Christmas Eve traditions, people who have their life together, Brandon’s COVID vaccine experience, and listener Christmas traditions!
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Audio Length: 45:14 minutes
Joy: Hey guys, this is Joy.
Claire: And this is Claire.
Joy: And this is Joy and Claire. Merry Christmas Eve!
Claire: Merry Christmas Eve!
Joy: I wish I could sing a song right now, but that wouldn’t be fun for you.
Claire: Thank you.
Joy: Thank you, thank you.
Claire: I love Christmas Eve. Do you love Christmas Eve?
Joy: I do. You know, I was thinking about Christmas Eves past, and I have this really great memory – I think so much of Christmas as an adult is being nostalgic about Christmas as a kid.
Joy: And also reliving it with your children. I was thinking about how we used to go to midnight mass. We would go to mass either on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning, or we would do midnight mass. So as we got older, we were like, “Let’s do midnight mass!” because we thought that was really cool that we got to stay up so late and be at church at midnight. I have memories of coming home and we’re all so tired and passing out and waking up in the morning and opening presents. But that feeling of going – it’s like what Casper would say about rituals. That is such a fond memory in my brain.
Claire: Yeah, that’s a lot. Would Santa still come after you got home so late?
Claire: Oh wow. Good for him.
Joy: Yes, good for him. Warning alert, I’m going to say something in case there’s some kids around. Fair warning. Three, two, one. My mom would put the presents out and then she would bite into the cookie. So we went out, we were like, “Oh my gosh.”
Claire: But at 3 in the morning she would do that?
Joy: Right, totally.
Claire: Bless your mom.
Joy: I know, my mom’s the best. And we’d be like, “Oh my gosh, he bit into the -” whatever that we made, cookies or treats or whatever we made, but it was just so cute.
Claire: She’s so cute. Warning over. So Miles, he just turned five. He is in prime Santa age, and it’s so fun. He’s so excited for Santa to come. We’re all very excited for Santa to come of course.
Joy: Of course, we’re all excited.
Claire: And he’s really excited. Last year, he had just turned four. He kind of understood about Santa but was just starting to get it. So this year is our first year of the Santa hype.
Joy: Really getting into it, yeah, that’s really cute.
Claire: And, you know, I’m kind of glad that we didn’t have to deal with the “let’s go visit Santa at the mall” sort of situation. I’m also glad that we hadn’t set that as a precedent, only not to be able to do it this year. So I feel for you families out there who that has been a big part of your tradition for your kids and you weren’t able to do it this year and had to explain about that. But I also love that they have been really clear, like Santa is immune to COVID. We don’t have to worry about it. He has the antibodies, aka “Santabodies.”
Joy: Oh I love it so much.
Claire: I love it so much. I mean, he’s magic, right? Santa’s magic, so we don’t have to worry about it.
Joy: He’s magic. Oh, it’s so great.
Claire: Yeah, we’re like full swing Santa over here. So on Christmas Eve, we’re going to make tons of different types of cookies and do the whole thing, so that will be fun. Evie doesn’t know any better. She doesn’t care or know what day it is, but I’m still excited for her. We have two Christmas trees, which I also am loving. We have a fake Christmas tree, which we’ve had for a couple of years. And we’ve always done fake. And then this year, our au pair was like, “Have you guys ever gone and cut down your own Christmas tree?” It’s something that she really wanted to do because she’s from Brazil.
Joy: Yeah, I love that she’s getting you guys to do stuff that you’re like, oh it’s not that big of a deal, but it’s such a big deal to her.
Claire: She’s also obsessed with Christmas lights. She is so disappointed that we didn’t go hang Christmas lights, like we have one string of Christmas lights on our fence, that’s it. She hasn’t been like, “I’m disappointed in you,” but I can tell.
Joy: [laughing] I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.
Claire: She’s not mad, she’s just disappointed. But we got a permit to go cut down a tree. We all drove out and did that, so now we have two Christmas trees, which I’m never going back to only one Christmas tree. Even though our living room is quite small. We literally just have a Christmas tree on either side of our couch, and our couch is only like 8 feet long.
Joy: So your living room is one big Christmas tree?
Claire: Our living room is nothing but Christmas trees, it’s so great.
Joy: It sounds fantastic, and I’m sure the kids love it.
Claire: It’s wonderful. And honestly, I feel like we love it even more than they do because they’re like, “Whatever, I don’t care.” We’re like, “More Christmas.”
Joy: Yeah, more Christmas. Speaking of multiple trees, we’re going to get to some more voice memos you guys sent in. We have so many that we’re going to spend the majority of this episode listening to your voice memos. But I just want to call out someone who called in and said that her wish and aspiration is to have a Christmas tree in every room.
Claire: Yes, that’s a great aspiration.
Joy: It’s so great. And to have a huge house, I mean I guess you don’t have to have a huge house, but you know those houses where you feel like someone’s –
Claire: Like Mariah Carey’s house?
Joy: Right. Or you specifically have someone hired to put up your Christmas decorations.
Claire: I don’t know though. I love decorating. So before we get full-on Christmas mode, let’s talk about some other exciting things that have happened this week. So right now we’re recording, the sun is setting on the shortest day of the year.
