The Gemara quotes a verse about the Manna, which it uses as a basis to prohibit preparing on Yom Tov for Shabbos, but by default also indicating the importance of preparing before Shabbos for Shabbos.

וְהָיָה֙ בַּיּ֣וֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁ֔י וְהֵכִ֖ינוּ אֵ֣ת אֲשֶׁר־יָבִ֑יאוּ וְהָיָ֣ה מִשְׁנֶ֔ה עַ֥ל אֲשֶֽׁר־יִלְקְט֖וּ י֥וֹם ׀ יֽוֹם׃ (Shemos 16:5)

But on the sixth day, when they apportion what they have brought in, it shall prove to be double the amount they gather each day.”

When once asked about what feels different between the alter heim in Europe versus America, Rav Soloveitchik commented that, “On Friday, one could already feel that it was a Yom Tov, like Chol HaMoed.  However, in America, Friday is like any other day.  People rush home from work right before Shabbos.”

It is fascinating how no matter if Shabbos comes in at 4pm or at 8pm many of us are still rushing to the last minute, and possibly past that.  Many years ago, I learned of a fabulous personal practice from a friend of mine, Shmuel Leiberman, who as far as I know still follows this custom:

He tries to be ready for Shabbos one hour before Shabbos, completely ready and dressed for shul.  He spends that hour in the living room with as many family members as he can, studying Torah or come what may.  My wife and started doing this last summer, and now as we are in the winter with a short Friday, are doing our best to keep it.  Sometimes we listen to zemiros, other times a shiur, or just shmooze.  There is never an easy time to start because it’s always a rush anyhow, so you might as well try it now.

 

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Translations Courtesy of Sefaria