Wednesday, December 23, 2015

5 Holiday Do's and Don'ts for the Closet Scrooge

With Christmas just around the corner, I have been seeing a flood of beautiful themed posts revolving around the Holidays. I love seeing how everyone enjoys this time of year, and I know that everyone experiences the holidays differently. That being said, I have a weird thing to admit- I'm a complete Scrooge when it comes to the Holidays. Whenever the December rolls around and I hear the first Christmas song of the year, I start to lose my goddamned mind. All the sales, the panic of finding the "perfect gift", crowded shopping centers, and the pressure of feeling like I have to enjoy myself this time of year majorly freaks me out. Sure, this might be a dramatic and adverse reaction to the "most wonderful time of the year", but for a closet introvert and agoraphobic like me, thing's aren't always as they seem.

I put a lot of thought into why I'm this way and never really settled on a real answer. Maybe working retail for years could be a big reason? Perhaps this is my inner rebel that tries to boycott all things popular and mainstream? Or maybe the Krampus is my secret spirit animal? No matter the reason, I've realized that I can't pretend that I'm Mother Christmas and do all of the festive things I would love to do. I used to beat myself up about getting moody during Christmas and over my lack of control when it comes to instinctively slapping the radio off when a holiday song comes on. The truth is, I am seriously envious when I see all of these other bloggers posting those amazing gift guides, beautiful gift wrapping techniques and recipes that make your mouth water. I want so badly to participate in these beautiful, festive posts but alas, my inner Scrooge is stopping me!

Holiday Flatlay
Isn't Sabina from Jeans and Roses lovely? Her festive flatlays are just too good. This is one of hers! ^^
It's taken me a while to write this post because I originally had a gift guide and festive Christmas recipes on my blog planner for this week but I just wasn't passionate about it. I love giving gifts, but I do that year round when I see something that catches my eye for someone else. I love baking, but I don't want to feel pressured to make things that fluctuate depending on the season (like I said, inner rebel coming out). Sure, my thoughts definitely could change in the future, but this is how I really am right now. In hopes there are some of you that can relate, I put together a little survival guide for my fellow Scrooges out there who are just like me during the holidays. I hope you enjoy!

Do's and Don'ts 

  1. Don't feel pressured by what others are doing. Just because your neighbor has a gigantic Christmas tree with all the trimmings, doesn't mean YOU need one! I was always really hard myself over this because growing up, my family got away with the bare minimum- An unconventional white tree, outfitted with red lights and bulbs nonetheless. We lovingly called it the "burning bush" and when we approached the house, it appeared to be on fire from its red glow burning within the windows. I would go to friend's houses and they would have tinsel, beautiful ornaments, seasonal soaps, beautifully wrapped gifts under the tree and candy canes in fancy bowls. I would be sad that all we had was an ugly tree with the same old busted ornaments the cat had been knocking around for several years prior. I grew up and learned that it's OK to lack seasonal adornments! Decorating the house is great and it looks soo beautiful but it's just not me. And hey, I end up using all of that extra storage space for clothes anyways. 
  2. Don't just buy because you feel like you should.  With all of the sales flying around, it's nearly impossible to not jump on them. Sure, it might be a great deal, but do you really need a new blender? This can also go for giving gifts. We've all had this happen to us where we hear someone we don't know well has bought us a gift. It's so easy to just turn to the sale page and buy some gadget with great value that is otherwise a gift the receiver would not enjoy. Instead, stop and think about these purchases and consider making something homemade instead. Not only will it save you money, but a homemade gift like cookies, a hand drawn portrait of their pet, or even a knitted scarf could say more than a store bought item ever could. Plus, you'll will now look crafty as hell. Bonus! 
  3. Do plan "me" time.  It's so easy to feel smothered by the sudden onslaught of friends and family, so planning "me" time is extremely important. By stepping away to take a hot shower or even a walk, you'll feel so much better and ready to tackle the festivities. I find that treating myself to a little something as well makes the Holidays a little more exciting, so I will buy myself the lipstick I have been lusting over, or a new Korean facial cleanser I'm interested in trying.
  4. Do understand the power of the thank you note. This one goes without saying, but I think it's often forgotten and lost in all of the festivities. A handwritten thank you note goes a really long way for those kind enough to give you a gift. I save all of the envelopes with everyone's addresses in a big pile and systematically work through it, addressing an envelope and tossing the corresponding wrap in order. I personally love writing thank you notes, especially when you can find the cutest ones ever at Target! I scored some with cats and dead mice on the front! 
  5. Don't beat yourself up. Hey, it took me 26 years to publicly admit that the holidays weird me out, but it is what it is. I always felt really bad about this because Holidays bring so much joy to other people and there's never been much to say about them, for me. I would try to make myself into a Christmas lover, but I learned that if you force yourself to "enjoy" something, you will resent it even more in the long run. While I love to give gifts and dress up, I'm a huge bucket of stress with a bare apartment and sudden hatred of crowded public places.  As I get older, I realize that it's just part of who I am that I can't cover up. If you're not comfortable and don't like something, you shouldn't try to make myself enjoy it because other people do.

