Designing For The Holidays: Getting In the Spirit

As a kid that grew up in California, we didn’t have snowy weather to get us in the mood for the holidays. There were no snow men or snow angels made; no snow ball fights, and now snow days.


Watch Holiday Movies

I think a huge part of getting nostalgic is watching old christmas movies because they preserve my childhood in a way that nothing else can. They remind me of some of the best moments I had as a kid growing up watching them every year with my family. They brought us together all in one place to smile and laugh together, making the punch lines into our own inside jokes. We had at least one for every movie.


Listen to Christmas music

This is kind of a gimme. We only had one christmas cd, THE Christmas Album but we played it every year as we decorated the tree. I’d come home to it as my mom was making dinner and after my parents moved, I inherited the cd from my parents. So now every year I play it to remind myself of my mother’s festive spirit, which kept the house beautifully decorated (and smelling delicious) throughout the season.

Here’s my one of my favorite songs from that album:


Eat Powdered Cookies and Baklava:

I have some greek extended family and every year they send us some amazing hand made baklava, powdered cookies, and other goodies. We look forward to it every year, and my mom used to have to hide them from my brother and his friends or they’d eat them all before I got a chance to come home for the holidays and get some.

Drink Eggnog

Another holiday favorite was drinking eggnog with my mom. Most people look forward to drinking hot cocoa during winter, but not our family. She used to fix us both up a tall glass. It wasn’t until after I turned 21 that I realized she used to spike hers and add nutmeg.

Make Hand made Christmas Cards:

My parents always said “don’t worry about getting us anything, just make us a pretty card”, so every year I made my own cards for everyone in the family. As I got older, they became more meaningful.

Go on a Christmas Light walk:

When we lived in Alameda, there was this one street dubbed “Santa Clause Lane” because every year, every home on the whole block was lit up in elaborate christmas lights the whole month of december. There in the island in the middle of the street sat Santa every night for the weeks leading up to christmas, taking pictures and listening to wishes from children. 


So these are a few things that I do to get in the spirit of christmas so that I can design for the holiday season. On top of feeling festive, I also check out greeting card companies and retailers for holiday trends. This year, one trend in the fashion world is all about Sparkle.

Some other holiday design inspiration: – Their greeting cards are super modern and fun and the best part… they’re customizable!

Hello Lucky – My favorite letterpress greeting card company based right out of San Francisco.

Freepeople – I know i’ve blogged about them before, but I really think they went all out on the holiday photography. This Holiday boutique page is amazing.


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