Why This Christmas Feels Especially Christmassy To Me

Why This Christmas Feels Especially Christmassy To Me | Maya UnMarketed

This photo is from last year and I forgot the random website I got our fleece onesies… But here are a bunch of cute Christmas PJs (and a few non-Christmas ones too)! 


Remember when you were little and adults would say things like, “Wow, this year flew!” or “I don’t know how it’s October already– wasn’t Easter just two weeks ago?” or (the worst one!) “I swear it was just yesterday you were in diapers!”

(Wanna make a six-year-old indignant? Remind them of the fact that they used to be a BABY.) 

Anyway, since I’m basically now a predictable middle-aged person myself, I just have to say,


HOW is Christmas in five days???


No really. Wasn’t Easter just two weeks ago?!

Despite being flabbergasted that 2016 is about to be over (and feeling a wee bit underwhelmed by its events/proceedings/achievements) I am very much in the holiday spirit!!!

It just feels like a very Christmassy Christmas!!!

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that we are absolutely LOVING St. Pete!


It’s such a beautiful city and so… easy.

When we were at dinner before my friend Andrea’s and my joint birthday party, that’s how Stephen described it. At one point during the meal he looked around and then looked at me and smiled and said,

“Don’t you love how easy this is?”

Anyone who’s moved from a big city back home likely knows exactly what Stephen meant. That feeling when you’ve stepped off the treadmill. Your personal trainer is no longer shattering your eardrums with the command to go faster. The squealing of Nikes against rubber and the claustrophobic thud-thud-thud-you’re-a-failure-if-you-take-a-walking-break-thud-thud is (momentarily?) silenced.

Your hometown treats you to a creamy protein shake and a hot shower. It sits you down in the pedicure chair at the nail salon and turns up the pressure on those gorgeous magical rolling balls that pulse into your sore tender back muscles, rhythmically thud-thud-thudding into your core the notion that you might maybe be good enough.

A move back home is paying $30 for a pedicure and knowing you’ll still be able to pay rent. It’s a $5 Uber to a nice downtown restaurant instead of $37. It’s an Uber ride from an apartment almost double as big that costs just under than half what you used to pay. It’s your husband looking relaxed and handsome in the shirt you bought him for your first anniversary, his glass of scotch sparkling in Stillwaters Tavern’s outdoor lighting. It’s the boats anchored in the nearby bay, the dusk lazily enveloping their crisp sails in grey and purple watercolor. It’s the frosted spray of Christmas lights blinking serenely in the park across the street.

The lights cast an ornate fairy blanket over the steadfast trees. (Some pretty things can only glitter when they’re rooted, you know?)

Why This Christmas Feels Especially Christmassy To Me | Maya UnMarketed
Our festive dining area!

It feels like a very Christmassy Christmas because we’ve been able to take moments to let Christmas be Christmassy.

We picked out a tree three Sundays ago. Believe it or not, it was our very first one! We didn’t get on the treadmill that day, literally or metaphorically. Instead, we drank in Bloody Marys and then drank the scent of rows and rows of pine.

The other night my mom and I had a German dinner of slow-cooked pork and sauerkraut, complete with a marzipan log and champagne. We drove up to Largo to see the lights at the Florida Botanical Garden.

A few days after that my MIL and I had a glass of wine in her kitchen, as Christmas music mingled with the smells of stuffed steaks and Brussels sprouts. We talked about everything under the Florida sun.

Stephen and I haven’t had a Christmas season like this before.

Our first Christmas tree. Eggnog. Double date nights where the other wife and I both show up in red lipstick. Family. An apartment that’s actually decorated. Time to decorate it. Time to keep it cleaner than our chaotic SF studio. Time. Time, in all it’s strange yet magnificent glory. Slipping by from indignant six-year-olds that used to be babies into twenty six-year-olds joking about being middle-aged to actual middle age to old age and the elderly man in the Christmas parade whose Santa beard definitely looked real.

