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My birthday is December 26. Which means my poor mother spent the entirety of December 25, 1979 with loose bowels, laboring sans pain medication, until I finally arrived the next morning.
The thing about having a day-after-Christmas birthday is that no one wants to eat birthday cake the day after Christmas. People are tired on the 26th. They’re hung over from (and possibly because of) forced family time; they’re crashing and burning from pushing it to the limit to make magic happen in the days leading up to Christmas.
The time stretch between Christmas day and New Year’s is always sort of a buzz kill. All that we have worked so hard for is now over; the trash and recycling bins are piled sky-high, and our homes are littered with tiny bits of paper that we don’t have the energy to vacuum.
As a kid, I never had birthday parties, because again — who wants to attend a birthday party on the day after Christmas? I’ll tell you who: NOBODY. I got a lot of slightly nicer gifts that were supposed to double as a Christmas/birthday combo present, but overall, I was fairly certain I had the worst birth date ever in the history of birth dates.
That is, until I became a mom. That is when it all became clear.
The day after Christmas is now my absolute favorite shopping day of the year. My children are all happily occupied, playing with their new toys. No one cares if I shop all day, because hello — it’s my BIRTHDAY. The sales are insane, I’m armed with cash and gift cards, and most of all, I never get what I really want for Christmas. My family loves me, and I love them, but they have no way of knowing how my heart goes pitter-patter when I come across a new sparkly thing on Amazon.
“Why don’t you put what you want on your list?” they ask. Well, family, I have no way of knowing about these unnamed sparkly things until I come across them online, which is why they are never on my Christmas list. DON’T ASK ME TO EXPLAIN HOW IT WORKS.
It’s just better that I shop for myself. So I do. Here are 10 things I’m buying for myself after the Christmas chaos settles down.
Side note: I’m going to be wearing pajamas when this goes down, because I’m not leaving my house, and also? I’ll have a hefty glass (or bottle) of cabernet in my hand, because that’s my other favorite thing to do on my birthday.
Okay, let’s do this.
1. Handmade Cat Cave
This is amazing and I cannot stop staring at it. It’s cute and it’s green and look how adorable it is with the kitty’s head sticking out, OMG. I realize I’m supposed to be shopping for myself, BUT JUST LOOK AT IT. It looks like the perfect thing to put in the awkward corner that will be empty once our Christmas tree is gone.
2. Reusable Glass Bottle
This makes me feel cool and fancy, like “Hey, tap water is the thing now, which is good since that’s all I have ever ingested, but I’m drinking it from this elegant glass bottle which makes me look trendy.” It also makes me look like I’m not trying too hard, which is worth every penny of the $12 price tag, if you ask me. Fingers crossed that my kids don’t break it.
3. Persian Rose and Argan Extract Hand Cream
I leaned in toward the computer monitor when I spotted this and I swear I could actually smell roses. No, really. I’m being totally serious. Maybe I’ve had too much wine? The product description says, “A rich intensive hydrating hand cream that is instantly absorbed reviving the driest skin without leaving a greasy feel,” which basically sounds like the holy grail of hand lotions, so … sold.
Why? Because I can; and also because New Year’s Eve is right around the corner and this looks pretty enough to use as decoration between now and then. And also because my husband would never buy a glittery bottle of champagne. This is a gift to myself for making it through 2016.
5. Boss Lady Tube Socks
My family keeps forgetting how awesome I am, and sometimes I forget, too. Enter: these socks. I’m going to parade these puppies around the house as often as I possibly can. In fact, I think I need several pairs of them.
6. Converse Women’s Chuck Taylor Shoreline Sneaker
I saw these IRL when I was out shopping for Christmas gifts, but I couldn’t justify getting them then, because I was supposed to be shopping for other people. These are super cute slip-on sneakers that are trendy enough to wear with anything from jeans to a sundress.
7. Firm Control Reversible Bodysuit
I think this beast speaks for itself. It’s reversible! I like that it will smooth my thighs, butt, and back all at once. I may never take it off, and not just because I literally can’t remove it from my body.
8. Magic Shaving Powder
The members of my mom’s group SWEAR by this stuff. I’m dubious, but they say you just follow the directions, wipe it off, and VOILA! The results are (supposedly) just like a fresh bikini wax. I am skeptical, but I’m also hairy … so something clearly needs to happen here.
9. Slightly Scandalous Sleepwear
Valentine’s Day is coming up. Don’t judge me. What, I’m supposed to actually walk into a store and buy something like this in broad daylight?! (But okay, if you’re looking for a slightly tamer option, right this way.)
10. Brazilian Waxing Kit
I know, I know. This is a terrible idea. This was my last purchase, after I was a few glasses in, but seriously — if the Magic Shaving Powder turns out to be a bust, I need a backup plan. And I also need to get a handle on my grooming before my NSFW purchase arrives.
So ladies, my advice to you this holiday season is to reward yourself with a shopping spree after Christmas is over, when the stores are practically giving stuff away and most people are too exhausted to buy it all. We earned it this year!