The holiday season is upon us, whether we like it or not. Actually the holiday season started on September 1st, as soon as the pools closed and I decided that it was time to put away my sunscreen.
And normally I’m not a holiday person. I find the whole “dressing in red and green, Christmas lights for earrings, making a holiday playlist” thing kind of weird. Like, no one should be that happy to celebrate the fact that my nipples are freezing other than parka companies and nipple enthusiasts.
But I’m a pessimist and a cynic and a cyclist and a mother, teacher, artist, dancer, singer. Sorry, I got off track. I’m tired of hate-scrolling through the Instagrams of people who drink eggnog and purposefully buy Christmas-themed drinks at Starbucks. I’m tired of hating people who love nutmeg. I mean, I hate nutmeg, but I appreciate the sentiment.
And while I don’t want to be one of those people who casually does a “throwing leaves in the air and then editing the shit out of those photos” photoshoot just for “funsies,” I think that there can be a happy medium between complete Grinch and complete Cindy Lou Who.
Side bar: If I ever had the chance to produce a show about an optimistic person who communes with the dead, you know that I would call it The Happy Medium. You just know that I would do that.
So to officially inaugurate the start of Happy Holidannys, my Christmas Spectacular, is the very first How To Tuesdays!
1). Make a Christmas playlist: as you all know, because you all religiously read my blog and memorize it, I made a Christmas playlist approximately halfway through November. And it’s the first time I’ve actually done anything more than just halfheartedly click on the “Holiday Music” option in iTunes Radio or just listened to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas” on repeat. So I made a Christmas playlist on Spotify (sponsor me for this promo) and I made it as weird and eclectic (and mildly attractive from medium-far away) as I am. And it’s probably the first time that Frank Sinatra and Alaska Thunderfuck 5000 have shared the proverbial music stage.
2). Wear scarves: Not just for utility. Get a large, patterned scarf—my current fave is green plaid—and wrap it around your neck and face and snuggle deep. Not only does it act as a cough barrier for the inevitable winter cold, but it really pulls together any outfit you wear and makes it seem like you put a lot more effort into your clothes than you did. Plus there’s something luxurious about having a blanket twined around your neck, just for your personal comfort. Just stick clear of ascots, you Fred Jones fake.
3). Try to be grateful: Okay, I’m gonna get real-real here and be all mushy-shushy-gushy for a second. It’s nice to be all like “YAS CHRISTMAS” or “SHALOM HANUKKAH,” etc., but it’s also nice to be nice and be grateful. The holiday season can kind of suck for some people, if they have to deal with ignorant family members, or monetary stresses, or if they just hate the holidays. It’s easy to be bitter, but for the holiday season, try to see the positives and while you don’t have to be like blind to your troubles—pls keep paying your bills—try to find some holiday happiness and treat yourself.
Which leads me to…
4). Treat yourself: This is not license to go out and buy yourself a mink stole. Refrain from that because a) Minks are endangered and b) You’re not a dictator’s wife or a starlet from the 30s. But feel free to splurge on yourself a little. Buy a cozy drink instead of making it at home. Buy that evergreen sweater that complements your eyes. Buy that book that you’ve been hearing about. Stay in, wrap yourself in your vintage mink stole—I mean, your blanket—and watch Love Actually instead of traipsing out into the cold and standing in a sticky bar talking to a boy with a dead tooth.
5). Get a Christmas sweater: I was half-against this, half-for this before I actually bit the bullet and bought one. On one hand, I think that they’re an excuse for hot people do to that thing where they’re like “Oh look at how funny it is for us to wear unflattering clothing” but on the other hand, I actually love ugly sweaters because I’m a literal potato. But I actually bought a Christmas sweater—with white reindeer and neon-green snowflakes—and I actually love wearing it. It’s festive, cheerful, loud but not ostentatious, and it just reminds me to be a little bit more holiday-y.
I think it’s easy to be cynical as a semi-adult—I prefer the term “teenotanymoreger”, which is a little long but gets the point across—in the holiday season. The Christmas magic has disappated a little bit. We know that Santa isn’t real. The decorating of a tree, the buying of gifts, can be a little arduous. The magic isn’t made for us. Our parents aren’t orchestrating massive celebrations. Everything seems smaller, a little more dinghy. But you can still make the holiday season special. Even if you don’t follow the holidays, even if you think Christmas is bullshit, you can still make it a season of giving. You can make it a season of self-care and soft blankets, hot cocoa and movie nights, chilled breath pluming in front of your face and pink ears.
It’s harder to make the season effortless and cozy and sweet. It’s easy to be jaded and look at the price tag, and make fun of those people who do spontaneous—that we know were planned out—photoshoots and posting the shiny, over-edited evidence on our social media. But that doesn’t feel nice. And whether you subscribe to it or not, the holiday season is a time to feel nice. So try to feel nice, however you interpret that, however you carry that out.
Because it’s nice to be nice, and it’s nice to feel nice. Happy start to 25 days of Holidannys!