Go ahead: wear the crazy Christmas sweater with the ridiculous leggings. Just do it. You’ll feel like a fool, but that’s the whole idea. Christmas (and the whole holiday season) is about going all out. Especially during this time when our children are young and it’s incredibly impractical to be serious about much. If you want to try to make things fancy and nice with the well-put-together ensemble that makes you feel chic, then go for it. But there’s really no need to reject the fact that you have kids and that this is really all about them (and the kid in us) anyway. Embrace this family life that we are privileged to lead! Our kids love it when we dress fun. So let’s give it to them. (Our nice dress is bound to get stained anyway. Who wants to deal with that inevitable disappointment? It’s best to wait until there’s space in our life to wear, have, and do fancy things again. Otherwise, we are setting ourselves up for some massive self-sabotage.)
When to start? The “holidays” can start as soon as you want them to (Back-to-School, autumn, Halloween). The idea is to get in and stay in the spirit early and to keep it going! My rule of thumb is as soon as November hits! When to end? For me, whenever January is no more. Cover three whole months of wearing in-the-spirit apparel. I like to change into a “spirited” outfit for dinner/the evenings—and I don’t/can’t always do it every single night, but this regular effort of dressing for the season helps to lift the mood and build the excitement for the big days (e.g., Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s).
To what extent? Well, no need to spend a lot—have a few rotational things: one shirt to wear, one shirt to wash. Adding one item or so to the collection each year helps to gradually build the holiday wardrobe without wearing out your wallet.
What to say to the naysayers? (Let’s say your kids think you’re weird instead of funny for dressing the part.) Well, you can’t say you didn’t try! And, besides, you’re wearing the spirited gear for you, too, not just for them. The crazy outfits remind us not to be so stiff about the season.