Joy: [cheering] Woohoo!
Claire: So goodbye.
Joy: Goodbye short days and depression.
Claire: Welcome to our very, very slow, gradual turn back to the sun. Very excited about that. You don’t have any solstice rituals, do you?
Joy: I don’t.
Claire: I woke up this morning, and I was like, “I should get some solstice rituals.” And I was like, “Oh, it’s today. Okay, next year I’ll have solstice rituals.”
Joy: I know, it just sounds so lovely. I had a bunch of friends who used to do it, and they had people over for dinner, and it was just a big to do, and that does sound lovely. Everyone is getting up to watch the Christmas moon. I think that’s beautiful.
Claire: Yeah, that alignment of the stars? That will be really cool, the Christmas star. When we get to the summer solstice, I always am like, “Wait a minute, we just go there. We can’t turn back our – ” But in winter, the six months between June to December feel so much longer than the six months between December to June.
Joy: 100% agree.
Claire: I’m so glad that we’re turning back towards the sun. The other really exciting thing about this week was that Brandon got the first dose of the Pfizer COVID vaccine.
Joy: So cool.
Claire: On, what was it, Thursday morning of last week. So I posted some updates about his side effects. A lot of people reached out and asked me to share about those. I was very, very happy to because I know this is a completely new experience and everyone has some questions and fears around it. His arm was sore the first day. He got it at 9 in the morning and worked the next two days, like full-on on-the-floor shifts. So his arm was sore the first day, and the second day in the afternoon around 30 hours post injection, he had all the sudden just got hit with some body aches and some chills. He took some ibuprofen, and it went away and never came back. Then the next day, on day three, he felt totally fine. He is the type of person who almost always has side effects from the flu shot. I almost never have side effects from the flu shot. And he was like, “I’m not trying to have the “manflu.” I’m just trying to let you know because you’re updating all your people.”
Joy: Very important distinction.
Claire: Important disclaimer, very important disclaimer. So we were really expecting that he would have some side effects because it’s really common for him to have side effects. Which, just as a note, when you’re a healthy person, it’s very common and normal to have some side effects like that from any vaccine. So it was pretty anticlimactic. He gets the second does in about three weeks. The data that they have shows that the second dose tends to have a higher rate of side effects, so we’re expecting that that will happen again and hopefully he can schedule that vaccine on a day when he’s not working that day or the next day potentially. So, we’ll see how that goes. That was really exciting. I knew that he was going to be in the first round, but when we found out the actual day that he was getting it, I was just crying the whole day. I really did not expect myself, I mean you guys know I’m not really a crier. I really didn’t expect myself to have that reaction, and I just think I didn’t realize how much I had been holding onto the, oh my gosh – there were days back in March/April where any day Brandon went to work, I got up in the morning at 5am and would just sit in the kitchen with him because I truly thought this might be the last time I see my husband. We didn’t know. That was true for a lot of practitioners out there that got COVID and passed away. I just had this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach. We just don’t know. What happens if he goes to work and gets COVID, dies alone? And that was what so much of my time in the spring was taken up thinking about. And then to have this feeling, like, wow, we’ve come so far.
Joy: It’s like we’ve been holding our breath for so long.
Claire: Yeah, and I just didn’t realize how much I had been holding my breath. So then, when he got the vaccine, it was like, oh my gosh. We still have a long way to go, and I am fearful that people who already just don’t give any f’s already, a lot of people.
Joy: Wait, don’t give any f’s about what?
Joy: Oh, oh, like the anti-masker people?
Claire: Right. Who are like, “It’s my choice.”
Joy: “It’s my choice.”
Claire: “I’m an adult, I can make the decision.” I’m so happy for you.
Joy: I just need to say real quick, that is the most selfish thing. Let me remind everybody, not about you.
Claire: Not about you. [singing] I bet you think this song is about you –
Joy: [singing] Don’t you –
Claire: Oh, we can’t sing songs.
Joy: I’m cutting that out. [laughing]
Claire: But I just think that I realize how much I had been holding onto. And we have so far still to go, and this is only going to work if as many people who can get vaccinated get vaccinated, who can will. But to feel like help is on the way, it really felt like that moment when the city is burning and the superman thing flies overhead. Where it’s like, okay, the city is still burning, things are still going down, but help is on the way.
Joy: Help is on the way.
Claire: So that’s been huge. I’m really, really, really, really grateful.
Joy: How is Brandon feeling? Not just physically. Is he just –
Claire: Yeah, same.
Joy: – super grateful that he goes into work and he’s like, “I feel protected.”
Joy: I know they wear PPE. But that’s not 100%.
Claire: Right. No, it’s not 100%, and it’s dirty. They’re still reusing masks for days or weeks at a time. I think for most healthcare practitioners that I’ve heard from too are basically saying this is the first moment of hope that I’ve actually had for this situation this whole time. We’ve just had to put our heads down without any end in sight and without any idea how or when this would resolve. And now for the first time, we actually feel like we have something on our side and we actually have hope and we actually have the confidence that this isn’t going to be forever, and this isn’t just our lives now.
Joy: And not only that, I just feel, at least from my experience and what I see in the news, of course they have to report top stories, but we are not recognizing the amazing work that our healthcare providers are doing day in and day out. There’s people every single day that are exhausted dealing with this, in their face, 100%. Those are the people we should be listening to.
