I used to work in a hair salon and every year Christmas would come round and the place would turn into MAYHEM! Appointments would be back to back to back, the salon floor becoming a human coiffure factory with assistants making bleach in batch loads. If an appointment became available it was fought over and I mean physically, once a yummy mum tried to take on a yoga mum.. you can imagine who won. The phone rang off the hook and the inbox jammed every time, the poor receptionist, it was the only time of the year she couldn’t make endless coffees and declare of being so tired from being on her feet all day (but was actually the only one with a chair, don’t get me started). This madness would honestly leave me with shell shock at the end of the day, nerves fried and somehow also over-stimulated, though I’m sure the bleach chemicals didn’t help. It always left me wondering why it all mattered.
Christmas is surely stressful enough with presents, the most important dinner of the year, family dynamics that have grown another year stale for yet and to finish it off you can’t escape and go anywhere, that would be rude to Auntie Gene.. and as the years go by I get closer and closer to telling Gene to do one if she doesn’t like me doing one. So with all this stress and being locked up in the house, why do people bother with looking nice for Christmas?
Is it about looking nice for the people around you? I mean maybe a little but if you're like me you spend Christmas with family and they’ve seen me in every state, quite probably the worst! So what would really be the point of that?
After sitting with it for years, daydreaming each festive season while doing my 146th blow-dry of the day, it wasn’t until I ended up alone on a Christmas evening a few years ago due to a moody arrogant boyfriend it clicked. I’d left his and sat on the floor staring at myself, dolled up. I said to myself “you look so stupid, all dressed up for Christmas. He doesn’t care and no one else can see it” flowed by a very long silent pause viciously staring back at my ridiculous self.
I am aware of how harsh this is but it also wasn’t true. I mean I was right that he didn’t care but not that no one else could see? I could see. And I looked good, I had a cute winter jumper on, hair was nicely styled and my new perfume was still in the air. I decided I shouldn’t mope about it being CHRISTMAS and I was dressed up for it! Seeing myself looking hot dragged me out my hole, showed me the mood I could be in. It’s now one of my favorite Christmas memories, the year I saved Christmas for myself!
This was the moment it finally made sense. Christmas is important to people for different reasons, seeing family, appreciating your friends through gifts, not worrying about what food you're eating, resting, taking time for the sweet things. Getting dressed up over the festive season gives us that sense of importance, showing that we respect the significance of the day. The process of showering, doing your hair, your make-up and nails builds the excitement for the day like being sent back to your room at 4am with your stocking cause its still too early. Then when you have the result basking in the joy of the day, it’s a classic but it’s true. Looking good makes you feel good and everyone should feel good at Christmas. Even if you’re dancing alone to a Madonna vinyl newly single on Christmas Day.
My top tip, don’t forget your nails, you’ll look at them way more than your hair and face, plus if they're long enough they’ll scare your annoying little cousin away.