There’s One (Free) Thing at The Top of My Wish List This Year—And It’s a Gift I’m Giving Myself

published Nov 11, 2020
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A woman putting on a record on a wooden turntable inside a bright apartment

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We’re doing this holiday-prep thing together, and I promised it wouldn’t be all about cleaning. But I had to get a few things out of the way early (fluffing the sofa, cleaning out the fridge, and decluttering a few things, if you’re catching up).

But today’s task is one I always knew would be a part of the plan. And to be honest, it’s one I’ve been looking forward to doing myself. There are so many boxes to check off during the holiday season—like meals to cook and gifts to buy and wrap—that it’s easy to let the really fun stuff fall down your to-do list. But not this year! I am issuing a decree that every single person reading this needs to make time for some totally selfish holiday festivities.

Today’s assignment is all about making a promise to future-you…

Credit: Joe Lingeman

Day 5: Book a day of festive downtime for yourself.

Pick a day sometime in December (or whatever day makes sense for you after the end of the Holiday Cure) and mark that day in your calendar as “Festive Downtime Day.” Take no other appointments. Assign yourself no other tasks. It can be a weekend or week day. Even take a day off work, if that’s available to you.

This is a very real part of the Holiday Cure, so take a few minutes and get it booked.

Taryn's Tips

It’s important to prioritize small joys through the season. You should feel empowered to block time off your schedule to just listen to music or bake cookies, if that’s what makes the holidays happy for you.

As for what you’ll do on your day of festive downtime, that’s up to you! But it should be something that gets you in the holiday spirit. This is a moment to think about just yourself, or maybe your immediate family or household, if that’s what excites you. Here are some ideas:

  • Buy ingredients and make those fancy-and-sometimes-complicated seasonal cocktails (with the appropriate garnish).
  • Bake your way through an entire cookie cookbook. Give away the results (or not).
  • Schedule an all-day holiday movie marathon and knock all those romcoms off your list.
  • Make that festive appetizer or shareable you usually bring to potlucks but secretly wish you had all to yourself, then finish it.
  • Craft a holiday music play list, then sing and dance along while wearing a themed onesie or ugly sweater.
  • Drive or walk around to see the light displays in your neighborhood.
  • Set up an entire hot chocolate bar with all the trimmings, just for you (and maybe your family or roommates).
  • Order a bunch of wintery scented candles and rate them with a smell-off.
  • Learn to make your own bows or stamp your own gift wrap to embellish gifts like you always wish you had time to do.
  • Rent a projector and invite people over for a socially-distanced showing of your favorite holiday movie on the side of your house.
  • …or do something that’s not holiday-related at all! It’s your day.

Book the day on your schedule today, then take the next month or so to prepare for it, collecting whatever supplies you need, and inviting others to join you if you want to (and can do so safely).

Happy festive downtime day!

More Ways to Participate in the Holiday Cure: