Listen. Let’s just say it—December sucked. Holiday parties canceled. Trips postponed. Restaurants shut down again. Broadway shows went dark. For the love of god, the Rockettes stopped kicking.
I usually spend the holiday season as a bon vivant. Entertaining. Traveling. Hosting. Dining out. Staying out. So by the time the holidays are over, I’m craving the quiet days of January and February and looking forward to a softer season.
That being said, I’ve never liked the idea that January was a season of deprivation. It has always seemed incredibly antithetical to me that in the darkest, longest days, the days where we most need contact, comfort, connection, that we should turn from each other and go into hibernation and isolation. Just because we’re not having wild bashes doesn’t mean we’re hermits. This is my prime dinner party season. This is peak game night period. Smutty book club? Check. Movie night? I’m ready. Trudge in the snow with hot toddies? Cook scallops by the open fire while dressed in our vintage furs? I’m there.
Perhaps this comes from my work experience. When I started in retail as a bright-eyed graduate, January was a busy whirlwind of sale, planning, and designing spring. The retail cycle forces you to live a jarring a few months ahead, so when most people are bundled up and focused on the snow days, you’re styling dress forms in sunny dresses and pastel denim. Cruise, anyone? Customers come in looking for mittens, and you help them navigate past sunny maxi dresses to the sale section. It is a truly bizarre world.
More recently, January was always been the start of business travel. I would happily escape the grey, sunshine-less days of New York for long trips to Asia, starting in freezing Seoul, winding my way through Shanghai south to tropical Singapore. A challenging trip to pack for, but one full of food, wine, friends, and lots of opportunity to skip the seemingly requisite return to the gym.
But I think more than ingrained work habits, there’s a base, creature part of me that knows that these dark months are the time of year to conserve. To fortify. To recover and build strength for the year ahead. To care for my soft animal body and spirit. To give it what it needs as a thank you for what it has given me throughout the days, weeks, and year. Why should I torture it with counting calories when what it truly wants is to sleep in the sun, preferably on a beach in Mexico? To be surrounded by people it loves? To move, not because I’m supposed to go on a run today, but because it likes to play, dance, and be free?
Conveniently, waiting in the dark corners of our cultural consciousness, there’s this hulking month for self-flagellation, body shaming, and collective disordered eating—January. There’s something to be said for the repackaging of late 20th century diet culture as 21st century wellness. An entire industry built around telling you that your body is not enough, what you eat should be monitored. Entry price? Cleanses, juice diets, fiber pills. Just check the sponsored posts you receive this month. Mine are all workout apps, Skinny teas peddled by Kardashian-adjacent influencers, and promises of a better me in 30 days.
This year, I’m skipping the January rigamarole. Fuck Dry January. Fuck Whole Thirty. Fuck deprivation, staying home, being alone, hungry, joyless, and isolated. I will be skipping the juice cleanse this year, Gwennie. Haven’t we given enough?
I cannot emphasize this enough. You can choose to participate in a culture that is focused on “New Year, New You” or you can focus on a culture that acknowledges that you are enough as you are. And says let’s celebrate as we are.
Join us. Indulge in what brings you joy in January. Indulge in getting together with friends. Indulge in drinks you love, food that fills you up, conversation that fills your soul. Eat carbs. Drink wine. Play games. Walk in the snow. Cook scallops on the open fire. Eat shrimp cocktail for lunch. Pop open that bottle of champagne you were saving for a special occasion. You’re the special occasion. In all things moderation? I say, in all things celebration!
Sober? Curious? Good for you. Indulge, get together, and have a good time. I love our friends at Ghia and Avec, and you better believe that’s stocked on my bar cart too.
I’m indulging this January. In the coldest, darkest months of the year, I believe in doing what makes you happy. For me, that’s being together, hosting family and friends, playing games, and eating and drinking what I want. Fill up your soul with pleasure and connection. Mental health is wealth.
Happy New Year.
Shop our edit for an Indulgent January here.
Bring the outside in for a winter dinner party with our Snowflake Felt Garland.
Host a chic game night in our Lucite Chess and Checkers Set.
Start a smutty book club and serve all your favorite sweets on our Found Assorted Swear Plates.
Before the movie starts, play our Act It Dinner Party Game to make your movie night extra memorable.
Serve hot toddies in the snow but make it fancy with our Vintage Silver Hotel Serving Tray.
Cook oysters over an open fire with the help of our Oyster Knife.