December 2017

Miss Fab: How to be fabulous for the holidays

Author: Kitty Bartell

We all like to think we are a little bit fabulous; some think about it more than others. The holidays, however, have a way of dulling all that sparkle with the pressure to do and be all: planner, shopper, wrapper, list maker, cookie decorator, traveler, entertainer, coordinator. It’s enough to dismantle the best of the all-together, and certainly derail the already a-little-less-than fabulous.

Maintaining, or even gaining a little ground on your fabulousness during the holidays is conceivable. The fabulous maintain a sense of humor—about others, about circumstances, and most important, about themselves. Fabulous people are enchantingly authentic, which requires healthy self-deprecating humor; they like themselves just as they are, are amused by their faux pas, and their confidence invites closeness.

A little hot chocolate splashed on the children’s holiday attire, an unruly cowlick making an appearance in the family holiday card photo, or Uncle William taking delivery of the flowery nightie you thought you ordered for your sister, are worth a giggle, and are no big deal for the fabulous. What you see is what you get with Miss Fab. Willing to admit when she needs help, or when she puts on that “I’ve got this” attitude, she inspires others to help or to let her take the reins. You want these fabulous people on your holiday planning committee or as guests at your annual Christmas Eve open house.

The fabulous have style. When they enter a room, the energy expands and the lights seem to glow a little warmer. Their joie de vivre begins with their attire; they are dressed exactly right for the occasion, with the perfect accessories—never over-doing it. An insightful stylist once suggested that to achieve the perfect look, the ready-to-go subject should spin around one time in front of a mirror and remove the first accessory she notices when coming back into focus. With this fashion fact-check, you may notice that your five-tier, chandelier earrings are upstaging your stunning party dress, or that your festive green eyeshadow (yes, makeup is an accessory) clashes with your Santa Claus-suit-red lipstick.

Fabulous people exude elegance; standing out comes naturally, all while doing it with a nod and wink (that humor thing again). The details in how they dress create their style-stamp and inspire others to wonder, “How does she do it?” This is the lady who has spent December 24 wrapping presents, keeping the children busy stringing strands of popcorn and cranberry garland, hosting 12 for an elegant Christmas Eve dinner of standing rib roast and homemade Yorkshire Pudding, and still sweeping into the Christmas Eve church service wearing the perfect little dress with a seemingly effortless, up-swept ponytail, just the right lipstick, and a pair of Santa-inspired earrings that her youngest insisted she wear.

Fabulous people are dynamic, compelling, and charismatic, experiencing the holiday season and celebrations, fulfilling their wishes and dreams. They live life fully conscious with an attitude of “anything is possible,” because believing that anything is possible somehow makes anything possible. Finding the elusive, must-have toy of the season is without question…possible. Wrangling her husband, the children, two dogs, three cats, and a bird for the family holiday card photo session…possible. Making it to the children’s holiday concert, her best friend’s cookie exchange, and her company’s office party, all on the same day…possible. This “anything is possible” approach begins with an understanding that it’s all about attitude, and most certainly, not everything will be perfect. Maybe cookies from the grocery store are a perfectly acceptable substitute for homemade gingerbread men for the school party, or picking up grandma and grandpa on time at the airport outweighs one more “quick” stop for another stocking stuffer. (Those stocking stuffers can get out of hand!)

The fabulous also write everything down, making their pie-in-the-sky idealism completely manageable. Having a schedule gives the fabulous carte blanche when it comes it saying “no” whenever necessary, while skillfully navigating their to-dos and obligations. Studies have shown that the most successful people write their to-do lists on their calendars, psyching themselves into thinking of everything as “scheduled.” Improve your fabulous quotient by making friends with your calendar, and you will start to see that nearly anything is possible.

Fabulous people are “my door is always open” kind of people. They are genuinely interested in you and what you have to say; they embody “the more the merrier” philosophy, and exude warmth. The holidays aren’t complete until you’ve attended their naturally-fabulous, annual holiday party, or you experience their undivided attention over afternoon coffee and holiday cookies, or unwinding over wine and cheese.

Fabulous people have impeccable manners; inclusion and introductions come second-nature to the fabulous ones, and they know attitude is everything when playing the part of “guest.” Manners are part of their DNA, whether table manners (e.g. napkin in your lap, never chew with your mouth open, etc.), RSVP-ing on-time with an offer to bring her famous Harbour Town crostini appetizer, or writing a thank-you note that makes you just love her more. Google a-to-z-of-manners-and-etiquette.com and buy some notecards: You’re finding your fabulous.

Fabulous people are marvelously capable. What they do, they do well, and with a great deal of enviable skill. Their “to-do” lists are completed, they know how to use their resources and contacts, and they refuse to cut corners. Knowing when to order the dessert from the bakery, or the sides to accompany their famous spice-studded holiday ham, or enlisting a cleaning service to get everything spic-n-span, is how the fabulous create amazing gatherings where they enjoy the festivities as much as their guests. Hiring professionals to put the finishing touches on any occasion or event is not considered cutting corners; it is considered fabulous.

Like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, who in the end always knew the way to get home, fabulousness is in each of us, just waiting to be tapped. There is no better time than the holidays to up your quotient. Happy holidays and cheers to the new year!

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