Just like that, the holidays are upon us again—though this year, our traditions will be done a little bit (or a lot) differently. With Coronavirus cases on the rise, staying inside and away from those beyond our household is the smart thing to do. But naturally, that leaves many of us feeling less festive and lonelier than we normally would at this time of year.
Who better to help make the holidays a bit more festive than the dynamic styling and interior design duo of Adair Curtis and Jason Bolden? The pair, who style and interior design for the likes of Yara Shahidi and Gabrielle Union know a thing or two about getting creative, and bringing a good time to wherever they are.
The couple normally spend part of the holidays in St. Louis, Bolden’s hometown. “We gather all the family and spend about a week catching up with his mom, brothers and sister, aunts, uncles, cousins and nieces and nephew,” Curtis says. “I love everything about being part of a big family but unfortunately, this year we aren’t visiting. It’s a bummer but we’re adapting and making sure we have the most fun we can with a series of virtual yet grand celebrations!” Bolden always looks forward to going and picking out their Christmas tree, but this year, “to limit how much we’re moving around, we’ve already ordered a tree online.”
As they juggle their busy schedules amid the destabilizing element of the pandemic, Bolden and Curtis have established a wellness routine to ensure they stay centered mentally. “We start each day with a meditation and spend time in bed talking afterward,” Curtis says. “Sometimes it’s the only time we get to ourselves for the whole day. We also recently added a gym to our garage so we’ll each spend some time in the gym before diving in to work. I find if we stick to our routine and give ourselves that pause before things get hectic, the day runs so much smoother.”
As for Bolden’s advice on holiday wellness? “Spend as much time as you can connecting with people who make you feel alive. And if in-person isn’t feasible, plan to video chat,” he says. “Connection is the key to eliminating those feelings of loneliness that can sometimes creep in”—especially during this time of year.
Below, Curtis and Bolden share more of their tips on enjoying the holidays this season.
Dress the Part
For Zoom meetings and parties, Bolden says, “I always encourage my clients to do a special touch to their look, be it statement jewelry or a pop of color.” Case in point: When he dressed Taraji P. Henson for the 2020 Billboard Awards, Bolden advised she rock a shimmery moss green one-shouldered Alexandre Vauthier dress to complement her fiery red bob.
Find Your Go-To Holiday Scent
Even when you’re keeping festivities small, a good candle can help set the festive mood and have a soothing effect. Bolden recommends anything with notes of amber in it. (Try Le Labo’s Santal 26.) Curtis is partial to “the cozy smell of violet and patchouli. It somehow makes your space smell really intimate.” (This Kachina candle, in a glazed ceramic jar, will hit the patchouli note.)
Pull Out the Decor
It’s still worth putting up lights and ornaments, even if you’re the only one benefitting from the mood boost. “Our go-to holiday decorations always include classic white lights on a vibrant green tree,” Bolden shares. “If we are feeling super fancy we normally have wreaths all around the house.” Curtis browses Etsy “for handmade pieces,” as well as the holiday decor selections at CB2, One Kings Lane, and 1stDibs.
Find the Right Music
Bolden’s go-to soundtracks are anything by Cynthia Erivo or Alicia Smith, while Curtis opts for Anita Baker’s Christmas Fantasy, Toni Braxton’s Snowflakes, and Whitney Houston’s One Wish.
Make a Toast-Worthy Drink
Bolden and Curtis have been making Grand Marnier’s Grand 75 cocktail: “[The recipe] is easy to follow, and everyone who tastes it loves it!”
Grand Marnier’s Grand 75 Cocktail:
1.5 oz Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge
.75 oz fresh lemon juice
1 bar spoon full of simple syrup
2 oz of dry champagne
Garnish: Orange Twirl\
Combine Grand Marnier Cordon Rouge, simple syrup, and fresh lemon juice in a shaker tin.
Add ice and shake.
Fine strain into a chilled flute or coupe glass.
Top with dry champagne.
Garnish with an orange twirl.