make-believe: holiday hosting.

December 13, 2017

make-believe: holiday hosting | reading my tea leaves

My need to be cozy intensifies by about a million times in December. On my walk to work this morning, as I barreled through wind tunnels and along Christmas-tree lined streets, I was already fantasizing about returning to our apartment at the end of the night. We won’t be hosting anyone tonight, but the impulse to make a cozy sanctuary out of our tiny apartment is still strong. I’ll be turning on the Christmas tree lights, pulling on slippers, setting a pot of soup to simmer on the stove, and lighting candles for dinner. In anticipation of upcoming gatherings, here’s a collection of things for imagined (or real) dinners in. Guests not required.

A seasonless-dress for elegance and comfort.

A casserole (I’m officially in love) for serving something warming.

A cutting board fit for a festive cheese spread.

Candlesticks (and candles) for extra light.

A mug that gives back, because the host needs mulled wine, too.

Oxfords for staying comfy.

Long rule earrings for a touch of fancy.

A perfect lipstick for a winter evening.

dab of perfume, just because.

In an effort to ground all of this make-believing in something a bit more down to earth, here are a few things we might do to help foster safe spaces for folks in need:

To provide shelter: Open your home. Airbnb Open Homes can help you set up your home to serve as a temporary shelter for evacuees and refugees in need of a place to stay. 

To support girls at risk: Donate to Girls Mentoring and Educational Services (GEMS). GEMS is an organization with a mission to “empower girls and young women who have experienced commercial sexual exploitation and domestic trafficking to exit the commercial sex industry and develop to their full potential.”

To help get people back into their homes: Send money. More than donations of clothes or food, organizations trying to serve folks seeking disaster relief need cash money. Here’s a list of places helping folks suffering from forest fires in California. 

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  • Reply Megan December 13, 2017 at 12:38 pm

    Some beautiful and cozy ideas here 🙂 Your link to the perfume got me wondering about other perfume options that aren’t full of chemicals, etc. Do you already have, or would you consider making, a list of earth- and human-friendly scents? Thanks Erin!

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 13, 2017 at 12:54 pm

      Hi Megan, two other folks come to mind, both of whom have sponsored this site over the years and whose perfume I’ve personally loved: Marble & Milkweed and Olo! For slightly more “woodsy” scents, Juniper Ridge is also terrific.

    • Reply Kalie December 14, 2017 at 9:00 am

      I would also suggest for strange women perfume! They are purely botanical and vegan perfume oils

  • Reply Madeleine December 13, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I’m so pleased to see a link to Hold General Store (for the beautiful cutting board) here. It’s a tiny local shop, owned and operated by a young woman who really believes in simple, slow, and low impact living and building community. It is very much your place, Erin 🙂 For the woman looking for other perfumes, I’d also recommend Picot’s honey tobacco roll-on. It’s made by a different young woman in my town (we actually have a disproportionate number of young female entrepreneurs and artisans where I live, it’s awesome!). . I swear I am not connected to either of these outfits 🙂

  • Reply Ciara December 13, 2017 at 3:00 pm

    This is such an aesthetically pleasing list, I too agree with the need for comfort increasing this time of year.

  • Reply Eva December 13, 2017 at 4:34 pm

    Such a lovely color palette! The Sabine dress looks great too 🙂

  • Reply Alix December 13, 2017 at 6:50 pm

    I love that dress; I ADORE that model’s hair!

  • Reply Amy December 14, 2017 at 6:52 am

    I love the lightness and depth of the post. The lipstick looks especially lovely. I’m trying to clean up my beauty routine with more sustainable, organic products, but it’s a long process. I had no idea one could open a home to evacuees and refugees. I worked with refugees through the IRC in CA. It was shocking to see people arrive in the US with little more than the clothes on their back, entire families, plunked down in the middle of a city and told: here’s your new life. It’s difficult, sometimes, to know which organizations are well-run and provide sustainable programs. I’m eager to check out your list. Amy

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 14, 2017 at 9:47 am

      Check out my post about charitable giving! Lots more there!

  • Reply Suzanne December 14, 2017 at 9:05 am

    The Sabine linen dress is so pretty. I love the simple shape. But funny that the biggest size all their dresses come in is a medium — which they list as a size 4-6. Is their very largest customer really a size 4 or 6?

    • Reply ERIN BOYLE December 14, 2017 at 9:46 am

      Not sure if they ever stock larger sizes, but they’re a super small operation which can make stocking a full size range a major challenge! I’d reach out and ask though! Not impossible that they might be able to make larger sizes!

  • Reply Sam December 14, 2017 at 11:18 am

    Because of upcoming changes, this calendar year is the last year that many families will benefit from the charitable deduction – if you’re included in this considering giving family and friends donations to their favorite charities this year (or donate yourself before January 1st)!

  • Reply Rebecca Lately December 15, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Ooh, that casserole dish is so pretty!

  • Reply Ruchita December 15, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    Love using cutting board as a cheese board! great list 🙂 Thanks Erin for sharing this.

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