Claire: 1000% yes. Those are the people –
Joy: I don’t care if you walk around and you’re like, “You’re taking away my freedom.” Then go talk to a healthcare worker.
Claire: Right. Go talk to somebody who has seen this up close.
Joy: Until you do that, then you have no right to say that.
Claire: And I also think, it’s like, you know, everyone’s had a hard year, some more than others. I wrote a post about this on my personal Instagram. We’ve forgotten who the enemy is. We’re so quick to jump down each other’s throats that we forget that the enemy is COVID. The enemy is not each other. The enemy is not mask regulations or people who don’t wear masks even, although those people might be aiding and abetting the enemy. The enemy is COVID. And also, to an extent, the lack of support that we’ve gotten from our government to allow people to safely not work. Most other governments around the world have had ways to pay people to stay home. And whether, I’m not saying other countries are perfect, but our country around the world is being looked at as a failure to support our citizens. And not just citizens but all the people who live here. And I think that that’s a huge thing that we tend to lose focus on is that, yes people are being put into absolutely horrible lose-lose situations. That’s not the fault of the people who wear masks any more than it’s the fault of people who don’t wear masks. It’s the fault of the virus. And it’s the fault of the people who had the opportunity to help us and didn’t in politics and in our government. And that applies to people on both sides of the political spectrum as well. I’m not saying certain people did or did not or could or could not have.
Joy: Can I ask you a kind of controversial question because I want to hear what you would say.
Joy: What do you say to the argument when people are like, “It’s China’s fault. It’s not Trump’s fault.”
Claire: I don’t get that.
Joy: I don’t get it either. Okay, so if a volcano happens and something –
Claire: What I just don’t get about that is, what good does it do for you to point your finger at China? What good does it do for –
Joy: It does nothing. It’s like there’s a car accident –
Claire: Right, it’s like if a Toyota rear ends you and you’re like, “Toyota did this to me.”
Joy: Yeah, so it’s Toyota’s fault. It’s so dumb.
Claire: Maybe could they have handled it better in the early days? We’ll never know. And that’s really what it comes down to. It’s like, let’s focus on the things that we actually… let me put it this way. Most countries in the world were dealt the same hand when it came to the virus showing up at their doorstep. And we can go back and say, well this never would have happened if X, Y, Z had or hadn’t taken place in China. I think the focus is on, how then did your country react to the hand they were dealt. That’s my opinion. Sure, if I could go back in time and go seal the borders of China in November 2019, I think we all would go back and do that. It just to me feels like a fruitless argument.
Joy: It’s fruitless. It’s like one of those things where, crap happens and you’re just going to sit there focusing on crap happening versus how we’re all dealing with it.
Claire: Right. And what we can do to deal with it and what we could have done to deal with it. And I think it just doesn’t, I don’t know. I think that’s important that we keep in mind going into 2021. This isn’t over yet, and the enemy is not one another. The enemy is the virus, and we need to do everything we can to combat the virus, not to combat each other.
Joy: Yes, I love that so much. That’s a good reminder for me because another article came up that made me thing about that as well. I believe it was New York Times opinion, and it said something along the lines of, “Shaming people for their behaviors in the pandemic doesn’t change their behavior.”
Claire: No, right, exactly.
Joy: But it’s so easy for us to be like –
Claire: You want to, right.
Joy: “I can’t believe you,” “I dare you.” I mean, we’ve said it before on the podcast. I’m guilty of it. I need to have that reminder. I cannot try to change someone’s mind, and shaming people for their decisions does absolutely nothing. So that’s something that I need to work on for sure.
Claire: I also think there’s a point where it’s like, listen, there are clear behaviors that we know that medical data shows up are making things worse and that increase transmission. And if we’re truly seeing the virus as the enemy, then increasing transmission is only aiding and abetting that enemy. So in my mind, that’s part of fighting COVID together is doing everything we can to decrease transmission. Like wearing masks, especially wearing masks indoors. Doing all those types of things. So I’m not saying this is a free pass to everyone to just go out and do whatever they want and be like, “You said don’t call people out because the real enemy is COVID.” Call people out if they’re doing things that you know the data says are going to increase that transmission. This isn’t a free pass. But at the same time, I just think we are so quick to jump down each other’s throats when we realize we’ve all been put into a tough position this year. The one thing that just makes me crazy, and we kind of go into this on Instagram with some people last week, is when people – to me, what you said earlier of we should be listening to the healthcare workers, I completely agree with that. And the people who are like, “Well, were they forced to become healthcare workers?” It’s like, listen up a-hole. People who sign up to be healthcare workers sign up to help people. They go into that profession to help people. And they didn’t “sign up for a pandemic” any more than anyone else did. Were small business owners forced to be small business owners? Were CEO’s of huge companies forced to be CEO’s of huge companies? No one in this country is forced to do anything professionally. We could go down the rabbit hole of, what is forced really mean, because people have fewer options. But healthcare workers did not sign up to put their life on the line because they couldn’t be protected from a global pandemic virus. Absolutely, they did not.
Joy: Absolutely not.
Claire: That’s not an argument that I will ever listen to, and I think it’s wildly disrespectful to insinuate that.
Joy: Absolutely. So disrespectful.
Claire: That is where I very much draw the line of, hey, we’re all in this together. So anyway, I don’t want to get too much on that soap box. But I am really, just to take it all back, I am so grateful that Brandon was able to get the vaccine, and I will let you guys know how the second dose goes. And also, still do what you can because it’s not over yet.
Joy: Do what you can. It’s not even close to over. It’s so tempting for us to be like, oh my gosh, we have the vaccine, I want to go book a trip. Everybody, just cool your jets.
Claire: Oh, here’s something else. Somebody messaged us in our DM’s, and I had read this following some comments I made last week about, oh I just can’t wait to hug my family or see my family. And they messaged us just to clarify this, so I wanted to bring it up. This is someone who is a medical student and who works with a lot of infectious disease experts. We don’t know for sure that being vaccinated can keep you from asymptomatic transmission. I don’t fully understand how those things are different, like how can you have asymptomatic transmission if you test negative for COVID. I don’t know. Don’t ask me those questions. I don’t understand it. But I do think it’s important that we realize that we don’t know for sure, that just because you’re vaccinated against COVID, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t still transmit it. So until as many people as possible can’t get it, these people are putting on bullet proof vests but they’re not necessarily unloading the gun. We don’t know for sure. I don’t understand that science behind that, but I just wanted to bring that up. Anyway. the other thing – this is completely unrelated. Are you ready for a massive turn?
Joy: Right turn, let’s go.
Claire: I really want to talk about our post about finishing the sentence, “People who have their life together always blank” from last week’s episode. We put it out on Instagram, and we got so many good ones. So I want to start with mine. People who have their life together always blank. Always remember their reusable shopping bags. I never do that. Know their rising signs. I feel like people who are like, “Oh yeah, I’m a Libra rising, Sagittarius moon.” Wow, you know stuff about yourself. Wake up early for fun.
Joy: You’re describing me. [laughing]
Claire: You know your rising signs?
Joy: I don’t know my rising signs, but I bring my bags –
Claire: Do you bring your reusable grocery bags?
Claire: So proud of you.
Joy: I keep them in my car.
Claire: But here’s the thing. I will put mine in my car. I’ll take them to the grocery store, and then I take them inside to unload my groceries and they never again make it back in my car.
Joy: Oh. See, I always, always put them back in my car.
Claire: I never have, literally never. Can maintain a conversational running pace. I think that’s a myth. I think a conversational running pace is a myth.
Joy: I can do that. Not right now I can’t.
Claire: No, it’s a myth. And then my other one that I just thought of the other night was, people who return things before their return window closes.
Joy: Oh my God. But that, that’s different from, I just don’t like returning things. I get really –
Claire: Yeah, people who return things. People who have their life together return things, whether it’s remembering to do it on time. For me, it’s a combination of not being organized enough to do it on time, but also just not being motivated. So those were my things. What are yours?
Joy: Mine are, I just think of Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere, so I’m going to describe her. She has a specific movie night where she sits down and makes her own martinis and makes her own pizza. So people who make their own cocktails or have cocktail shakers and mixology and all that type of thing. People who decorate really well on their own. Like, you just walk in and everything looks so perfect, and you’re like, “Oh my gosh, where’d you get that?” “Oh, I just found it on – “
Claire: Oh my gosh, I had a friend like that. She has cute measuring cups. Who has cute measuring cups?
Joy: Right. “I just found it in a thrift store” and everything’s so well put together. How do you do that? I feel like those people have their life together. And then I think of Jenna Lyons where she is just so perfectly put together with an outfit every single day of her life. And has pretty plain hair and makeup but just looks fabulous. Those are my top –
Joy: There’s many more. And when you guys were writing in, I was very much identifying with everything that you said. So let’s read some of them.
Claire: Okay. So Crystal – hi Crystal – who is a great listener, who’s been listening forever. Again, it was fill-in-the-blank. People who have their life together always blank. She said, “can gather 6+ friends for a girls trip and look nice at the airport.” 1000%. Who are these people with their massive friends who travel together. “People who can pack a normal amount of clothing for a trip. Unlike me” – this is someone else – “unlike me who practically packs an extra set of clothes for every day.” Totally agree with that. “Get up in the morning and go for a run or workout.” That’s you.
Joy: I like the one that says, “Doesn’t wonder how much market price is on a menu.” Oh my gosh, that’s such a good one. Just order whatever.
Claire: I used to work with a private jet company. And they were always like, “If they have to ask how much it is, they can’t afford it.” I want that to be my life.
Joy: Yes, I want that to be my life.
Claire: “Always remember to defrost their meat in time to make dinner.” “Fold their laundry the first time it’s done drying and don’t have to fluff up the wrinkles multiple times.” Oh, this one I loved. ” Own and use the very specific crockery, like sugar bowls, milk jugs, and butter dishes.”
Joy: Oh, that is a good one.
Claire: “Stay organized by writing in and using a planner.”
Joy: Oh, I always want to buy a planner.
Claire: I know, I just buy a planning. I never use it. “Resist the urge to make frivolous purchases.” “Have to-do lists to manage their to-do lists.” “Send holiday cards.” This one – we normally send a holiday card, and I’ve been so frustrated because I ordered ours forever ago and they’ve been sitting in the Denver post office distribution center for like a week. Because the post office is so backed up. I get it. I’m not blaming the postal service, but every day I check it and it’s still sitting there. I could have walked there by now. “Remember to take the trash to the curb for pick up.” Somebody else said, “Bring the trash cans back in the same day they get picked up.” That’s tough. A lot of people said this. “Have a clean car.” So, you guys should know that Joy’s car feels like a rental car every time you get in. It’s been vacuumed recently. I try to keep my car –
Joy: I can’t stand having a dirty car. I can’t stand it.
Claire: I try to keep my car somewhat clean, but when you have kids, it’s like shoveling during a snow storm. It’s not worth it. But “timely eyebrow maintenance.” That used to be me pre-pandemic. “Do their hair and makeup.” A lot of people have said that. Do their hair and makeup even when they’re not leaving the house. I feel like people who have their life together don’t feel the need to do their hair and makeup if they’re not going to leave the house.
Claire: I’m more like, if you have your life together, then you don’t give two craps about looking good for anyone.
Joy: That’s fair. It feels good to put energy into your look. But if you’re just staying at home the whole day. I get dressed. Like, shower, get dressed.
Claire: Yeah, I don’t care about that stuff.
Joy: But I’m not going to stay in pajamas.
Claire: I would stay in pajamas. “Meditate.” A couple of people said meditate.
Joy: That’s a big one. “People who remember birthdays and take time to send cards and recognize the celebration.”
Claire: Which, we’ll plug for – what is that thing that Sandy always uses?
Joy: Oh, [00:23:31.03 UNCLEAR].
Claire: [UNCLEAR]. You can just put in all your birthdays and all your address books and they’ll automatically send it for you. “When they bring a mug in the car and bring it back in the house on the same trip.” That’s funny.
Joy: There’s a lot of things that are like bringing things back after you do it.
Claire: Yeah, totally. “Meal plan and grocery shop according to that meal plan and then execute said meal plan.” “Don’t use the snooze.” I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use the snooze button. Except for you who you just wake up on your own.
Joy: I just wake up. I haven’t set an alarm for probably the past six years. It’s sad.
Claire: I don’t set an alarm because I birthed my alarms. “Keeping emails deleted, being organized.” Yeah, people who have folders for their emails and actually sort them.
Joy: I do that at work.
Claire: All of them? All the time?
Joy: Not all of them, but I have important things.
Claire: I’ll have a folder where I keep travel reservations and stuff, but I used to work with somebody who categorized every single email she got. And I was like, this would take me more time than just finding that email.
Joy: No, that’s a waste of time.
Claire: Waste of time. Yeah, a lot of laundry ones, a lot of clean car ones.
Joy: There’s one that made me laugh so hard, and I’m trying to find it.
Claire: I like this one. “Wear lipstick to non-casual things or when just out and about. I even have a friend who is an exception and does but does not have their life together to prove it’s an actual rule.” “Wear matching underwear.” I totally agree with that one.
Joy: I do too. That’s commitment. That is so much commitment. It’s just so much planning.
Claire: Yeah, so much planning. These are just all so funny. “Wear statement accessories.”
Joy: Where’s the one where she says – maybe it’s not showing up for me. Where she says something like, “You walk in their house and they’re like, ‘Oh, it’s just messy.'” Kind of like, “Oh, this old thing.” Their house is immaculate.
Claire: I don’t think I saw that one, but yeah, when you walk into somebody’s house and they’re like, “Sorry for the mess,” and you look around and it’s absolutely glittering.
Claire: What mess? So these were hilarious. I hope that some of you guys – I kind of liked to read through these because I was like, hey, I do some of these things. Maybe I do have my life together.
Joy: Totally. Maybe listeners out there are like, “Oh, I do some of that, I do have my life together.”
Claire: Right. I said, “Wake up early,” and someone commented, “Especially to go hiking on the weekends.” That’s the only reason I wake up early. And they were like, “Yeah, but you have your life together.” And I was like, ha. I do. You mean I’m nominated?
Joy: That makes me think too of the assumptions and the projections people make about us. It’s so funny. If they sat in a room with us, they’d probably be like, “Woah, I had no idea.”
Claire: I know.
Joy: Because they just hear us from the podcast.
Claire: Even Brandon, he’ll say something or make an assumption about you, and I’m like, “No, that’s not what Joy is really like.”
Joy: You have no idea. You think you know, but you have no idea.
Claire: You think you know, but you have no idea. Joy just wants to go to bed almost –
Joy: Almost all the time.
Claire: Almost all the time. She just wants to go to her room by herself and watch TV with a dog.
Joy: I read another one that just says, “Have a ‘night time routine.'” Like, you have a night time routine.
Claire: Yeah, I think people who have a skincare routine. I have skincare products.
Joy: Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere has a skin routine, and she gets ready every single day, and I’m sure she wears matching underwear.
Claire: She totally does.
Joy: These are so good. This just makes us think we’re all the same. We’re all just trying to do the best that we can. Oh, I found it. It wasn’t about the house. Did you already read this one? I just love how she put it. “Wear statement accessories.” But then, “Maintain a neat ponytail during a workout,” and in quotes, “whip together dinner.” [laughing] I love that. I just whipped it together. I’m just whipping something up. It’s like a gourmet meal. I love that one. That’s the one I wanted to read.
Claire: It’s like a beef wellington. Slip together this beef wellington.
Joy: That’s what it’s like going to Sandy’s house.
Claire: Oh my gosh, that’s totally what it’s like going to Sandy’s house. She’s like, “Oh, I just whipped together these lobster tails,” and you’re like, “What?”
Joy: The most amazing meal you’ve ever had.
Claire: River mouse ravioli.
Joy: It’s like a four-course meal, that’s so great. Oh, it’s so great. So let’s move on to some voice memos that were equally fantastic. I just wanted to play all of them, so we’re going to try to get to every single one. This person is from Jay.
Jay [recording]: Hi Joy, hi Claire, this is Jay. So one of the things we started doing when we started having kids is, we started having family photos and we started doing Christmas cards and sending them out to our friends and family. And this year was actually really cool for us because we just moved to Corpus Christi and it’s just one long beach, and so we got to take pictures along the water. My kids enjoyed it, and it was awesome. One of the other things that is more of a tradition for myself is that I enjoy watching Home Alone 1 and 2, whether it’s Christmas Day, Christmas Eve, December 1st, all the way every day for the entire month of December. And one of the traditions that we aspire to is to always start Christmas Day at our house. So I believe actually last year we got matching Christmas pajamas. And so now when we start Christmas Day at our house and we all wear matching pajamas and take pictures, videos, and do the whole nine yards all Christmas Day. But that’s one of the things that we wanted to start with our kids being little. But anyway, love the podcast, been a longtime fan, and merry Christmas to you both.
Joy: Thank you, Jay. Okay, Jay is my dream Christmas family.
Claire: I’m sorry, did he say he watches home alone every day.
Joy: No, no, every year he watches Home Alone 1 and 2, but it doesn’t matter the day. That’s how I’m understanding it where he’s like, December 1, it doesn’t matter, just watch it throughout the month. At one point throughout December.
Claire: Got it. I thought he meant that he watches it, well that is a lot of McCulley Calkin.
Joy: That’s a lot of Home Alone. But I love Home Alone.
Claire: It’s so good. We’re going to show Miles it for the first year.
Joy: It’s so good.
Claire: I also love that we can just create our own traditions. Like, I want to be the type of family that has – I mean, I don’t – but people out there want to have matching pajamas. Just go for it. Buy those freaking matching pajamas.
Joy: Love it.
Claire: Somebody sent us a picture, and they were like, “This is my family with our dog in matching pajamas,” and their dog looked so mad, which made it so much better. The dog was a small dog that was looking like, why are you doing this to me.
Joy: I love it, I love it, I love it. Okay, this next one is from Riley.
Riley [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Riley again. So my Christmas Eve tradition that my family has is my great-grandfather built a small chapel and it sits on my parents’ land. So every Christmas Eve, my mom hosts a very small ceremony. The whole town is invited, but really, it’s just close family and friends. And this is a very small chapel. It has seats for the twelve disciples. So you can imagine all our close family and friends squeezing into this little chapel. I usually bring my dog. There’s usually one or two dogs and kids, babies. And I have four sisters, so usually at least two of the four are having some kind of altercation with one another, and it’s just a lot of good memories about fighting with your sister but then you have to sit next to her. And we’re not all super religious, but it brings us all together and makes us laugh. And it’s just a really nice tradition that I look forward to.
Joy: Thank you, Riley. I love looking back at times where you’re like, oh my gosh, we fought like cats and dogs, but you look back at it with such fondness.
Claire: I know, it’s so funny. That just sounds like the cutest great-grandfather chapel, like with the seats for the twelve disciples. That just sounds great. I love that so much. But I laughed a lot when she said that she has four sisters and there’s always fighting.
Joy: Okay, this one is from Heidi.
Heidi [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, long time listener, first time caller. I just wanted to share something in response to your question last week about Christmas traditions. So we’re not big on Christmas traditions in our family. We don’t typically give too many gifts or anything like that, but we did start this tradition a few years ago and we really love it. So while no one in our family is Icelandic, we did adopt one of their traditions that I can’t pronounce the actual name of it, but it does translate to “Christmas book flood” in English. And basically on Christmas Eve, we gift everybody a book and we spend the evening drinking hot chocolate and reading our books. And we really love it because it makes the whole gift giving thing a lot less stressful, and it gets us some quality time away from the electronics. It’s nice and peaceful. It’s good time with our family, and we have two teenagers and a toddler, so it can get a little bit crazy in our house. But we love it, and I definitely recommend other people give it a shot and see if it sticks. Anyway, that’s all. Thank you so much for putting out such a great podcast every week.
Joy: Thank you so much. That sounds so lovely and peaceful.
Claire: That sounds very lovely.
Joy: That sounds like something Oprah would do.
Claire: People who have their lives together read books together on Christmas Eve.
Joy: Oprah also has a farm. She has her life together. People who have a farm has their life together. This is from Desi.
