The week between the holidays. A joyful purgatory. Almost every email receives an out of office. If you’re working, you’re doing so while polishing off the egg nog in your new festive pj pants. No calories count. You’re either getting 20,000 steps in on that vacation you finally are taking or literally 300 steps in because you’ve only moved from your bed to the couch. What a time to be alive.

Everyone approaches this time of year differently. Some people clean. Some people veg out. Some people vacation. Some people, we’re reminded constantly, start to set resolutions.

Rather than set resolutions, my husband Andrew uses this as a time to clean house—spiritually, physically, and financially.  He loves to use this week to review all recurring credit card charges and look for places to economize. He sits down with a yellow legal pad and an air of determination and spends gleeful several hours calling out things in mock horror.

“Do you realize we’re paying for a premium JibJab account?”
 “Who subscribed to the Sundance channel?”
“Do you know how much that annual digital membership to Forward Space costs?
When is the last time you took a workout dance hiphop class at home?”
 “I have never seen you use that meditation app on your phone! You signed up for a full year.”
 “What? Why didn’t you tell me we have a New Yorker subscription?”

I dutifully feign interest and chagrin. Nodding at appropriate points and acting as though some trickster elf has stolen our card. But we both know the truth. It is possible that we are double dipping every single streaming service. I regularly fall prey to the lure of a free trial period. I have never once remembered to cancel before the period is over. You’re welcome, capitalism. 

One of our most dramatic disagreements as a couple came several years ago over what I felt was a true necessity that he could not wrap his head around. I am, if you’ve seen any of our content, a major fan of sparkling water, and I had found, courtesy of one of my favorite restaurants Jeffrey’s Grocers, one of the last surviving home delivery services for seltzer water. Presented romantically in a wooden crate and packaged in the traditional glass seltzer bottles, Walter the Seltzer Guy and his son delivered weekly some of the last vestiges of the traditional seltzer, made in Brooklyn. Despite the romance, it was incredibly heavy (a doorman was injured) and in between deliveries, I found myself chugging down bottles to keep up with what I had ordered.  Romantic? Yes. De trop? I would never admit it.

Come the Great Cancellation, Andrew felt it was time to cut this bi-weekly $40. As an advocate of both small locally owned business and charm, I felt that Walter and my beautifully presented seltzer were a necessity. A battle royale ensued. I did not emerge the victor. Back to unromantic store bought water I went. If our friends at San Pellegrino are reading this, I love you and you are still deeply beautiful and all that is perfect in sparkling water, but if you hand-delivered to my house in a bespoke wood crate, I would be in rhapsodies.

Tragically, this small family business which had been in operation for close to 50 years closed during the pandemic, and I think we know who is to blame.

Reader, if you’ve read any of our earlier Feste Practice’s posts, one of my resolutions is going to have to be thanking Andrew for being begrudging fodder for content each week.

On that note, I have also never been much for New Year resolutions. I’m as likely to set a resolution in June as as I am in January. I like plans and action , making things happen and following things through, not because I’m supposed to, but because I want to. But there is something to be said for making space in our year to dream. To take stock of what we have, what we want to change, and what we want for ourselves and the ones we love. Especially in these rollercoaster weeks and years where things change in an instant, taking a moment to reflect.

Me? I like dreaming and setting intentions, watching for shooting stars and sending your prayers out into the universe. I like write down dreams and setting them into a New Years fire to watch their ashes go off into the sky, little prayers to the universe. I like blowing on eyelashes, blowing on dandelions, blowing out candles—all manners of wishes that are set with your eyes closed tight, your heart clear, your hands clasped, as you say quietly to yourself, please please, this this.

When I close my eyes to wish, I’m focused on experiences, having a good time with the people I love, and in the things that will make me feel healthy, happy, wealthy, and wise. Whether I’m confronted by the New Year, a birthday candle, a shooting star or simply a convenient dandelion blower.

This last year, I spent a lot of time with my wishes, my intentions focused on bringing this brand to life. All of my energy, hope, and ambition (along with the goodwill, graces, and patience of my friends/loved ones) spent into making something beautiful. A mission dedicated on making it easier to get together, no occasion necessary. In the year ahead? We can't wait to share that ultimate gathering space with you, our new retail flagship and all-day cafe/champagne bar, coming soon to Crosby and Broome in Soho. A whole lot of wishing, hoping, and dreaming from our end. 

Join me in not setting resolutions. Join me instead in simply embracing a year round life of wishing and intention.  Why do you think we sell so many candles, sparklers and wish papers?

We’re here to help you with whatever you close your eyes and wished for. We don't know what's coming at us next, but we do know we're holding on to moments of togetherness. These are some of our suggestions, just for you.

If you’re looking to travel internationally this year, but are stuck at home

If your intention is be more athletic, may we suggest our favorite sport?
If you’ve always wanted work on your floral skills, but need to start simple
If your bliss is finding spontaneous moments to dance, just tuck this in your bedroom, bathroom, anywhere really..

If you’re focusing on weaning off Amazon and shopping small, why don't start with us?

If you just got a new place and would love to entertain more

December 29, 2021 — Brenna Gilbert