For years we hosted a “Tropical Winter” shindig, frothy fruity drinks the menu and tacky holiday sweaters the dress code. Sparked by an Actually Huizenga song, alluding to global warming, the event served as a ridiculous “adulthood” re-imagining of an alternate reality “holiday party”, no skimping on the sweets and treats. Alongside maraschino cherries and flamingo swizzle sticks in kitschy cups full of rum punch shimmering in pulsing party lights, Hummingbird Cupcakes, a pecan spice cake with pineapple and coconut frosting, and Frank’s Buffalo Chicken Dip were staples of our Southeastern nostalgic indulgence. Savoring Snickerdoodle space cakes and the sugar high of a close-knit congregation sparked seasonal happiness and, truth be told, such simplicity would still stand as incredibly fulfilling and heartfelt during the usual festive chaos of December.
Yet once again, we are just Two this Holiday.
It can be bittersweet to re-invent a small scale Wintry togetherness. It also can be a relief from the annual routine of larger gatherings and hyper-social activity. Disappointment and relief can exist in change of plans. Giving oneself a break from expectation and presentation is vital in order to (once again) attend to possible future financial hardship and the hyper-vigilance of stability for early 2022 (employment, housing, food, medical needs). Facing mortality with thousands of daily deaths predicted for February, this moment in Time, post Eclipse Season, Winter Solstice week, we’re ripe for anxiety all over again.
We are ready for Rest. In fact, Rest is mandatory in times of Stress.
The need to be with others during colder months is challenged currently, another variant cornering us again, and we’ve been here before. Faced with an opportunity to flip the Festive switch while still honoring our work, we “treat” ourselves in new ways, embrace comfort and cheesiness (and cheese!). Rest is a welcome replacement for Santa, the Pro-Capitalist Papa of consumerism. So while we may just be Two (plus fur babies), sipping hot cocoa in a quiet home, we are able to embrace space in order to move forward, no matter what the circumstances and obstacles may be ahead. It is possible to re-examine the social constructs and chaos and still enjoy silliness. This is not a contradiction. In fact, any time is a good time to…
Make space for Joy.
We definitely look forward to cooking more at home again in the Winter months. Our Concoctionary cookbook e-zine is still available for inspo, full of comfort foods for vegans, vegetarians and beyond. If the Holidaze are bearable best with yummy meals, canna-cookies and fairy lights, our kitsch collection of “lounge music”, Tiki Kiki, is a campy choice for serotonin-lifting cheer. With nods to the original Bossanova babes, French poppettes, Samba savantes and the bleep-boops of electric wizards like Bruce Haack, the smooth mood of Astrid Gilberto or Martin Denny are absolutely crafted for a light-hearted lift. Superbly sampled in ‘90s electronic loops, perfected by former Deee-lite DJ, Towa Tei, as a master of techno-lounge, Tei appropriately worked with João Gilberto’s daughter, Bebel, on “Technova”, a prime example of the genre-blend.
Afterall, home built Tiki bars were once the “emotional bomb shelters of the Atomic Age”, a nostalgia we find wildly welcome for quarantine Winter festivities. The tradition of lounge matched with experimental underground gave the genre a new life in the interpretations of artists like Hermine, Royksopp, Pizzicato Five and beyond. It is instant easy-listening and paired well with indoor activities to make time feel more fluid and light. We are decorating for our mental health and orbiting in a sonic Seasonal strangeness until further notice! Tropical Winter is a state of mind, the future and the past filter through common fears and themes, but in the end we make our most of being with loved ones or being alone whenever and however we can.