December 5, 2011

Feeling Holiday

Are you getting holiday yet? I blame Pinterest, but I’m in full-on feeling cozy mode. Last night I sat in a corner booth in a restaurant that sits like a beacon on a quiet street corner and feels like a lodge tucked into the woods. Over plates of cheese and sausage, my book club exchanged gifts and talked about the cold wilds of Nova Scotia. And before that, I walked with my husband as he carried a Christmas tree on his shoulder back to our house. We cut the clear fishing wire netting loose and tucked lights into its branches. We listened to carols, I bought whole milk for homemade hot chocolate, and though the temperatures hover in the 50-60 degree range, I happily wiled away an hour or two making this Christmas vision board.

Who knows what does it? Sometimes we’re in the mood for the holidays and sometimes we’re just not. But even the years when I feel pretty grinchy, I can usually still manage to see the charm in a hot toddy and a digitized fireplace. What I like best is the world at large agreeing to champion the virtues of coziness: curling up, staying home, and cocooning yourself in warmth.

So even if I’ll never get excited about the jangly Christmas jingles in the drugstore or the deep discounts that make me seriously consider buying things I don’t really need or want, I can get behind that: more candles on the table, vintage ornaments, and a cheerful, twinkling tree in the corner.

Where are you on the feeling-holiday-o-meter this year?

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  • Hilary: I am at an 11 this year on the holiday meter…this year my little Charlie Brown Christmas tree was up the day after Thanksgiving, and well over 100 holiday tunes are now in circulation on Ye Olde iPod. My Jewish husband is graciously indulging me in my shiksa Christmas fixation. Oh, and there’s eggnog. With rum. Nightly. Happy holidays!4 years ago

  • Kristina Strain: I would also give myself an eleven. This is the first Christmas in our new house, and we’re *hosting.* Y gadse. Neighbors’ holiday parties are filling the week before Christmas, the garlands are up, and I’m praying for snow. Glad to see you’re in the spirit, too!4 years ago

  • Sarah in DC: “What I like best is the world at large agreeing to champion the virtues of coziness: curling up, staying home, and cocooning yourself in warmth.”

    Couldn’t agree more to that statement. As an introvert who loves to curl up at home, I love this time of year. I’m also more in the holiday spirit than normal, in large part to staying put for Thanksgiving instead of traveling. I thought it would actually detract from my holiday spirit (not seeing family & cooking for just my beau & I) but it actually gave me a chance to slow down, bake my own version of my mom’s pumpkin pie, and find a Christmas tree to spruce up my apartment.4 years ago

  • Julie: I just bought one of those German candle decorations for my in-laws. So sweet and pretty, I’m tempted to keep it!

    I am in FULL ON holiday mode this year, but I am most years. Yay for trees in our houses and lots of candles and cozy fires!4 years ago

  • Katie @ cakes, tea and dreams: I’m definitely loving the carols, the coziness, the trees, the gift-buying. I’m also trying to slow down and create a bit of space for quiet evenings around the tree – and rereading Winter Solstice, my very favorite Advent/Christmas novel.

    Love that vision board. So cheery.4 years ago

  • domestikate: I’m about a 3, trying hard to be a 10! It’s been a tough few months (the toughest, in fact) so I’m not really feeling the usual Christmassy excitement, but if I could just get in the mood I think it would help me through the next month! Your post is a good place to start in my quest to up my place on the holiday-o-meter – so much lovely coziness!4 years ago

  • Katherine: I fluctuate daily. Some days it’s just too hot to think about Christmas (I live in Australia!) but sometimes when the air conditioning is on and I can pretend that it’s cold outside I have turned up my Christmas playlist and written cards, wrapped presents and embraced the holiday season.4 years ago

  • Hilary, Nightly eggnog? Well, hot dog!

    Kristina, Oh, how exciting to be in your new house this holiday season! That must be such a thrill.

    Sarah in DC, That’s so interesting about how not traveling for Thanksgiving made you feel more holiday, and I think it makes senseโ€“โ€“just being able to take your time and enjoy yourself is partly how that great part of the season sinks in!