Desi [recording]: Hi girls, this is Desi from DC. I just wanted to say a quick hi. It’s been a long time. With regards to the things that we do for the winter solstice. For me, I guess it’s Christmas. So, I’m Porto Rican. I did not marry somebody who’s Porto Rican. My husband’s from Nebraska, and it’s really important for me to carry on our Porto Rican traditions. What we’ve done is for Christmas every year, I cook a traditional Porto Rican meal. I pull out all the stuff. It’s pretty time consuming, and I’ve already started cooking for next week if that tells you anything. But the big thing is, it’s what we do every year. And our son, and if we have another kid, that’s what they’re going to grow up with every year. They’re going to know Noche Buena is when we eat our big Christmas meal that takes days to prepare and that celebrates through Three Kings Day on January 6th. Alright, bye girls.
Joy: Love it.
Claire: Oh my gosh, I want to eat a traditional Porto Rican meal that takes a week to cook. I also feel like Nebraska might be the polar opposite of Porto Rico.
Joy: Yeah, it’s really, really polar opposite. Okay, this is from Cheana.
Cheana [recording]: Hi ladies, my name’s Cheana, and I wanted to share with you my favorite Christmas tradition. So I have a big family. I have 6 siblings, and there’re 17 grandkids in my family, 5 nieces and nephews. I don’t have children yet, but that leads to a lot of gift buying and really fun, crazy gatherings, which we all love. So in the effort to save money and have a little bit of fun, on Christmas Eve every year all the adults they’ll bring a gift exchange of shit you don’t want. So we all pick something from our house, usually kind of something funny and garbagy that we no longer want, and we bring it to the exchange and everyone plays kind of like a stealing game to see who gets the worst gift of the year. It’s a thing that always makes us all laugh, and I really look forward to it. I guess it will look a little bit different for everyone this year now. My family won’t be able to get together, but I hope everyone can enjoy the holiday season. Bye.
Joy: I love the gift exchange. That reminded me, we used to have a white elephant gift at Christmas with my office with my team, and it was so much fun. We would have so much fun. We would just exchanging presents until you get – you have to swap with the one that you liked and you get stuck with the – it’s so fun. It just makes us laugh. I miss that, I’m going to miss that this year.
Claire: Last year, we did a white elephant with my office. And everyone else brought, not like really amazing stuff but pretty cool stuff and I didn’t know that it was kind of a gag gift but kind of not gag gift. So I brought a cup of frozen yogurt. And everyone was like, “Is that someone’s frozen yogurt?” and I was like, “No, that’s part of the gift exchange.” People didn’t think it was funny. They were like, “Claire, that’s not -” Okay, next year I’ll bring quirky wine glasses. No one told me.
Joy: You can bring a cup of yogurt.
Claire: Cup of frozen yogurt.
Joy: Next one is from Angela.
Angela [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, my name is Angela and I live in Boise, Idaho. I love your podcast and have listened since Girls Gone WOD days. Our family holiday tradition is to make these giant, Swedish dumplings that my late grandma called dookies, which may or may not be the actual Swedish name. It might be something that her or her family just made up. We’re still unsure. Anyway, they’re essentially boiled potato dumplings the size of softballs with about a tablespoon of salted pork in the center. We serve them with gravy and butter, and they’re just the epitome of something that you think of your ancestors eating in the middle of a cold, hard winter. They’re just potatoes, mostly potatoes, and a tiny bit of meat. They take all day to make, and it takes all hands on deck to get them prepared. And they leave everything they come in contact with in the kitchen with this kind of starchy residue, and clean up takes forever. But they are our Christmas Eve tradition. My mom, my brother, and I all think they’re delicious. I mean, they’re covered in gravy. What’s not to like? But this may or may not be genetically predisposed in us. Because anyone that marries into our family tolerates the dookies but doesn’t truly love them and appreciate them the way we do. But anyway, they are a tradition in our family and we’ll continue to make them and enjoy them and think about our grandma as we do so. So thank you guys for having such a great podcast. I hope you both have a happy and healthy holiday season.
Claire: That’s so cute. I love that she really goes into the detail about how this is kind of a pain in the butt to do, but they do it anyway. They love it, even though objectively speaking they may not be that good based on what everyone else has to say. But that just sounds like it would really stick to your ribs, just a giant wad of potato dumplings.
Joy: Oh for sure. That would last you for a month. Okay, our favorite Mira is back. Let’s hear from Mira.
Mira [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Mira. Just wanted to share a Christmas Eve tradition from my family. Whenever we were in town for Christmas Eve, we would go to our church for a Christmas Eve service, and at the end of the service almost every single year we would sing “Silent Night” and everyone would get a candle and everyone would light their candle one by one off of each other’s candles. And it was awesome because by the end of the song everyone’s candles would be lit, the lights would be turned off, and if you looked around the room it was just a sea of candlelight. It was so magical, and it always will be a cherished memory and tradition from Christmas Eve.
Joy: That sounds amazing.
Claire: That does sound magical.
