I’m going to be spending Christmas in Colombia, where I was born and lived until I moved to the US aged 23. My three children (14, 12 and 10) and I will stay with my mum and stepdad in their house just up the coast from a town called Barranquilla. I have a really big family, two sisters and 37 cousins who have kids.
Where we are from in Colombia we love doing this thing called Novena de Aguinaldos in the days leading up to Christmas, where people get together and read a passage from the Bible or something about the coming of Jesus. It’s a big celebration with chanting, dancing and people getting together in their front yards. I was raised Catholic, and I’m not practising now but I live by a lot of those principles. I try to be a good human and give positive vibes.
On Christmas Day, we get together at my aunt’s house, which has a big outdoor pavilion and a pool where we swim at night. There will be a very Colombian type of dinner, say coconut rice, filet mignon, turkey and sauces, and the fancy dinnerware with the gold plate and the crystalware comes out. After dinner, we open gifts for about two hours, then there is a big fiesta, with lots of dancing and partying and friends start appearing at the after-party until about 4am. Colombia is very musical and people dance a lot, whether it’s salsa or merengue.
I ship my presents to Colombia and wrap them there. I typically make a list, and am very targeted. I live in New Canaan, Connecticut and do a lot of shopping online, but maybe two weeks before Christmas I would come to New York City, go to Bergdorf’s, and see a show such as The Nutcracker.
In terms of beauty gifts, I always give my own products because there’s always such an enthusiasm for them. In Colombia, people are beauty maximalists — they love it so, so much. It’s similar to Korean culture in the sense that we’re obsessed with beauty and have tons of steps. Typically you would know what someone is into, what skin type they are, and masks and body lotion are always a hit. Make-up is trickier because it’s so personal, and I don’t even buy much make-up myself.
Instead I go for things such as essential oils, a fragrance humidifier and those electrical styling brushes that give a home blowout. My nieces, who are about 13 and 14, love curling irons and straighteners and I’ve also given them clip-in hair extensions. For the person who has everything, not a close family member, I have given candles, body oil, a special blend of tea or chocolates from French chocolatier Patrick Roger.
I like the Assouline books of all the different cities. My mum collects them and when the publishers come out with a new city, I get it for her. Adding to someone’s collection is a good gifting method. She also loves to collect little silver spoons and porcelain bells and I have an aunt who loves coins, which feels really personal.
Some of the best gifts I’ve received are cashmere socks, bathrobes and pyjamas but one year, I was given matching polyester pyjama sets for me and the family, and you couldn’t even go to bed in them without feeling like you’re cooking inside. For cashmere, I love Elder Statesman and for pyjamas Royal Highnies.
I’m a pretty busy person, but I’ll be able to switch off on Christmas Day. I spend a lot of time managing my time so that I don’t feel overwhelmed. Because I am a former industrial engineer, I am very structured and that’s the only way to do it so that you can accomplish a lot of different things.
Tata Harper co-founded her eponymous skincare brand in 2010, with a focus on natural formulas. She lives in New Canaan, Connecticut, with her three children, and her products are formulated and produced on a 1,200-acre Certified Organic farm in Vermont. In September, Tata Harper Skincare announced the sale of a controlling stake to AmorePacific
‘Cartagena Grace’, £70, eu.assouline.com
French baguette porcelain box, £246, modaoperandi.com
Bangles, $55, shopbala.com
Sunday Reset Duo gentle deep cleanse, $50 (on sale), ceremonia.com
The Brush No. 002, $62, goop.com
Bouquets, $79, farmgirlflowers.com
Hinoki aroma flakes, $8, jinenstore.com
Green & gold leaves teacup and teapot set, £415, maisonmargauxltd.com
Daily Essentials, $80, tataharperskincare.com
Float Like A Butterfly herbal beauty tea, $45, tataharperskincare.com
Paradiso eau de parfum, $175, shop.themaker.com
Theragun mini ultra-portable on-the-go treatment, £155, therabody.com
Vibi Venezia X Emilia Wickstead
Foliage cotton slippers, £116, matchesfashion.com
The Brush Collection, £526, westman-atelier.com
Credit: Source link