As they say, November 1st is when the holidays begin. All over the United States stores are marking down the spooky decor and replacing it with ornaments, stockings, and gift wrap. People everywhere are starting their Christmas Lists, hanging twinkly lights in their home and buying peppermint lattes, happy to usher in the season earlier and earlier every year.
As I used to be in the retail business, I am familiar with the fog of Holiday actually being top of mind for 9 months out of the year. It really doesn’t bother me to hear ‘All I Want for Christmas is You” on repeat because it genuinely puts me in a good mood, every time I hear it. I am basic enough to admit that I like Pumpkin Spice Lattes, and I like Peppermint Mocha ones even more. I have already started my Christmas gift lists (yep, last week!) so that I am fully prepared for the sales and don’t have to pay last minute shipping costs. Yet every year by the time the Holidays are over, I feel like I didn’t get to enjoy them enough, I didn’t spend enough time with family and friends, and I didn’t get to enjoy my decorations for long enough.
This year, that will change. My parents moved from our old house where we celebrated Christmas every year as a family, and of course, this time I have a daughter who really has no idea what Christmas, let alone gifts, are. We are also a mixed religious household where we celebrate Hannukah as well. What does this mean? It means less of a focus on December 25th, and more focus on new traditions that will get us into the holiday spirit for the next 2 months.
So… with that said, I have a few goals for myself to help me enjoy and make the best of the next 2 months. Most people will scoff at my goals as a way to ruin the season, but if you know me you know that I live for setting attainable, fun goals so that I prioritize the things that are most important. This year, instead of setting resolutions after the holidays, let’s set them before, so that we can monopolize on the cheeriness, sharing, generosity, good food and family and friend time that we all need before we go all nuts with saving money and dieting, am I right? And with that, I give you my 5 Personal goals for the holidays this year:
My 5 Personal Goals for the Holidays This Year
1. Plan a party for my friends
I think it’s so important to get your friends together this time of year because it’s a group of people who are generally at the same stage of life, sharing the same stresses and challenges, and can all unwind and celebrate together. Office holiday parties (shoutout to my Gap homies!) and white elephant parties with my girlfriends were awesome in my early 20’s, but now that I don’t work in an office and many of my friends have kids, we party in a veryyyy different way. So this year I want to have either a cookie decorating party, a tea party (both with kids) or a cocktail party (adults only) so that we can all get together and appreciate the holidays together. So what do you think… I’m taking votes for which party it should be!
2. Get the Decorations up before Thanksgiving
I realize this sounds ridiculous and ambitious, but as we leave for almost a week for Thanksgiving every year, it would be nice to come home to a decorated house to enjoy for the next few weeks. While I don’t expect a tree to be up, I would love to have my mantle and stockings decorated as well as our Menorah ready to go to make our home feel festive!
3. Make Holiday Cocktails!
We are a wine family and given our supply it’s easy to pop a bottle open without thinking. But this year I want to challenge myself to make a few more festive drinks (but nothing too gourmand… it’s me we’re talking about), like hot cocoa with Bailey’s, spiked apple cider and hot mulled wine. Hot cocoa with Bailey’s and marshmallows is one of my absolute favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit, so I’m determined to actually enjoy a few this year!
4. Create new Traditions
You have heard me talk about this in my Q4 goals post, but it is important to me to create new traditions that feel relevant to our changing family and our mixed-faith household. My husband and I already have a Christmas Eve morning tradition of going out to our favorite breakfast spot, but I would like to add something for the first or last night of Hannukah as well. I am also eager to get the 3 generations of ladies together for afternoon tea in the city where I can dress Marina up and enjoy the decorations in San Francisco’s Union Square.
5. Do something festive every week
This one is a little vague, but leaves room for creativity and interpretation. As long as I think it’s festive, it works. It could be volunteering my time or donating to a shelter, it could be practicing my baking skills or cooking dinner, or it could be making ornaments and decorating the house. No matter what, I want to keep the magic alive for the next 6 weeks so that when it’s over, I can look back and smile because this year it wasn’t just a Holi-day, it was the whole dang season.