The Holidays: Why They are a Wonderful Excuse to be Merry (Even if you Think Your Life Is Mundane Otherwise and, Frankly, if you Feel This Way, I Would Rather Not Know You)

I was sitting and filling out loan consolidation forms to somehow figure out how to pay off my $100,000+ law school debt and… suddenly… I lost focus. Imagine that? While I was utterly unable to focus on the thrilling subject matter of overwhelming debt, visions of sugar plums began to dance in my head… Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner (cue Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” playing in my home on constant repeat). But, I digress… In the midst of my lack of fill-out-my-loan-consolidation-papers-focus, my personal focus sharpened. I wanted to take a moment to share it with all of you.  Here are a few reasons to LOVE, Love, love the holidays.

My sis {right} and me {left} paying homage to the traditional Christmas colors

1. Gingerbread Houses: it may seem childish and trivial, but this is how I look at it: I can’t afford the mansion of my dreams (quite yet), but I can definitely afford a tub of frosting, a Bing Crosby Christmas CD, some gumdrops (disgusting… but 0h-so-cute), and a bottle of wine. That’s all it takes to have the perfect evening to build a little gingerbread mansion. I say, make a night of it. Invite the girls over and have a holiday sleepover. I even go so far as to build my little gingerbread dream man… As the saying goes, “He’s rich, he’s sweet, and if he misbehaves… you can bite his head off.”

2. That Holiday “Feeling”: for some, it’s a general warmth. Maybe an unusual sense of goodwill. Others identify it as love. Call it what you will, as long as you spread it. There is nothing worse than some selfish scrooge bumbling about and ruining everyone else’s cheer. Do not be mean during the holidays. I will at times tolerate impatience, selfishness, and rudeness throughout the rest of the year (and, when I say “at times,” I really mean “basically never”)… but, during the holidays, I put my silver-glitter coated shoe down and shake my candy cane at you. Send those Christmas cards, tip the carolers, tell your friends and family how much they mean to you, give a ridiculously perfect gift (Advice: avoid giving an Advent Calendar… by day 9, they’re over it… Learned this one from personal experience). And, if you can’t muster up “cheer,” at least muster up the ability to feel frisky… and go make someone warm.

Don't be a Scrooge... Or I'll Stomp on You with This: Stuart Weitzman Avalon Silver Glitter Shoe

3. Party dresses: my closet frowns at me on a daily basis as if to say, “Kirsten, why aren’t you wearing any of your fabulous/over the top/sparkly/teeny tiny cocktail dresses?” I look back at my closet and frown saying, “Oh closet… You don’t know how hard it is to find enough fabulous events! It is so frustrating!” (It was during one of these Closet and Kirsten have a conversation moments that I decided to launch an events company… but that is a whole different story).  And then December comes along and stuffs my mailbox and inbox with Invitations or, what I like to call, Excuses to Wear Something Frivolous. Yes, I will wear a teeny dress, coated in sparkles, with four-inch heels, and a fur something or other (alllllways a fur something or other… even a faux-fur something or other… anything cozy to make me purrrr) even if it is freezing out. You should, too. Cold weather is no excuse to not look adorable. In fact, it may just be the perfect excuse to wear my sparkly tights.

4. Mistletoe: let me qualify this by saying that mistletoe is like the double-edged sword of Christmas. The little sprig looks innocent enough, but it has the power to electrify or snuff the fun out of your night. Imagine – you are standing at a beautiful holiday party, sipping your spiked cider, just beginning to warm up (as you are wearing a teeny tiny cocktail dress) and you look up to see a beautiful, well dressed man smiling down at you in the most charming way. You search for words to make an impression and then he simply points above you. Mistletoe. A charming way to start things with this charming man. This is why mistletoe rocks my holiday socks off. However, imagine you find an awkward boyish man thing smiling up at you and he points a crooked finger up to aforementioned mistletoe while pursing his chapped holiday lips. This, my dear, is why you should only stand under mistletoe if you are at a party with a high ratio of attractive men. Heed this advice, otherwise the Ghost of Christmas Mistake just may make a visit.

5. Stuffing: ohhhhh, stuffing. The holidays are my excuse to gorge on this high-carb, zero-nutrition product (arguably the best tasting concoction ever created).  Though, throughout the rest of the year, I come up with a million excuses to watch my waistline (my favorite: “Oh, no thank you, I’m saving those calories to use on the cocktails that I will be consuming later.”), during the holidays I just can’t turn down stuffing (not like I have considered it anyhow).  And, with both Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner typically containing stuffing as a holiday staple (hallelujah!), I am able to gracefully shovel two plates worth of stuffing into my mouth without being thought of as (too much) a glutton.  Additionally, the stuffing is a wonderful excuse to commiserate with your girlfriends (“Oh, yessss,” you groan in agreement, “I, too, gorged on holdiay food.  I, like you my sugar dumpling of a friend, feel fat!”) and allow them to feel that you are just… ever so slightly… human (when we all know what a goddess you truly are).

6. Christmas Lights: they’re cheap and a quick way to make everything look festive. Also, they’re everywhere. On streetlights, trees, homes, even inside the bars. Put your too-cool-for-school attitude aside and go on a late night drive with someone you care about… find a neighborhood with tons of Christmas lights and just take it in. Also, for the men out there lacking in creative thought (and, lord knows there are many of you out there just mucking things up), it is a cheap and easy way to win points. It makes you seem romantic and thoughtful (even if you’re just trying to save some cash). And, trust me, whether we women like to admit it or not, you’ll probably get… ahem… lucky at the end of the night. Forget about oysters and dark chocolate (okay, not the dark chocolate… but drop the oysters)… Christmas lights are the ultimate aphrodisiac. Sad, but true.

7. New Years: basically the equivalent of the holidays throwing up all over everything all at once. And I mean that in the best way. It’s the most wonderful way to end… and start… a year.   New Year’s provides the perfect bookend to an otherwise potentially uneventful year (ha… note the sarcasm… you know you already have droves of parties to attend!).  I think New Year’s is phenomenal… Champagne, women and men in fancy clothes, dancing, and, ohhhh, that midnight kiss. But, the most beautiful part is that it’s this feeling of being able to start anew. It may be a false hope… but I tend to believe in it each and every year. I’ve already been making a list of the things that will change in my life in this coming year. I think it’s a good thing for everyone to do. You can always be more fabulous than you already are (yes, it’s hard to believe, but true). Nobody likes someone who is complacent or repetitive. And, the world needs more hope. The best is yet to come.

New Year's 2010 Kiss No. 1: The best friend... My little sister

New Year's 2010 Kiss No. 2: The boyfriend