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How to Get in the Holiday Spirit

December 15, 2009

+Listen to Christmas music-let go of your cynicism, pessimism, sense of superiority, self important apathy and way-too-hip-for-this bias for just one moment and let yourself enjoy Christmas songs for what they are. So okay, maybe you despise the cheap, plastic sounding modern pop versions you hear in every store you walk into, but look for Christmas classics and originals and don’t fight the sense of jolly spirit that seizes you. If you really can’t bring yourself to listen to anything without a Pitchfork approved label on top, there are plenty of marvelous indie musicians with their modern versions of classics that you won’t be embarrassed to add to your iPod. (Check out this exhaustive round up of Christmas mp3s/mixes/playlists for options). And trust me, it will get you all jolly and smiling and proper minded. Now skip down that snow lined street singing your favorite version of “Jingle Bells” with non-ironic delight.

Dress festive! Even if you lack the glamorous Christmas party department stores would lead you to believe everyone is throwing, you know, the ones where you wear extravagant red dresses and gold glitter heels and pose against various luxury furnishings with a thin, champagne glass in hand looking as seductive and holiday vixen as can be, you can still dress the part and make believe.

Even if you’re not willing to go all out, at least incorporate bits and pieces of that holiday glamor into your outfits from now until New Year’s. Try sparkling accessories like crystal necklaces and luscious big bows, party frocks and stockings and heels, or something as simple as an oversized brooch on a gray cardigan. Wear sexy lingerie beneath your everyday clothes and slink about your room in a silk robe and slippers. Feel like a starlet in red lips and black dresses for a simple gathering of friends. Work gold, silver, or red into any outfit–play it up, and don’t feel guilty about looking as darling as you do.

Indulge yourself! Since you’re already dressed for decadence, you might as well live it, too. Stop worrying about silly things like “calories” (what does that even mean? It’s not in my holiday vocabulary and it shouldn’t be in yours) or even really “money” and start worrying about how you’ll fit all indulgent beauty products and exquisite desserts into these next few weeks.

Pick up a few bars of peppermint bark, make a pot of hot chocolate and sprinkle on plenty of soft marshmallows, pour apple cider into sparkling glasses and bit into as many pieces of those Christmas-time only sweets as you can find. You know, sensuous chocolate, light-as-butterfly toppings, melting caramel, refreshing peppermint, striped candy canes to match your red and white striped stockings (because you will be dressed up anyway, right?)

Give! Not to sound trite and cliche and sentimental or anything, but nothing will put you in the holiday spirit like, well, embracing the holiday spirit, you know, not the one of reckless consumerism (you’ll already have done plenty of that anyway) but of giving! So not only do you get to go shopping for delights for yourself, shop for the ones you love. But stay away from prepackaged mindless gift sets and presents you’re just giving out of a sense of duty…so, no candles unless it’s something adorable like the ski cap candle from Antropologie, and try instead for something more personal and refreshing.

Get your best friend one of Lelo‘s luxury vibrators (or a less expensive but quite adorable dolphin shaped ones from Fun Factory) and she’ll REALLY love you forever. (If you don’t have one for yourself, stop reading right this second and go buy one. I’m serious. This is one Christmas present you won’t regret…better than new shoes or chocolate.)

If your friends are scattered far across the country (or countries) over the holidays, gather up some addresses and mail out old fashioned physical Christmas cards. Only, don’t send a boring old Christmas card, update formulaic sayings with absurd private jokes or redecorate a lame graphic with personal touches. They’ll appreciate the gesture–and you’ll have a lot of fun chuckling to yourself as you perfect your cutesy holiday snark for each card.

But remember, it’s not all material presents to people you already know well. Give good wishes to the owner of your corner bodega, tip the waitress extra (and add a gold origami heart) at the next restaurant you dine at, buy a cup of something hot for the construction guys you pass by on your way to class. Offer to help someone, especially when they’re not expecting it. Send messages to people you hardly know telling them just how wonderful you think they are. An unexpected good wish could easily make someone’s day–and it’ll put you more in the gift giving, Christmas tune singing, red dress in snow wearing and exquisite guiltless indulging mood too. Start now, and you’re well on your way to having a wonderful holiday season*.

*Yes, even if you failed all your finals, despise your family members, dread holiday parties, are allergic to chocolate, and your cat just died.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. Chynna permalink
    December 15, 2009 3:07 pm

    I’ve been a total scrooge lately, and this really made me realize that I’m missing so much of the great parts of the Holidays. Family craziness sucks, but there’s also the golden moments I often forget when I’m moaning about how terrible this Christmas party will be. Thanks for this delightful post and pictures. Have a great holiday season, Laura!

  2. December 15, 2009 6:45 pm

    Sometimes I think you get a little too much inspiration from Gala Darling… the whole liberated vibrator-talk and “she’ll love you forever” if you get one for a friend… I’m glad you’ve gotten so much inspiration from her, but sometimes I think it’s a little too obvious and not credited enough.

    • December 15, 2009 8:54 pm

      I understand how you might think that I’m just ripping off Gala’s ideas (and I fully acknowledge her influence on much of my blog), but the “liberated vibrator talk” is just genuine advice and personal experience that has nothing to do with what she might advise. And, it is not some I’m-a-liberated-feminist-pretense…I wouldn’t write it if it wasn’t unabashed truth and if I didn’t fully endorse it of my own accord.

  3. December 17, 2009 7:21 pm

    Amazing as always, Laura. I agree with your conclusion, that it’s not really about the material things. Some people forget.


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