Joy: I feel like I’ve done that at some point in church where you just start with one candle and then it kind of spreads, and it’s just the coolest thing ever. Alright, let’s read one from Jessica. She wrote in and said, “So for the question this week, something my partner and I have always done is celebrate the solstices. Over the last few years, we’ve made a point of watching the sunrise/sunset, and we go for a sunrise/sunset swim. For the winter solstice, Yule, this is often in the snow.” She attached a picture from a previous winter swim. “We’ve always wanted to do more for the pagan holidays, and this year, partly inspired by the podcast episode with Casper from The Power of Ritual, we’ve really leaned into them, which has been great. Especially because there’s a holiday every eight weeks-ish. It’s been a great opportunity to create our own non-theistic traditions and take away a positive from 2020. Thank you and happy Yule. Merry Christmas.” The swim that she’s in looks so cold.
Claire: Yeah. A couple people said that they do that. Sandy I think also said that she does this swim on the Celtic new year, which is Halloween. Which I applaud you guys for being able to do that. I guess also, I was talking to Brandon about this the other day because we went and cut down this tree, and our Colorado tree that we cut down, it’s not shedding its pine needles really at all. And everyone always says a real tree sheds so much, I don’t want to get one. And we were kind of reflecting on the fact that Colorado pine trees are kind of used to draught, and so maybe this tree is actually doing kind of fine right now because it’s used to draught. And we were talking about how I’ve only ever lived somewhere – because I’ve only ever lived here – where we don’t have really big trees and we don’t have bodies of water all over the place where you could just go hop in a pond. And so, you know, I think it would be fun to do something like that, but I’m like where am I going to go? The Boulder reservoir? There’s not a lot of options in Boulder County for just a casual open water swim in the middle of the winter.
Joy: Like, what are you doing, what are you doing out there? Okay. Let’s do one more. I want to say thank you to everyone who submitted your voice memos and emails. There were so many, and I wish that we could have two hours to get through all of them, but I just want to say thank you to everyone for just sharing, sending your life with us. I just feel so grateful. So, here we go. This is Natalie.
Natalie [recording]: Hi Joy and Claire, this is Natalie from Riverside, Washington, and I wanted to tell you of our holiday traditions. So on Christmas Day, we wake up and we have breakfast sandwiches made on English muffins. It’s very specific. It’s something my mom always used to do for us, and so we always do that. And then we eat Christmas cookies that we have made the night before. So it’s a morning of opening presents with our breakfast sandwiches and sugar cookies and chocolate chip cookies, which is just so fun because when else do you eat cookies in the morning. My other tradition that we do is for winter solstice, I do a meditation with a group of people who I love, and we reflect on the year that we had and we set our intentions and our goals for the year in advance. And then every year right before our solstice gathering, we get our last year’s intentions mailed to us so we can reflect and see how it went. Those are my two things I wanted to share. I hope you guys have a great winter.
Joy: Thank you Natalie, that is one of my favorite things to think about but I never do is that whole thing of mailing yourself something later. That sounds so cool. Thank you guys again for all of your Christmas traditions, winter traditions, holiday traditions. Very, very special, and maybe some of you have some ideas of what you can start doing, make your own little traditions. So what do you think of the question for our last episode of 2020, Claire? I feel a lot of pressure to just go out with a bang.
Claire: Our final voice memo question for 2020 is, what are you looking forward to most about 2021? It could be a resolution. It could be a word for the year, which is something we’ve done a lot in the past. It could be a goal that you have. It could be just an amalgomous feeling of positivity surrounding any idea. Just when you think about what you’re excited about for 2021, what is it? Share it with us in a voice memo emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or you can use the Google voicemail thingy on our Instagram @joyandclaire_. Go to the contact button and it will go to a voicemail box where you can leave a message. What are you looking forward to about 2021? Is it a resolution, is it a goal? Anything. We want to hear about it, and next week we will be finally kind of reflecting on 2020 and talking about 2021. Looking forward for the first time, it feels like we can actually look forward. I am not even planning on recapping what our words were for 2020 because I don’t remember them because they stopped mattering as soon as the pandemic started. But I am excited about 2021, and I am looking forward to hearing about what you guys are excited about. And I’m also looking forward, honestly guys, to hearing the different – because I know there’s going to be a really wide range of how specific people are going to sort of feel like they want to get about setting a goal or an intention or whatever for a year that still has a lot of unknowns and that this time next year still, this time last year we didn’t know how different this year was going to look. But we do know that this upcoming year is going to probably have a lot of unknowns and probably we’re all going to have to be really flexible again. I’ll just be really curious to hear how everyone approaches that differently as they are looking forward.
Joy: That’s good. Very exciting.
Claire: Very exciting.
Joy: The end of 2020 feels big.
Claire: It does feel big, and I’m really ready to see it go.
Joy: Great. Sayonara.
Claire: So happy Christmas Eve, merry Christmas Eve, happy, congratulations, I don’t know.
Joy: Congratulations, you made it.
Claire: Congratulations, you made it to Christmas Eve. If you celebrate Christmas, then merry Christmas Eve. If you celebrate something else, happy something else to you. Happy festivus to the rest of us. Happy holidays. We’re so glad that you are here. Whatever you celebrate, we hope that you go eat some cookies. Because that’s what I’m going to do on Christmas Eve.
Joy: Go eat some cookies. Alright, cheers.
Claire: Alright, talk to you next week.
Joy and Claire: Bye.