I remember most specifically a dress of red velvet. Crushed red velvet. I couldn't wait to wear it at Christmas, so I wore it to Thanksgiving dinner (because the newer "Miracle on 34th Street" has always been my favorite, and Mara Wilson had a dress sort of like it and she dressed up for Thanksgiving dinner. So.) Thus the Christmas dress was born into my mind, and henceforth a necessity, first for me, and then for my darlings. Maybe I did it unintentionally once I reached adulthood, but looking back at those Christmas parties, there always was a special Christmas dress.
I suppose, honestly, that my love for clothes has been a struggle for me. I tend toward the luxurious and expensive, even if it's just a stupid gray sweatshirt--and I feel badly about that. But I want it to seem special when I put it on. Maybe this is why--maybe because I can remember my life in the pretty dresses that I wore, and what it meant to feel like a princess while making a memory that would become a cherished one. That's really what holidays are for, yes? For the memories. For all the things that make up those memories: your babies' squeals at the twinkling lights, the smell of mom's Russian tea balls fresh out of the oven, the warmth of the fire burning all day long, and how, when you call those things up from the back corners of your mind, you can almost relive the moment it's so precious and vivid.
That's what a crushed red velvet dress did for me, as silly as it sounds; and though it's a rather indulgent and materialistic mechanism, I suspect my sartorial decisions will always do this for me. And I'm probably not the only one hard on myself about something like this, which is why it's so wonderful to find a way to make those fashion-conscious choices count.
For this, I love Schoola, which is a new way to secondhand shop. Since moving to New York, I've become nearly reliant upon online shopping (groceries, beauty products, cleaners--you name it, I'm ordering online). Who would have thought you can thrift online too? Schoola offers new and gently used kids clothes, shoes, and accessories at a discounted price. (Everything pictured above I found on the site recently, perfect for your own little girl's Christmas dress memory, I think!) This makes it the economically-wise and environmentally-friendly option; but what's more, Schoola gives back. Each item purchased benefits a specific school program, enhancing not just a child's special memory, but another child's education. Money pretty well spent, I'd say. (Learn more about how Schoola works here.)
In an effort to foster these special memories, Schoola is inviting my readers to write about their own memories! You can submit your stories with the hashtag #HolidaysR4, and you'll be automatically entered to win one of three $25 gift cards Schoola is giving away each week until Christmas! And wait! There's more! Try your luck at the giveaway, sure. But if you see something cute on the Schoola site, snatch it up before it's gone! My readers will get 25% off their first purchase simply by entering the code TRYSCHOOLA at checkout.
This is a wonderful way to make your holiday extra special, to find something precious for your little one without spending big bucks, and to turn all of that hustle-and-bustle into something that really matters for someone other than yourself. A happy holiday indeed!
I am required by law to disclose that this post was written in partnership with Schoola. All links to the site are affiliate links, and I may make a small commission on purchases made through associated links. All opinions are my own.