e-commerce platform called www.tahble.com. Here, you can explore a variety of Table Box options, each carefully curated to suit different occasions and personal styles. Whether you’re hosting a formal dinner party or having a casual get-together with friends, there’s a Table Box that will take your dining experience to new heights.
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