Christmas spirit has never really found its way into my bloodstream. The most obvious contributor being that my family doesn’t celebrate Christmas, and so I have spent the past two decades smugly dodging December shopping crowds and carols in favour of the beach and trilogy movie marathons.
I was probably studying.
In any case, festive abstinence has suited me just fine till now. I don’t drink, I don’t care for ham, or turkey, or shrimp on the barbie, I don’t comprehend the meaning in the awkward exchange of gifts of obligation, void of any real sentimental significance, I don’t believe in Santa, or God for that matter, and though I do believe in family time, surely that can be enjoyed routinely on any other weekend of the year. Ever the Grinch, it seems.*
But, with the news that I fly out on Thursday for a spot of work in LA before spending the rest of the year in New York with Alex, I’m told that holiday cheer in Manhattan is as unavoidable as ugly sweaters and dancing shoes. Every person I’ve spoken to has gushed about the department stores’ visual merchandising, the pumpkin spice lattes, the abundance of chimes and tinsel, and small children attempting to ice-skate faster than their red noses are running.
For a Grinch, this is not ok. Some kind of emotional (correctional) conditioning beyond hairy coats (and workaholism) is surely required.
Louis Vuitton’s showroom was a good place to start – primarily for their New York City guide, which is far chic-er than anything I’ve ever been able to come up with. Luxury leather goods – specifically mini monogrammed trunks – are equally enticing.
One impromptu still life shoot later, I seem to have found a much greater appreciation for all that glitters, reflective embellishment, Ghesquière’s
monogramming in the context of pseudo-tribal patterns and the aesthetic value of macarons. That, and embracing visual chaos instead of my usual tetris approach to shooting lifestyle products.
The prospect of traveling when the world is celebrating and going all out before a clean slate is, too, exciting to me. Even where ‘joy to the world’ and the ‘very merry’ of the whole charade is as
severely commercialised as Valentine’s Day, Christmas in New York will no doubt be as jolly as it will be freezing. So long as the gifts involved aren’t socks, and I can get takeout dumplings from Joe’s Shanghai to eat on our fire escape. And so long as you guys divulge your best tips.
*calm yourselves – I’m not out to ruin your Christmas. The Polar Express is still one of my favourite films despite the stiff animation.