The Holiday Homebody's Guide to Staying in this Christmas.
A letter from Jess, because Omicron has no chill.
I had a whole issue queued up for you about New Year’s Eve. I was going to point you towards some spicy eveningwear and sparkly shoes, and then send you off into the night with my well-wishes — and a reminder that champagne hangovers are truly despicable.
But then I thought, Jess… how often have you had a glamorous, over-the-top, black tie NYE in your life? Four? The other 20+ included Pajamas, my journal, a half-finished bottle of bubbles, and falling asleep before the ball drops — usually followed the next day with a superstitious Publix trip for my annual greens n’ beans ham hock.
And that was before Omicron! I took a poll on Instagram, and it turns out most of you (94% of the people who responded) are staying in — and not just for NYE, but for Christmas too, which many are suddenly spending alone, travel plans dashed by a very tryhard variant.
So I sat down at midnight to write this instead, because it looks like a quieter Christmas season than many of us may have expected.
But as quarantine taught us, it is perfectly acceptable to cancel plans with the outside world and curl up underneath a blanket, nursing your inner introvert instead. (Or, as I call it this time of year, my inner “Wintrovert”.) So if you’re spending the holidays hunkered down, I suggest wrapping yourself up in the idea of home.
For me, this means pulling out my favorite pajamas and firing up that show I keep hearing about. The fancy candles get lit, the lamps are dimmed, and the playlist is one unintrusive notch above white noise. The kettle perches giddily, ready to warm tea and my chilly hands. And of course, I’ll drag out my fat-bottomed dutch oven to have that infamous popcorn (ahem) for dinner.
A hot bath? Cook me in that salty stew — double the bubbles, I ain’t drivin’! A fireplace? Light ‘er up. Let’s wrap up in sedentary satisfaction and bask in its warm glow until our faces turn pink, friends. Let’s have Self-Care Sunday, on steroids. After all, the most important thing you must remember if you are going to be a proper Wintrovert, is that it is a necessary state of rest.
After all, the nights we’ve spent cocooning in blankets are not useless sloth; they keep us safe, shielding us from a world we never saw coming when we rang in 2020. Forget FOMO. Delete Instagram for a few days. Try something new with your sexytime. Rehab your peace of mind! Watch the TV that comforts you, and crack open the special occasion champagne.
By all means, switch off the news. Omicron will be there tomorrow.
If you didn’t get those presents to the post office, don’t worry about it. They’ll understand. There are lots of thoughtful gifts that deliver instantly, by email, I promise.
With my downtime, I plan to swaddle myself as I mentally rearchitect and set intentions for what lies ahead. It’s a mental signal that with every candle I light, every down comforter I fluff, that I am ushering in a season of renewal, even in a time when optimism feels particularly challenging.
Cheers, friends. I hope above all, you are safe. May the only thing cold about your holiday be the martinis.