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There is no more refreshing a feeling, than having all of your presents bought and wrapped. I spent the other morning gift-wrapping all of the gifts I have bought for friends this year. Now although wrapping paper tends to get destroyed within a matter of seconds, there is still something so enjoyable about wrapping gifts and making everything look nice. I’ve gone for very natural and traditional wrapping this year, which I think looks so lovely and festive.

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I also love giving gifts to loved ones – I mean Christmas and birthdays are the only times in the year where you can justify buying a book called “hot Guys with Kittens” and hope that someone gets you a gift just as equally ridiculous, because any other time of the year, buying gag gifts just seems a bit ridiculous. (I’ve also picked up earmuffs as an ode to “Scream Queens,” which has got to be one of the best satirical series of all times and should be added to the ranks of “Clueless” and “Mean Girls.”)

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This whole holiday season has been quite a relaxing one, and although my holiday cheer isn’t totally turnt up (am I even using the word “turnt” properly? I swear to God I’m so old. I mean seriously, it pains me to think that teenagers these days don’t even know who Patrick Swayze was, let alone have never seen “Dirty Dancing” and have no idea that “nobody puts Baby in a corner.”) due to the lack of snow, I have still decorated most of my flat and have been indulging in tons of Christmas films and lots of Kenny G (don’t judge.)

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I am also getting extremely excited for Christmas Day which will basically be filled with delicious food, incredible company, pyjamas, Christmas and Chanukah films on loop (“A Rugrats Chanukah,” anyone?!) and endless amounts of wine. I mean honestly, what could be better than that?

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At the same time, this December has been pretty stress free for me – partly because I got an early enough jumpstart on my Christmas shopping this year, partly because I kept a decent budget, and partly because since my family is Jewish, I only really had to purchase gifts for my closest friends and secret santa this year.

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But for many others out there, Christmas can easily turn into the most dreaded time of the year. Awkward or dramatic family gatherings aside, gift giving can quickly turn into the most stressful and disheartening aspects of Christmas. A lot of the times it is easy to put yourself under pressure with the mindset that the price of the gift is congruent with how much one cares, causing people to shell out load of money they may or may not have. And even if you manage to give yourself a reasonable budget, the more people you have to shop for, the more money you have to spend. It’s kind of a damned shame that a season which is supposed to be about joy and love can turn so ugly so quickly.

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For those of us who have had an easy time financing our Christmas shopping this year, it’s very easy to forget how many people are struggling this December. It is also very easy to forget that for some this time of year can be filled with sadness due to lack of loved ones to spend the holiday season with due to deaths in the family or strained relationships.

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During this holiday season, while I really hope that you all are surrounded by loved ones and have an incredible Christmas Eve and Christmas day, please remember that being surrounded by those whom you both care about and care about you is what the holiday season is all about. Material items are nice and there is absolutely nothing wrong with gift giving and gift receiving. But it’s the memories that you are going to be building in the next few days that will stay with you the longest.

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So this Christmas, please take a moment to acknowledge all the good that is in your life and to appreciate the little things that have brought you joy this past year. And also think about ways in which you can reach out to those who may not be so fortunate this time of year. As I will be celebrating Friendsmaskah with a bunch of Brits this year and a handful of Germans, we are going to be having our dinner and gift exchange on Christmas Day, so I plan on looking into some volunteering options for Christmas Eve. If you already have plans for this December, think about ways in which you can reach out in your community in the coming year. Remember, gifts are not just material things, but the kindness you show to other people and the help you lend to those in need.

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And for those of you who might be struggling this holiday season with finances, family feuds, and/or memories of loved ones whom you may have lost around this time years past or may currently be fighting their own battles, as cheesy and hollow as it may sound coming from someone who only know through a computer screen, I really hope you are able to find something positive to hold onto and know that I am wishing you all the best.

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Photography:Rae Tashman & Sandro Mosco
Edits: Rae Tashman

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Happy holidays, Rae


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Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.


  • I love this season as well.
    Gift giving are the best part of it.

    The Bandwagon Chic | Instagram | Bloglovin | Snapchat: bandwagonchic

  • Your cat is just the cutest!!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

    • rae

      Thanks, Candice!

  • Aaah, such a lovely you. I also love wrapping gifts and etc. But this Christmas I barely have no time for buying or sending them the Xmas card :'((
    Hope you have such a wonderful Christmas and new year!

