15 Cozy Things to Watch, Read, Eat, Listen to, and Wear This Holiday Season
The M.M. team shares their top relaxation recommendations of the year.
At M.M.LaFleur HQ, the week between Christmas and New Year’s is an official company holiday: a full week to relax, travel, spend time with family, and work on our hobbies—without coming back to the overstuffed inboxes that usually follow week-long OOOs. I feel extremely fortunate to work at a company that values time away from the office, and every year, I look forward to taking advantage of it.
I’ve spent our glorious week off in various ways over the years, and I’ve found that, for me, the key to maximizing its restorative function lies in achieving the right amount of structure. I’ve tried planning a week that was full to the brim with museum visits, restaurant reservations, and meetups with friends, and while I had a blast, I returned to work in the new year feeling drained. I’ve also tried the inverse: no plans, no structure, just free time. This left me feeling anxious and paralyzed by decision fatigue.
The ultimate balance, for me, is this: Plan one fun thing to do each day (this could be a meal out, a massage, a movie), and outside of that, rely on The Cozy List. The What List, you ask? “The Cozy List” is a new name I just made up for a note I have in my phone of all the cozy recommendations I’ve gotten over the years, whether from friends, articles, family members, social media—you name it. From easy and comforting soup recipes to immersive TV shows about far-off lands, it’s a delightful assortment I turn to when I want to de-stress and cozy up at home.
So, in case you’re looking for some fun ways to spend your time this holiday season, I asked my coworkers to share their coziest recommendations of 2023. Read on for their picks.
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“Microwave this natural heating pad, which is filled with lavender, rice, and flax seed. Lay it on your stomach as you try to fall asleep. You will drift off in no time.”
—Callie, VP of Brand and Creative
“I got completely immersed by this fresh take on a time-travel story—one of those books where you’ll look up, see that it’s dark outside, and realize that you’ve been reading peacefully all afternoon. It’s funny, charming, and nostalgic, and I loved reading about a 40-year-old female protagonist who doesn’t fit the usual stereotypes.”
—Maddie, Senior Brand Manager
“I’ve gotten into the habit of staying in on Friday nights to recharge after the week, and this pasta recipe has become a go-to dinner. It’s just as creamy and comforting as a bowl of mac and cheese, but it’s packed with rosemary, chickpeas, and spinach, so it feels like you could be eating out at a nice Italian restaurant, even if you’re cozied up on the couch.”
—Emma, Brand Manager
“If you love crime dramas, be sure to check out this little-known series. As the name suggests, the location is a central point of interest, as are the intricately woven storylines. The show is set on the Shetland Islands, a Scottish archipelago north of the mainland and south of Norway, which is just about as cozy as it gets. Case in point: Fair Isle sweaters are actually named after one of the islands.”
—Emma, Brand Manager