Legal Alien: Gilt vs. Guilt

Posted on November 28, 2012, 10:33 am
10 mins


Guilt. How can we avoid it in the holiday season? One feels guilty for not attending that charity bash, not getting that gift to the post office on time or not inviting everyone (never feasibly possible) to one’s festive cocktail party. The guilt bucket list just goes on and on!

I say, this year, let’s dispose of guilt like yesterday’s wrapping paper and as Eckart Tolle says, “Realize deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the now the primary focus of your life.”

Spreading oneself too thinly, after all, will only amount to not succeeding or completing each task effectively, thus feeling disappointed in oneself anyway—a total waste of time.

Myself and friends at the Providence O’Christmass Trees Cocktail Event

So, I am going to take charge and prioritize this year. First comes Me, then Me, then Me, then everyone else. I joke of course. Yes, it is the time for others but its also a time not to forget you. Before the craziness of Christmas really starts, I recommend a stroll around the Chihuly Garden and Glass in the Seattle Center, or taking in the newly-lit Seattle downtown Christmas lights, or sampling a mulled wine in Pike Place, all of which will warm and comfort the soul.

Seattle, unlike London, has magnificent landscape views. I clearly recall being wowed at the sheer magnitude of the snowy mountain tops. Actually, one could argue that Seattle is in the high stakes when ranking it among places to go in the winter months. Seattle has a lot on offer this holiday season.

For me, the holiday season signifies a time to get glamorous and to head out the door to see a show, or two. What better time, I say, than this holiday season to see the the musical Scrooge? This tale invites us to reflect and inspect our own lives and is perfect for all the family. It is playing at the Seattle Musical Theatre until December 9. Another must see, The Nutcracker, performed by the Pacific Northwest Ballet is playing throughout December at McCaw Hall in downtown Seattle.

The cosy reception room at the Sorrento Hotel

Charity may start at home, but it doesn’t have to end there. When one is surrounded by loved ones, we are called to think about those who are suffering: those living in countries ravaged by by civil war and famine, those who are homeless, those who have lost family members, or who those who are sick. How can one contribute, even in a small way?

Helping others can be fulfilling and its not all about rolling up your sleeves, although there’s nothing wrong with that! Giving is about creating flow in one’s life after all. Being involved in charity work can aid one to more easily plug into communities and to even make life long friends—so why not try it?

Providence O’Christmas Trees is the fundraising arm of Providence Senior Community Services. Providence is running a three-day fund raising event which starts with the Christmas Carnival, then the Silver Bells luncheon and end in the Gala Dinner, November 26-28. These three events directly benefit ministries who serve over 14,000 people a day in need of healthcare, housing and hospice. This is a very worthy cause indeed. Attending a fundraiser is a fantastic way to combine the festive spirit with a gathering your family and friends.

Another very worthy cause is the “Because She’s Worth It” benefit concert and silent auction hosted by EM Fine Arts in Seattle, November 29. This event is part of a global fundraising effort to support, and raise awareness about, the sex trafficking victims, most of them minors, in India and around the world.

If you want an evening slightly more low key, but nevertheless culturally full, look no further than Seattle’s 100-year old hotel, the Sorrento. The Sorrento really intrigues me. As a Londoner, I am fondly drawn to older hotel interiors. The dark wood paneling, heavy embroidered curtains, the weighted bourbon tumbler and a cozy roaring fire in the reception room are all adopted and elegantly employed at the Sorrento Hotel. When entering the Sorrento, I feel immediately at home, put down my bag and seek joyful retreat.

If you’re like me, then you will be thinking about your wardrobe as the big day draws near. And given that we have a list as long as your arm of things we should be doing, let’s spend some time thinking how we’re going to look doing them! If you didn’t pick  up anything up from the Providence O’Christmas Trees fashion show, then all is not lost!

Flagship Nordstrom will be hosting a Chanel Paris event 14-15 December just in time for Christmas

The Finerie on 1st Avenue houses some glamorous and edgy fashion garments for those all those with discerning tastes. One need not to get too wrapped up in fashion trends if one’s schedule does not allow, just stick to the staples and accessorize!

If you are looking for something for yourself or hunting for a gift, look no further than the flagship Nordstrom Trunk Sale. Here you will find a list of current trunk shows happening in downtown Seattle in December. Armani’s National Make Up Artist, Bill Squire is on hand with tips, products and expert advice on the November 30 – December 01.
The Chanel Paris event is also at the flagship Nordstrom December 14-15. This event might be one to drag your significant other too, dropping heavy hints! Personally, I will checking out the Burberry collection whilst on route to the Chanel event. This London brand has to-die-for pieces, my current favorite: the Burberry London Print Silk Dress. Stylish and fashion savvy, this silk dress is absolutely perfect for the Christmas day family gathering—demure, elegant and luxurious to wear.

Burberry ‘London Print Silk Dress’ design – 2012 Collection

For all you magpies that adore sparkle and gilt , the December issue W magazine is a valuable source for jewelry gets and gifts this season. Featuring breathtakingly designed pieces from De Beers, Jean Schlumberger for Tiffany & Co, and Fred Leighton to name a few, there is absolutely something for everyone. Let’s hope all that glitters this holiday is not just the Christmas tree!

On the topic of gifts, there is one book that my London and Seattle friends will be thrilled to receive this year: Experiencing Nirvana: Grunge in Europe, 1989. Sub Pop record label founder Bruce Pavitt was compelled to create this book following his re-discovery of the photos. This E Book has been available since Nov 13 2012 and is exclusive to Apples iBook Store. It features dozens of photo’s from Nirvana’s original line up and never seen before photos and documents from Nirvana’s trip from Rome to London. In London, Nirvana won over the fans and the press at the famous Astoria concert venue. London’s press are known for being tough, so this was seen as victorious for the, then, much unknown band.

A portion of the proceeds of this E book goes towards The Vera Project. This book arguably is a significant piece of grunge micro history and, for me, poignantly ties London and Seattle together in a metaphorical Christmas bow.

Technology makes one feel that the world is getting smaller and, at this time of year, I like that concept.

One Response to: Legal Alien: Gilt vs. Guilt

  1. Elise

    December 4th, 2012

    Love love love!