Christmas purgatory

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I’ve been thinking about this one for a long time and with the first snowfall of the year it feels like a legitimate time to bust out a wintry post.

I may not love all of winter, but I love the whole Christmassy season. I like the lights, tinsel and wreaths. The cranberry-cinnamon-peppermint-spruce-orange-spiced-whatever candles. The Guinness, mulled wine, eggnog and Baileys. The carols, cartoons and classic movies. I even like the snow (when observed from the inside of a cozy fireplace lit room or a warm pub). Point is – I’m not a grinch. Not by a long shot.

But the magic of Christmas changes over the years, and at certain points along the way you find yourself caught in Christmas purgatory: the no-man’s-land between the Christmas season as kids and the season with kids. There are a few cycles of this.

Obviously, when you are a kid yourself, Christmas is really fun and special. This lasts until probably your mid to late teens, when the obligatory stay at home with family and go to church time eclipses the fun of presents and hot chocolate and you’d rather just be out getting into trouble with your friends. Christmas purgatory #1.

In your twenties, things look up again. You’ve moved out on your own by now, and going home for a few yummy meals that you didn’t have to cook (or pay for) is pretty appealing. You’re so broke and needy that you’re super grateful for presents once again. These are the years you spend with roommates, boyfriends/girlfriends and friends, enjoying late-nights and lazy mornings in your own place on a much-needed break from school. You spoil your pets with treat-filled stockings of their own and start new traditions that are just your own – not your family’s. You’re not a kid, exactly, but you’re not really grown-up either and in the long-run, this phase fits into the magical “we were just kids back then” time of your life.

At the end of this era, people around you either start pairing off and having kids…or they don’t. Your coupled-off friends in their late 20s and early 30s, especially the ones with kids,  often start having holiday plans of their own. You’re usually not living, or hanging out regularly with, a big crowd of single, party-loving friends any more. You’re working full-time and may or may not get much holiday time off. And if there are no little kids around to reinvigorate things on the home front, Christmas starts to get kind of lame again. Christmas purgatory #2.

It can still be nice, but it’s just not quite the same. All-adult family Christmas get-togethers just lack a certain something. Nobody’s too amped up to go to sleep, nobody’s having their first sugar cookie, sled ride or Santa sighting and nobody really needs/wants presents any more. By year five of this, you’re all sitting around swilling scotch, trying to talk yourselves into another game of Scrabble while accepting e-mail money transfers for the presents you bought for yourselves on behalf each other.

This Christmas, we will have an 8 month old to spice up the season – and I have to say, I’m pretty damn excited about it. It’s such a fun and cute age for baby’s first Christmas. She’ll be mesmerized by the trees and decorations and will enjoy the wrapping paper and bows as much as her actual presents. Instead of hauling my ass out to work on shitty days, we’ll get to curl up in the rocking chair and watch Miracle on 34th Street. We’ll get to see if she is cool with creepy mall Santa or screams her face off when we hand her over. We’ll get to read her Christmas stories and buy her first special Christmas Eve jammies. And I have this nice, soft-focus image of her snoozing on a fuzzy blanket while mom and dad sip bourbon and watch The Last Waltz as the snow falls outside.

 

Advent Calendar: December 21 -25

I know – late, late, late. As is my style nowadays be it with getting to work or getting blog posts done. Better late than never I s’pose?

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This included St. Tropez Instant Tan (Day 21), Eve Lom cleanser (Day 22) which Vogue described as “probably the best cleanser in the world” (you know, if you’re into rave reviews from the foremost fashion authority) Murad Rapid Collagen Infusion (Day 23), Nuxe Reve de Miel makeup removing and cleansing gel (Day 24) and the final door held a Tangle Teezer brush which, frankly, is not nearly as good as my beloved Wet Brush – if you don’t have one, you need one. It will change your life if you have long, tangly hair.

All in all, I’m super happy with the contents of this beauty advent calendar and I am for sure going to do one again next year! I would probably do the Look Fantastic one again, but I may spend some time checking out other options now that I know they are a thing!

Advent Calendar: Dec 14 – 20

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I can’t remember the order, and can’t be bothered to go back and check it out because the calendar box is all the way in the next room…and frankly, blogging at all in the week before Christmas feels like enough of an accomplishment.

In random order then, the past week brought the Monuspa Relaxing Bali Massage & Body Oil with apricot seed, sandalwood and rosewood oil, Pai Lotus & Orange Blossom BioAffinity Skin Tonic, Christophe* Robin Regenerating (hair) Mask with rare prickly pear seed oil, Rimmel Scandaleyes Mascara, Bare Minerals loose eyeshadow in Chenille (a pale creamy pink brow highlighterish shade), Magnifibres Treatment Primer and Molton Brown Black Peppercorn Body Wash (which smells kinda spicy and a heck of a lot more appealing than you’d think) upon first whiff, although this was today’s surprise so I haven’t seen it in action yet.

Even without the “r” at the end does anyone NOT immediately think of Winnie the Pooh?

Advent Calendar: December 8 & 9

Behold the Bubble T hibiscus & acai berry tea Restoring Body Lotion and Cult 51 Night cream. The latter is a “3D revolutionary multi-active formulation”(okayyyy) and the former smells delicious. Apparently Cult 51 is named for the 51 anti-aging benefits it promises. This means 51 things can go wrong with your face as you age. Yeah, let that sink in for a minute. The WordPress interface on my iPad is driving me bonkers, so that’s all for this one.

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Advent Calendar: December 6 & 7

The intention was to photograph the products on my white bathroom tile in one of the only rooms in the house with decent lighting at night. Hundred-year-old houses were not built with overhead wiring, so mine has the shittiest lighting in the world. But as I was lying on the floor I noticed Mr. T looking awfully dapper in the hallway. The camera kept wanting to focus on him instead of the product labels and I had to make a choice…in-focus products or a sharp looking cat? Who am I to fight what the camera loves?

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What you’re sort of seeing is an Inika certified organic eyeliner in Black Caviar and the Paul Mitchell Ultimate Color Repair Triple Rescue thermal protection/shine/conditioning spray with, I shit you not, “Quinoa Color Repair” because apparently there is nothing quinoa isn’t good for. Superfood, indeed.

Advent Calendar: December 4 & 5

Day 4 & 5 included a hair mask (Of sorts) and a skin mask. The Ren Glycolactic Radiance Renewal Mask “formulated to renew the complexion, dramatically improve skin tone and radiance and reduce the appearance of fine lines” and the Redken Diamond Oil Deep Facets which is an “oil enriched intensive treatment for dull/damaged hair. So far I’m happy with the nice mix of hair, skin and makeup products though I’m feeling due for a body product one of these days!

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Opening these every day and then going to work, I haven’t had much of a chance to try them out so I can’t really give any reviews as I go…so I’m thinking I will do a round-up at the end with some comments/critiques…maybe something like my 5 favorite items? Or advent calendar winners and losers? We shall see how it goes!

Advent Calendar: December 3

Day 3 has the GlamGlow Supermud Clearing Treatment which will apparently suck all the crap right out of your pores for the low, low price of $76 for 1.2 oz. (the regular product size) or, $19 which is what my mini tube would cost. I kinda hope I don’t like this one because I could buy over 5 oz. of actual silver for the same price a jar of this costs. This is the most math I’ve done possibly ever. I don’t know why I’m getting all bah-humbuggy about this one.

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