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Fueling the Blaze of Creativity

Fueling the Blaze of Creativiity: A weekly digest of what gets designer Maya Ahluwalia’s juices flowing

The Christmas Edit

Maya Ahluwalia


What is it about the holidays? A time that is joyful, nostalgic, charming and heart-warming is equally stressful, frantic, depressing and anxiety-inducing. Yet it still remains one of my most favorite times of the year, despite the craziness.

Smiling’s my favorite! And Elf is my favorite. The genuine glee and naivety that beams from Will Ferrell’s oversized body is an instant mood-enhancer. Since its release in 2003, a holiday hasn’t gone by without an Elf viewing. I have even pulled it out during an especially blue day in the middle of summer.

Some of my fondest childhood Christmas memories include viewing the holiday-themed storefront windows along 5th Avenue. As an adult, I now make it a point to fight my way from Bergdorf’s down to Lord & Taylor’s to take in the splendid artistry that fills each glass-covered box.

Before Jimmy Fallon was the king of late night, he was a goofy SNL cast member that always looked just so excited to be there that he could never remember his lines. Jimmy, along with other SNL favorites Horatio Sanz, Tracy Morgan and Chris Kattan, make a catchy Christmas jam that’s a little bit creepy, a little bit cheeky and a whole lot of fun. And yep, I may have watched all of the versions on YouTube multiple times, and yep, the original is still the best.

In high school, I loved stopping by the nurse’s office to pluck a tag from the Giving Tree to find a child to gift a new outfit or toy to. This year, I discovered the wonderful organization, Stockings with Care, that undertakes the daunting task of creating a city-wide “Giving Tree” to provide gifts to children that might otherwise not receive much this Christmas.

Cookies for breakfast is pretty much synonymous with Christmas for me. Christmas Eve was often spent baking batches and batches of cookies. With a family full of chocolate-lovers, the chocolate-chip ones were usually the first casualties. And my mom’s childhood favorite, spritzer cookies, were usually the last. This year, will give the tradition a healthy twist with this super easy, not so bad for you recipe.