I had the opportunity to meet Megan, the lady behind The Brash Brunette, earlier this fall at an Ottawa event and she’s just as lovely in real life as she is online. I love following along her daily adventures and discoveries over on instagram – she always has fabulous fashion and beauty finds to share with us and scrumptious food inspiration too! Megan, or Maggie (which she also goes by), has a penchant for all things Christmas, just like me, which is why I’m so pleased to have her here today to share with us a bit about what the holidays look like for her. Can you believe tomorrow is December 1st? Hurray!
Before we dive in, I’ve gotta give you the scoop on Megan’s 12 Days of #BBxHolidays Giveaways happening over on her IG feed! Don’t miss out on your chance to win some of her favourite goodies!
Now without further ado, turn on the Christmas music, pour yourself a cup of hot cocoa and let’s talk holidays with Megan…
Thanks for being here today Megan. There’s so much to look forward to with the holiday season ahead, but I’ve got to ask – is there a special Christmas memory that stands out from the past?
The year I turned 15, I wanted a cellphone. All of my friends had one and I had tried to reason with my mother for months that it would simply be for checking in. I promised I wouldn’t run a bill texting and swore up and down that I wouldn’t abuse the privilege. (Kids these days would NEVER understand.)
After my brother and I had unwrapped all our gifts on Christmas morning, I realized I wasn’t getting the cellphone. I was a little upset and I think it showed. My mother trotted to the kitchen and returned with one last wrapped gift — for me, but based on the size of the gift, I convinced myself that it just couldn’t possibly be a cellphone.
I opened it slowly with care, half eager and half irritated. Everyone watched in anticipation. The torn wrapping paper revealed a box of Tetley Tea. I was utterly confused and looked at my Mom, thinking she had made a grave mistake. She nodded her head for me to open it.
I continued. I opened the box and inside was my very own Fido Mitsubishi G310 with black AND orange faceplates. Orange was my favorite colour at the time. I must have squealed with excitement for a solid 3 minutes.
What holiday traditions does your family have?
We don’t really have any notable or special traditions other than opening gifts and Christmas dinner. With my husband’s side of the family, we usually play charades or something of the sort and the night usually ends with our faces and ribs hurting from laughing up a storm.
In your opinion, what is the true meaning of Christmas?
Spending time together, enjoying each other’s company and appreciating every single moment, because life is short. I say this about every day, but during the holidays when you have time off and you’re able to visit family/friends you don’t necessarily get to spend a lot of time with, it’s especially true.
Do you host during the holidays? Do you have a tip or two to share for joyful entertaining?
I throw an annual Christmas party that seems to take on a new life each year. One year we hosted an ugly Christmas sweater party with prizes and the next year, it morphed into dressing as your favorite holiday character (Buddy the Elf, Reindeer, Santa, Mrs. Clause etc.) It’s fun to let loose and get all of your different groups of friends together to dance, play games and just have a great time.
What are your favourite kinds of gifts to give?
Over the past several years, I’ve shifted from extravagant gifts to more practical gifts like cash, gas cards and for my husband, clothes. I just turned 30 this year and I’m realizing that as an adult, everyone buys themselves what they want so finding the perfect gift can be tough. I try to pay attention throughout the year and listen to the little hints that are dropped by family. For gift exchanges with my girlfriends, we’ll usually keep the limit to $30 and find thoughtful gifts like a coffee mug for the office, a framed photo from the last year or candles with their favorite scent.
How would you describe your holiday decor style?
If we’re being honest, my holiday décor style is extravagant in every sense of the word. Our entire home is subjected to holiday madness, even the washroom with holiday-themed hand towels and colored soaps. My husband won’t let me put anything up until December 1, but once I get the go-ahead, it is on. I choose a theme and a color well in advance every year and that determines the tree decorations, wrapping paper, boxes, bows and all the accessories and décor I put out. It’s a ton of work, but I love it. Christmas is my absolute favorite time of year.
In the same vein, what does a wrapped gift from you look like?
I am very much a perfect wrapper. I need to have luxurious wrapping paper, a cohesive colour palette along with bows and ribbons to match. But, I pride myself on getting all these things on a budget. And while I do like my gifts to be wrapped perfectly, I refuse to break the bank buying what I need. I will shop sales, buy in bulk and even hold off to get supplies until the very last minute to cash in on a good sale.
Do you like to bake during the holidays?
My favorite thing to make during the holidays is Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Bark. I’ve gotten it down to a science over the years and I consider it to be my specialty. It’s so easy to make and such a crowd pleaser. I’ve made it for cookie exchanges at the office, I’ve brought batches to holiday parties and it’s a hit every single time.
Lastly, you have such good taste so spill, what’s on your Christmas wish list this year?
A few things on my wishlist include: Nikon D5600 DSLR, Le Creuset Round French Oven, a pair of velvet boots, a trip to New York City, and health, happiness & good vibes for 2018!
Oh my goodness, I can totally relate to your cell phone story! I remember getting my first cell for Christmas at 15 too – such a BIG deal!! I can’t wait to see more of your holiday decor, tomorrow is December 1st so I’m sure you’ll be busy decorating all weekend. Thanks so much for sharing these fun holiday anecdotes with us and for giving us a look into your holiday world. That Sea Salt Caramel Chocolate Bark looks incredible! I’ve made something similar with almonds instead of pretzels; I definitely want to give this recipe a try. Happy holidays Maggie! xx