Going to the Saints Game

I TOOK THIS SELFIE on the way to a New Orleans Saints home game a few Decembers ago. I was excited-yet-terrified because there were 11 of us in a car designed to seat seven, and I (as the youngest) had to ride atop the center console. We were running late, hurtling downtown at full tilt, and there was little between me and a sudden close-up view of the windshield save my cousin Janem’s grip on the back of my shirt.

I don’t know about y’all, but this time of year leaves me feeling … frazzled (see above). I’m excited about gathering with family and friends and the smorgasbord of food and the gift-giving (and receiving — who am I kidding), but also terrified by those things. What do I get for my mom? When will I find time to cook the mirliton stuffing? Will I look as harried as I feel when I see my ex at that holiday party?

The stories in this month’s issue are a rousing roundup of winter wonder. The fashion column is full of hats and fascinators to complete your holiday brunch outfit; the real estate column offers time-conscious tips to get your home ready to receive guests before Dec. 25; and our #Following subject, Madeline Ellis, explains the mission of connectivity and creativity behind her Louisiana-made jewelry (and gives me a great gift idea for Mom).

But I’m partial to our health and wellness column. It’s about slowing down, enjoying the season and lightening the pressure we put on ourselves. Psychologist Laurie Z. Darling offers a lot of advice for navigating the holiday craze, but the simplest is to remember to breathe, slowly and intentionally. Inhale … and exhale. We’ve got this. (And so do the Saints — Who Dat!)

Yours in peace, love and deeeeep breaths,