Miniature christmas tree
Our "tree" is sadder than Charlie Brown's :( 

I would absolutely love to hear your thoughts and PLEASE don't take this post as me knocking down anyone who loves holidays because that is definitely not my intention. I love reading everyone's posts about their seasonal adventures, gift guides (so handy!), DIY crafts and I love seeing the holidays through everyone else's eyes. I think the Holidays are beautiful and fun when someone else is enjoying them, but for me, I'll be hanging back with a mug of hot chocolate, watching A Christmas Carol :)


  1. I love this post, this definitely resonates with me most years. If it were totally up to me and wasn't obligated to go to stuffy holiday parties I'd be sitting at home happily baking cookies in my jammy jams without an ounce of makeup, but alas we gotta put on the face sometimes.

    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season doing what makes you content! Love your Instagram adventures and maybe after the New Year dust settles we can grab a coffee in the city sometime.

    Until then, keep up the great content and enjoy yoself! P.S I love your little tree, it's better than our "yule tide branch"...I think it's just a bunch of thyme wrapped together with some other foliage? I might instagram it....we'll see.

    Lauren @shoes_and_sashimi

    1. I am so happy you love this post! And I totally agree... I miss christmas when we were children because all we were expected to do was open gifts, eat and sleep. Now we have to get all dressed up, make formal conversation with strangers and spend money. Haha!! This year Jake and I are making a big pot of chili with cornbread and we are spending the day in bed! Hope you're having a wonderful holiday as well with your little tree! PLEASE show off a picture of that! It sounds so cute and funny! And I would really like to meet you after the New Year. It's been a long time coming! :) Talk to you soon Lauren!

  2. I like Christmas, but I am not as obsessed as many others seem to be. Decorating the flat is something I started when I had a child, but even now I don't go all out and decoration is limited to the living room. Finding my own Christmas balance was something that took me a while, but these days I am okay with not being as festive and not hopping on every Holiday trend that seems to be around. Just do you!

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

    1. So happy to hear that you understand! I struggled for years to find my balance too and always felt horrible that I wasn't decorating as soon as December hit... It's such a strange thing to be insecure about, isn't it? This year Jake and I are taking it easy and enjoying each other's company with out the giving gifts, I hope you and your family is doing well and has a great Holiday, Anne! :)

  3. This is such a different post and very enlightening. Great tips. Happy Christmas :)

    1. Thank you so much Nyda! I'm happy you enjoyed it :) I hope you have a great Holiday!

  4. Replies
    1. Thank you so much! Hope you had happy holidays:)

  5. These are great tips, I enjoy Christmas but I find the buildup with all of the commercialism to be a little exhausting.
    Happy Holidays

    1. I totally agree with you! The media totally blows christmas out of proportion and it brings out the worst in people :/ I think retail has really done it for me as far as being jaded towards the Holidays! Either way, Jake and I just spent Christmas at home, having a quiet movie day :) Hope you had a good one Laura!

  6. love this post. thanks for sharing

  7. I am actually SO glad you posted this! Although I love coming home and spending time with my family over the holidays, somewhere deep down inside I would much rather take all the money I spend doing this and take a trip to Europe for the last two weeks in December. Seriously though, I always say that! I feel like there is SO much pressure to run around and see this person and that person, and re-connect, and buy gifts, and oh my gosh the list goes on! So although I do participate in the holidays I really wish I could get away with just not participating and taking a little vacay to escape the craziness!

    Regardless hope you are enjoying this time of year as much as possible-- and thanks for the survival tips they are very much needed & appreciated! :)



    1. Thank you so much Lauren! I felt really bad posting this at first because it seemed sort of negative when compared to all the other posts i've seen... I completely agree with you and have those SAME exact thoughts! I've always felt really mean for thinking it, but traveling to see family during the Holidays is soo expensive. The tickets on top of buying gifts for everyone and bringing food/extra luggage is really hard! If you just wait a week and travel during unpopular times, everything is hundreds of dollars cheaper. It's a little crazy. This year Jake and I just chilled in the apartment with our cat and made a big pot of chili with cornbread and watched James Bond :) Hope you had a great holiday as well and I hope you were able to relax a little!!

  8. that huge mug of hot chocolate with the marshmallows melted my soul <3 I need some! haha