Why This Christmas Feels Especially Christmassy To Me | Maya UnMarketed
This guy is from Stephen’s childhood Santa collection! He fits perfectly into this little wall-nook.

Of course, Stephen and I had quite a few Christmases together before the strains of city life. But those weren’t as Christmassy either. I was still the girl addicted to stress and worry, jealous of how good So-n-So looked in her Christmas dress, agonizing over presents, furious with the TA who gave me a B+ instead of the A I deserved (thereby ruining my whole Christmas break of course– and I’m only being half sarcastic).

I’ve become a calmer, happier woman. I’ve become more comfortable in my own skin and finally realized So-n-So can look beautiful in her Christmas dress without it detracting from how I look in mine. That we can all look beautiful in our Christmas dresses, even that awful bitch of a TA who clearly took off points because I was a blonde sorority girl in an English class full of tattoo-ed vegans and she unabashedly hated me from day one. KIDDING!! I forgive you, TA, and I hope you’re having a Merry Christmas season. 😉

Time is nice. St. Pete is nice. Comfort, both internal and external, is nice. I feel more at home than ever.

Why This Christmas Feels Especially Christmassy To Me | Maya UnMarketed
One of the perks of my love for antler decor is that the seasonal things blend perfectly with what’s already there…

“Don’t you love how easy this is?”

I do, my sweet husband.

I love the lack of plane tickets because home was somewhere else and the lack of panic and pressure and treadmills and terrible self-esteem.

I love that I don’t feel like things are lacking this year. That time and money are lacking. That I at my core am deeply lacking… while my thigh fat, of course, is too abundant. 

I’m not perfect when it comes to self love. But I’m getting better.

This year, the Christmas season has been a magnificent one. It has included far more moments I’ve actually appreciated THAT moment, the moment I was currently living. Where I’ve felt gratitude for what He has already given me and basked in the gemutlichkeit of Advent, rather than spending my moments plotting and planning what I will have in the future.

Why This Christmas Feels Especially Christmassy To Me | Maya UnMarketed
Coffee table shadowbox decor feat. the new rug I got for my birthday!

Okay maybe I still do a little of that too…  Maybe sometimes I still think “one day…” when I drive by a majestic greenery-decked mansion, and I may or may not want to steal some of the Christmas-sweater-clad toddlers in my newsfeed.

But this year it’s been in a joyful way rather than a teeth-gritting, “Why are others beating me in the Race of Life?” kind of way. Life is too short to think like that. I mean, have I mentioned how quickly time goes by?! 😉

This Christmas, I’m remembering life is not a race or the perpetually whirring plastic of a treadmill or a sub-par report card. More than ever, I’m beginning to realize life is wonderful. In fact, given the time of year I should probably rephrase that:

It’s a wonderful life!!!



It really is.

I hope your season has been especially Christmassy (or whatever you celebrate!) as well.

I hope you enjoy a glass or two of eggnog, instead of just romanticizing it, buying it, and throwing it out three weeks later. (This was my first year doing the former rather than the latter!) I hope you light a scented candle in a decorated home. I hope you feel beautiful in your Christmas dress. I hope your significant other (if you have one) agrees to take obnoxious yet adorable PJ pictures. But I also hope you then cuddle and have a cup of coffee in your onesies, rather than staying glued to your Like Count on instagram. I hope you take time off the metaphorical treadmill and hit the literal treadmill whatever amount makes you feel healthy and happy. (And that you don’t feel guilty if that thigh fat maybe does get a tad more abundant this month. It happens to all of us, girlfriend!) I hope you say and hear the words “I love you” and “Merry Christmas” a lot.

I hope you remember that you are enough. <3


With peace, ease, and holiday joy,

xx Maya

p.s. Some last minute gift ideas! Some of them are higher ticket items, but there are a few affordable gems too. See if you can tell which are the Fendi puffball keychains and which are the Charlotte Russe without clicking! 😉 (I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea tbh… I like them all but would realistically only buy the CR ones.)

Also there is a full second page with a couple men’s items too if you scroll right!