I'm a holiday traditionalist!
I like, no, I LOVE setting up my tree each year, I NEED to read Tasha Tudor's illustrated version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas, on the night before Christmas, and my stockings, hand sewn by a dear friend, must be "hung by the chimney with care," even though it's not a working fireplace.
This is all much to my husband's chagrin, as he is a minimalist (whom I refer to as "the Grinch" year round). But I never can quite celebrate unless I have decorated for the Holiday...
That is why I so enjoy setting up my Hayloft room shots for you... I get to celebrate a bit each sale and share my nouveau traditionalist decor ideas, which come from a mix of my newer experiences as a wife and mother and my happy, big family, mom-makes-everyday-a-holiday childhood. These ideas may not be perfect, but they are me... how I grew up, what I learned to love and how I want to celebrate that all with, well, you all... (cheesy, I know).
With that being said, Santa's cookie plate IS, indeed, important! As is his milk glass, or tea cup, or brandy snifter for his cold travels...as are the table and linens that you place Santa's goodies on... they are yours, they should all speak about you and your traditions and what you love about your life now, as well as inspiration for what you want or wish your home and life to look and feel like during these and future holidays.
Your city home may be less than 400 square feet, but that does not mean that you must lower your standards (right mom?)! You may use your cookie plate as a dinner plate year round... it might be a porcelain Tiffany pattern, a silver salver, or it might be a plate that says "Santa's cookies"... You can buy two Bacarrat Brandy snifters, not 12, and repurpose them as vases when you are not sipping away! Buy a basket and some tree ornaments and put them on your table with some pine boughs that you surreptitiously collect from the corner tree salesman, and let those work as your "Charlie Brown" tree this year. It's New York City, we can do anything that we want and make it city chic and acceptable; so buy what you love so it will be an inspiration to you for this holiday and always.
Happy holiday decorating!