Whether it’s always just the two of you or you’re downsizing because of the pandemic, these tips and recipes will make your small holiday big on fun.

Are you and your partner sheltered together and anticipating a cozy Christmas à deux? Is it just going to be you and your roommate this year? While many of us are likely to be missing the loss of large rambunctious gatherings and long family tables, it is important to remember that often the best way through is to highlight the difference instead of mourning it. I subscribe to the ethos of “if you can’t change it, celebrate it!”

Take hold of this crazy year’s holiday with one of these five creative options for Christmas for Two

Retro Christmas!

Think back to the parties of your childhood, and revisit those nostalgic dishes. From the old-school prime rib dinners with all the fixin’s, to an Annie Hall live lobster moment, looking to your past for a fun theme is a great way to celebrate this year. Be sure that there is some aspect of your meal that nods to both of you, whether it is your partner’s Mom’s famous twice-baked potatoes, or your roommate’s family’s cherries jubilee. Sourcing the recipes will provide a nice connection to the people you are missing, and the meal will bring up all sorts of amazing memories for you both.

Mini Christmas!

One of the problems with planning a dinner for two for Christmas is that you are often limited by making just the main dishes, and you can miss out on those little nibbles from the pre-meal festivities, the expansive options on the holiday buffet, the vast offerings on a dessert table. But if you think small, you can get more of those craveable bites. Shift your dishes to canape sizes to maximize the room on your plate. Think about converting your holiday ham to glazed ham cubes on skewers, baking stuffing in mini muffin tins for one-bite stuffing nuggets and shifting your deviled eggs to deviled quail eggs. The more creative you get with shrinking your favorite dishes, the more delicious bites you can get on your plate.

Christmas Abroad (Virtually)!

If neither of you have specific holiday food you are committed to, think about cooking a feast from another culture that you both love. Find some holiday traditions from around the world and plan a menu that you can cook together to make some fun new memories and maybe even start some new traditions. Nothing says that this year’s feast of seven fishes can’t include homemade ceviche, sashimi, or pickled shrimp. Maybe think cochinita pibil instead of ham, or fufu instead of mashed potatoes.

Christmas to Go!

Hosting a holiday party is always expensive, and few of us can afford to cater it out. But dinner for two? That is much more affordable, even at the fancier places. And almost every restaurant you love is doing some sort of Christmas package dinner for pickup or delivery. Find one that sounds amazing, put your feet up, and enjoy the magic of a holiday meal with no fuss.

Christmas Cooking Project Day!

Big parties mean simple setups for ease of serving a lot of people fast. But with just two of you? You can think about some of those fun meals that keep you both engaged throughout. From a full-on fondue feast to a classic raclette meal, making dumplings together and cooking batches as you go, Chinese hot pot in your Instant Pot or Korean BBQ on your indoor grill, or DIY pizzas, the kind of meal where you cook and eat together as you go is fun and festive, and much easier when you aren’t serving a crowd.