It arrived in my mailbox just the other day: an exquisite little note-card, so thoughtfully prepared. You are cordially invited... hors d'oeuvres, sweets, and aperitifs... please RSVP... and there it was, in a final statement at the bottom: Dress to impress.
As if I needed to be told! I love to dress for a party, but then I even dress up to go to the grocery store. But I understand that's unusual. Whereas for the most part people tend to look for a good reason every once in a while to dress up and indulge, this time of year, everyone is of one mind. Extravagance is the norm in cooking, in dressing, and in socializing. And just about everyone is having a party!
In fact, this little invite that I received in the mail was one of several to come my way in the ensuing days, each one decidedly different. There's the fancy cocktail, a just-dessert party, the potluck, the blowout, the family sing-along, an intimate gathering with friends, and the holiday dinner with co-workers. Oh, and don't forget New Years! This year-end, I'll be in Paris (more on that later), where dressing sharp and eating well is practically required.
At this point, I could start to worry: Will I have something to wear to all these events? Will I gain ten pounds from all of the sweets? Will I go totally broke from all of the gift exchanges and dinner bills? Well, let's just get this out of the way right now, because the answer is and always will be: YES, YES and YES.
Once you can let go of the stress that’s inevitable around the holidays, this time of year can be so fabulous. For when else can you dust off all those old party frocks, wear bells in your hair and glitter on your face, and eat five truffles in one sitting? When else do you get to see so many of your friends all in one place, all happy and with rosy cheeks? When else do you dress up your house with more sparkling jewels than even you own, while Bing Crosby sings “Christmas in Killarney” in the background?
I can think of no other time like it.