It’s the holiday season! How the hell did that happen?
Regardless, we’re covering our house in glitter, garland, and multicolor vintage ornaments – so it’s time to get our plump little behinds into gear and ready for all the parties, awkward family interactions, and hap hazard present wrapping that this time of year brings!
I’m not going to sit here and act like I have all the answers to throwing the Martha Stewart Christmas of dreams, because – duh? But also, after having debatably the best and worst year of my life in equal measures (seriously – more on that later, but all I can say is this.. 2019 DO BETTER), I’ve identified a few of the things that I can let slide to make life a lot more simple and give me the space to be present. That way, I can enjoy the most important part of holiday cheer – our family, friends, and all the coziness!
First things first :
As we (I?) inch closer to 30 years on this planet, the present giving can and should get less extravagant for most exchanges. We all have access to Amazon for anything our little hearts desire and can get it in two days with free shipping, so I’ve found that I just tend to need and ask for less at the holidays now. Also, the less you spend on each other – presumably gifting your best guess at something they’d like – the more we can all save and spend on things we for sure know we’ll love. Win/win, I say.
Without further ado, here’s how we gift in a way that’s generous to others – but also to our own sanity.
Of course, there’s the DIY route. But practically, not everyone has time for that. Picking up something that feels like a bit of a thoughtful, special treat usually hits the marker without breaking the bank – and it also keeps your shopping list MUCH simpler. For most of our friends, we’re opting to go the custom ornament + bubbles/booze route this year. It’s sentimental without taking up too much space, and still super fun/easy. Finding some kind of ‘formula’ for smaller gifts (IE: [sentimental item] + [consumable]) keeps you from having to run to a million stores for twenty of your closest friends *and* helps you to not accidentally splurge on one person and get nearly anything for another because you ran out of ideas. We’re saving time *AND* ensuring equality in 2018, y’all!
So, presents are out of the way.
Next up: Decor.
There’s no get-cute-quick with this one, sadly. My best and only advice is to throw tradition to the wind and start way earlier than you think with decorating. This year, Jon and I put up are tree on November 12 and I have zero regrets. ZERO. The earlier you start, the more likely you get the best pick at the cutest, most covetable decorations – and you save yourself the last minute migraine of putting everything up in one night. So, grab a glass of whatever you love and leisurely get your place looking like a CB2 Christmas catalog with the smug knowledge that you’ve diverted disaster with your sparkling timeliness. Also, for what it’s worth – Atlanta (our new home, by the way – more on that soon!) started decorating for the holidays before Halloween, even. It’s all fine, queen!
And finally, FAMILY TIME.
This is the hardest topic, of course. Everyone has different shapes and sizes of family, with different dynamics and histories. The only advice I have is this : try your damndest to remember the only thing you can control is your own actions, and that perfection will never be achieved with these interactions. Love on those you hold dear and do your best to pay no mind to the opinions and abrasive nature of those you don’t – at the end of the day, they can only bother you if you let them. There’s a lot of much more experienced authors who can speak to the importance of polite boundaries – but the main gist of it is : you get to choose who and what gets to mean something in your life. For everyone else, I have a golden rule. If someone isn’t your cup of tea but isn’t doing anything to harm or hurt others, let them be. And if they’re going out of their way to purposely hurt you or anyone else – let them know how you feel, drop the mic, and walk away. It’s not worth your energy, babe. I’m super, super lucky to have a great family – and I can’t wait to spend the day stuffing my face, talking too much, and lazing about in the Christmas pajamas that my Mother-In-Law buys us every year all day.. before changing into a sequin dress for the evening, naturally!
Oh! And on a final note. My best, biggest Christmas trick.
Just. Use. Bags. Cute ones, with nice tissue paper. (And/or watch this video ad nauseum & practice with brown paper until you get the hang of gift wrapping!)
Drink some mulled wine and sprinkle some glitter for me,