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Is it even possible that the holiday season has come tiptoeing in on little cat feet? Last time I looked I still had a plastic pumpkin half full of Smarties, Jolly Ranchers and Laffy Taffy (of course I ate all the chocolate, I am a girl after all.) I also had several weeks to prepare mentally (start holiday shopping lists, plan holiday fashion ensembles, pre-holiday sales scouting, start stocking stuffer search) and physically (lose ten pounds, find black trousers that flatter not flatten, locate world's perfect tee to camouflage headlights, build upper-body strength for carrying multiple gift bags) and somehow those several weeks have dissipated to a matter of mere days before the "holidays" officially begin. However, being the ever cheerful and optimistic girl that I am, I have resolved to avoid and/or ignore the usual stress of the holidays. Will embrace all things Scarlett (Johansson as well as O'Hara) and holiday stress will be one of the many things that I just won't think about today. I will embrace all that glitters and glows, I will not over-indulge (chocolate/parties/shopping/late nights), I will do my part to aid in the benefit of all mankind and I will accomplish this all while looking stylish, smelling sweet and feeling fabulous.
Am feeling a bit retro this holiday season, very Norman Rockwell. Flashing back to the holidays of my childhood; waking up Thanksgiving morning to the smell of freshly baked pies and rolls. Next, off to the friends-and-family flag football game to work up an appetite for the gargantuan never-ending Thanksgiving dinner which has been lovingly prepared by Mom, Grandma and assorted aunts (have conveniently gotten out of dinner preparation for years, claiming to have rare form of spice-related dyslexia). Then we all gather round the beautifully decorated table for the most sumptuous, mouth-watering feast ever. Golden brown turkey, cornbread chestnut stuffing, candied yams (yes, it does take melted marshmallows and orange glaze to get me to gag down a yam), string-bean casserole, three different salads, various veggies, hot homemade rolls, assorted nibbles, crudités and condiments, and that's just to get us started! Dinner usually carries on well into the evening; we eat till we're stuffed, waddle into the family room and lie like beached whales on the furniture and floor, get a second wind and head back to the table for seconds, thirds, etc. (Feast day advice: wear clothing with an expandable waist--my new Juicy's are perfect.) After four slices of pie (can never decide between pumpkin, apple, cherry or pecan), the heartier members of the clan head off to catch the latest flick at the local cinema (where, believe it or not, we purchase popcorn, peanut M&M's, Red Vines and Diet Coke, and consume every morsel). At the end of this perfect day we head back home for one last piece of pie and the annual Holiday Shopping Reconnaissance Rendezvous, where we map out a retail plan of attack for the biggest shopping weekend of the year.
In years past I have allowed myself to be consumed by worry and stress, which grows in proportion as the holidays near. Is my office party ensemble appropriately professional (as in "my chosen" not "World's Oldest")? Am I walking the fine line between sexy, sophisticated holiday chic and water cooler tramp? Are the gifts for my co-workers suitable and thoughtful? (Note to self: Godiva works for everyone.) Will it really matter if I have just one more of those yummy frozen hot chocolate confections? (Answer: no, not if you are willing to attend two extra spinning classes per week. Hmm, dilemma.) Well, this year I'm all about taking time to smell the festively scented spice candles before putting them in a gift bag. (Better yet, buy an extra one for myself!)
Gifts To Give Yourself This Holiday Season
The very best gift you can give yourself is the gift of time. That, and permission to do whatever you want with that time, so get comfy and indulge:
Must See Movies:
- Rent - Girly and I are going to the midnight premier! Am anticipating desire to break into song spontaneously for next several weeks.
- Pride and Prejudice - just in time--recently wore out second copy of A&E version. Will Matthew MacFadyen portray Mr. Darcy in as intriguing/totally-hot-in-a-wet-ruffly-shirt a manner as did Colin Firth? Total battle of the hotties.
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - what is a holiday without Harry Potter? Especially if seen on an IMAX screen!
- Walk the Line - Never been a huge Johnny Cash fan, but hear great things about Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon. Having a bit of a struggle with the brunette locks.
Books to Curl Up With:
- Princess of Park Avenue by Daniella Brodsky - From the author of Diary of a Working Girl, a deliciously fun romp across the bridge into Manhattan. Perfect escape reading.
- Norma Ever After by Nancy Baxter - a journey to self discovery and self esteem that could only happen to a girl named Norma in a world full of Ashlee's.
- The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart - a tale of the complexities of friendship as seen through the present and the past.
Music to Get Festive By:
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