The Holiday Anti-Checklist.  Liza Lentini

The Holiday Anti-Checklist. Liza Lentini

. 3 min read

A very different sort of guide that goes inwards and honors what’s really important, because the holidays - and that includes a New Year - aren’t the same, and neither are you.

Everything’s different now, including you. It stands to reason the holidays, including a New Year —and your approach to them—will be a little bit different, also. Instead of listing all the things you need, as has been done ad nauseam, this list includes everything you can leave behind this holiday season, so that when you show up—whether it’s an intimate home gathering or a nontraditional getaway—you’re showing up for yourself first.

Here’s your checklist of what you can likely live without:

  1. The weight of other’s expectations. Endings make the best beginnings, and what better way to end the year than shedding the weight of what you’re “supposed to be” doing, what others expect of you, and comparing yourself and your yearly achievements with anyone else.
  2. Uncomfortable clothes. We all joke about living in leisure-wear over the last year or so, but if we’ve learned anything, it’s that you don’t need a starched shirt to be more powerful. Point of fact, stretchy pants are best for yoga and dancing.
  3. Leaving outfits for “someday”. The above (#2) comment aside, if you want to wear your ball gowns for breakfast—do it. Do it for you. Do it on an average Tuesday. Mostly working from home, this is something I started doing before the pandemic, and it starts every day off with a fun, whimsical initiative. If you’re like me and a tulle skirt makes your life more complete, don’t wait—wear it. (Conveniently, they go perfectly over leggings.)
  4. Big group gatherings. For some, it’s important to gather and visit with loved ones on a larger scale. For others, we’ve learned that the smaller the celebration the better. And if you’re alone and that’s where you want to be—all the more wonderful.
  5. Traditional family. Same as above, if you love your blood family more than anything, the holidays won’t be the same without them. For others, it’s more important to create a new family with new traditions that speak to who you are now. Also like above, if your family is just you and your four-legged child or simply your healthiest, happiest thoughts—wonderful.
  6. “Holiday food”. If you’re someone who lives for holiday food—excellent. For someone like me who has a sensitivity to turkey, I’ve always craved lighter, easier meals that have nothing to do with tradition. In my house, we tend to opt for a tasting menu of choice favorites, holiday “appropriateness” aside. They’re foods that are sourced locally and affordably, and make us happy.
  7. Obligatory gifts. I hope the one lesson we’ve all learned over the last year, is that the greatest gift we can all have is the simple things. The more time we spend at home, the more we realize we don’t have room for stuff we don’t need. It’s worth mentioning that a lot of people are still suffering significantly from pandemic layoffs, and if you know this person and you really want to help them out, a gas card or grocery-store gift card are more help than you’ll ever know.
  8. Shopping “Big”. If you are purchasing presents and want to make the absolute most of your well-earned dollars, shop small. Please, please, please shop small. This includes your local stores, that woman selling cookie baskets, a sculptor/painter/potter, a knitter—there are so many. When you shop small, you help someone keep the lights on and feed their family. Jeff Bezos will be fine without your holiday purchase, I assure you.
  9. “Doing better next year”. Why do we always think we need to do anything differently? Why do we assume we need to be “better”? Doctor’s orders and boss’s projections aside, you’re good enough the way you are and don’t need to change a thing.

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