It’s easy to get caught up in a game of numbers when it comes to the end-of-year holidays: from how many gifts to get your family to the roster of holiday parties to attend and charitable causes to give to, the list goes on. But amidst the last minute shopping scramble, it’s important to take a step back and remember that the holidays are a time of traditions new and old, reflection on the past year and meaningful connection. Most importantly, the holidays are a time to be enjoyed – so don’t forget to clock in some much-needed down time!
For a closer look into what the holidays look like for us, read on for a Q+A with Kena Paranjape and Jen Lee Koss, BRIKA’s Co-founders:
What does a well-crafted holiday look like to you? How will this take shape during your own holidays?
Jen: I wasn’t really into the whole holiday thing until I met my husband, who is Norwegian. In his home country, where we spend every other Christmas, the holiday tradition is incredibly strong, and I have embraced every part of it since – I love it. From the special meals and treats (such as Kransekake, a traditional Norwegian tower cake) to the triangle candles in the window of almost every home, there is a very cozy atmosphere that I immerse myself in without inhibition!
Kena: I’m a sucker for all the usual holiday traditions – baking, buying and decorating the tree, wrapping gifts, holiday dressing and sharing it all with family and friends. This year I’m excited to craft new traditions with my new husband, our newborn and our families!
What’s your favorite holiday memory?
Jen: Surprising my then three-year old and four-year old with gifts brought by Santa, placed next to their pillows. When they woke up the next morning, their surprise and delight was heart melting.
Kena: Making rum balls with my dad and sister, packing them in pretty boxes and delivering them to our friends on Christmas Eve. My dad passed away when I was 20, so this is a particularly poignant memory for me.
What’s your greatest source of inspiration during the winter?
Jen: Undoubtedly, my kids and their sheer joy in playing outside. I love that they have no sense of the cold weather. As we say in our household, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.
Kena: Books and movies – winter is the perfect season to expand your mind from the comfort of your couch!
What do you look forward to most about the New Year?
Jen: Making a list of amazing books I’d like to read for the year…and then never reading them!
Kena: I’m a back to school and New Year nerd. I look forward to choosing a brand new notebook and filling it with plans and dreams for an incredible year ahead!
Happy holidays from the entire BRIKA team!
Feature photo of Jen and Kena by Tracey Ho Lung of Love Emoem