    Julie, You should DEFINITELY get one of those German pyramids for yourself! I was about to get one when a little bird told me that we just don’t have the storage in our apartment to be buying such specialty items. I would like to live vicariously through your closet space, please!

    Katie, I’m going to look up Winter Solstice because it’s new to me! Always love your book recommendations.

    domestikate, I have certainly been there myself, so I totally feel you. I myself don’t like to force it (usually backfires), but if you’re looking to ease in, I’d start with a little treat: paperwhites on the table or a nice hot chocolate mix to drink in bed.

    Katherine, I love the idea of using the a/c to get in the holiday spirit! ๐Ÿ™‚4 years ago

  • Anne Marie: Posting a solid 8 on this end. East Coast, DC based with all the goodness that entails. White House tree lightings, Pageant of Peace on the Elipse, etc. But I’m with you Sarah…for me it’s been more about the hunkering down, a nice glass of Port, my Snuggie, and just a few strands of Christmas lights that are really pulling at the heart strings this year. I’ve decided to do all homemade gifts for far away loved ones – infused vodkas, cookies, candied citrus slices, etc and am sooo looking forward to a few days in the kitchen! And then there is the spiritual aspect of the season that really keeps me grounded. I’m an Advent girl. Wreath, candles, prayers, waiting, anticipating with joy and hope. Starting the day with meditation, quiet, and prayer, brings a WHOLE new level of peace to the season. And I’m grateful. Also grateful to get to share all that here. Thanks, Sarah for your gift to all of us. Merry, merry, Christmas!!4 years ago

  • Liza in A2: Perfectly said! I’m definitely in the holiday mood, especially since it just snowed last night and the world was finally (!) blanketed in white instead of rainy/ugly gray.4 years ago

  • Hilltop Hausfrau: Posting a solid 5 from wet Vancouver-land (uber jealous, Liza in A2…)! Us Swiss types are getting into the swing of things though…today is the feast of St. Niklaus….kinda a big deal. Our two littles will get to hang their empty sacks outside at dinnertime and when we’re done, St. Nik MAY just have filled the sacks with fruit, nuts and chocolate! Hope he stops in at your place too ๐Ÿ˜‰4 years ago

  • evanthia: To be honest, this year hasn’t felt much Christmasy. So many things happeing and being busy with so many things that there hasn’t been any time to slow down and have the time to decorate my house and write my christmas cards- I so mucj love doing that!- but just reading your post and the comments I just got into the mood a bit ๐Ÿ™‚4 years ago

  • evanthia: Oh, I almost forgot! thanks for the hot chocolate recipe. I can’t wait to try it especially on christmas holiday when I’ll be cocooning.4 years ago

  • Sweaters and Cider: Love those candles. And mmm, that hot chocolate sounds amazing right about now.4 years ago

  • Evon T.: I’m very much in the spirit, but exhausted at the same time. I’m hosting a holiday gathering at my house, and it’s the first time that I’ve ever entertained for non-family. That leaves me feeling a bit anxious, and so my decorations have to perfect (in my head) and the entire house has to be gussied up for the holidays. I have a couple of live trees in there that I have to admit are so very lovely, now it’s on to hanging live garland, purchasing poinsettias to scatter about the house, and clean up really good before Saturday. I have a feeling that once the party is over and the food is packed away, I’ll feel even more into the holidays… watching a Christmas movie on Hallmark. Next year, I’m getting started earlier. There’s nothing like enjoying the fruits of your labor while still having a few weeks before the big day comes.4 years ago

  • Jessalyn: OK, I am going to *sheepishly* ask if your offer for a Pinterest invite still stands? I’m feeling left out and it looks so fun!4 years ago

  • Alison Spiegel: It’s definitely time to cocoon! The frigid weather is finally here- big sigh. I’ve been keeping my spirits high all week with homemade Gingersnap Cookies and by sitting close to my Christmas tree to take in wonderful whiffs of its sweet fragrance. Nothing quite like the smell of a fresh Christmas tree!4 years ago

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