    • rae

      Thank you so much! Hope you have a lovely Christmas and happy New Year as well!

  • Noortje Wijckmans

    Have a lovely Christmas sweetie! Love the pictures, and the giftwrapping. All looks so pretty
    Project NW | Our Christmas Tree Stories
    Lots of love

    • rae

      Thanks, Noortje, you too!

  • These photos give me such a warm and fuzzy feeling! Hope you have a happy holiday!


    • rae

      Thanks, Tina! Hope you are having an amazing holiday as well!

  • Rosanna Briguglio

    What beautiful pictures, love your wrapping paper!!
    Have a lovely Christmas :)
    Rosanna x

    • rae

      Thanks Rosanna! Have a lovely Christmas as well!

  • There is a book called hot guys and kittens?! Wow lol!! I love your giftwrapping by the way, looks so pretty

    Lauren x |

    • rae

      Why yes, yes it is. Haha! And thanks, Lauren!

  • I haven’t yet entered the “real world” yet. All my Christmas experiences have been during my childhood, teenage, and college years. The holidays are a lot of fun when you don’t have responsibilities! It’s easy to forget that the holidays can be a particularly depressing time of year for those who do not have the means to celebrate it. You’re an amazing person to be looking into volunteer options the day before Christmas, and I’m sure your efforts will be very much appreciated! While it may not take too much out of you, it probably means so much to the people on the receiving end! Anyways, love your flannel blanket(?) and all those quirky gifts ^-^ -Audrey | Brunch at Audrey’s

    • rae

      Hey Audrey! It’s so true that the holidays are so much more care-free without responsibilities. I can only imagine how stressful the holiday season can be for parents who may not have a lot of money but have kids who are expecting lots of presents. It’s not a fault of the kids for wanting gifts, but a sad reality that our society places so much value on material goods. And thanks so much! I will be playing with children from refugee families that have recently arrived in Germany in my neighborhood on Christmas Eve to keep them company. And thanks! It is not flannel but a duvet cover :) You can never go wrong with red plaid for Christmas!

  • Ivona Iwarra Josipovic

    Gifts look lovely and that book made me laugh :)
    Merry Christmas and hope you have a great time with your loved ones!

    Ivona from

    • rae

      Isn’t that book just the greatest?! Merry Christmas to you too!

  • Trang Do

    Love this gift packing! Nice photos!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    • rae

      Thanks, Trang!

  • Hot Guys and Kittens though. Now THERE is a gifting game-changer! We’re more about spending the day as a fivesome and preparing (and eating!) extravagantly rich food for the Christmas period in our household. Gifts seem like an obligatory rite of passage and childhood tradition to me. Having said that, I’ve had the time of my life selecting gifts and keeping size and weight in mind because of the flight! Also, I LOVE your gift wrap this year!

    • rae

      RIGHT?! I am pretty sure the friend receiving this book is going to crack up when she opens it. And I think that is awesome – the holiday season really should be all bout company and food more than gifts. I do like still giving and receiving gifts as an adult, but really I prefer to get smaller thoughtful handmade presents or more inexpensive things than very expensive things.

      • Definitely! I’m a serial gift giver all around the year heh. And this year, my sister and I are in charge of cooking Christmas dinner so the pressure is certainly on!

        • rae

          Oooh! What are you guys planning on cooking. You are Chinese right? Do you guys do a mix of Aussie and Chinese food for the holidays? I know a lot of asian families in the US do that for Thanksgiving and Christmas!

          • We’re going for a traditional English roast with some Chinese flavours through the vegetables. And a roast goose instead of a turkey! I’m SO excited, hope I can pull it off :P afterwards we having a classic Chinese/Hong Kong hot pot with our extended family! How about you guys? xx

          • rae

            Oh sounds lovely! We are doing a combination of a lot of things! I am going to be making vegan Latkas (potato pancakes popular around Hannukah), Betti will be making a vegan roast, and the others will be making a ton of stuff as well. SO excited! Is roast goose more of a Chinese thing than turkey? Haha for some reason I imagine it to be when I think of all the duck (different bird, but still more similar to a goose I think?!) In the windows of the restaurants in China Town.

          • That sounds incredible!! Latkas sounds like something I’m gonna need to try ASAP… I’m not sure really, I guess we usually opt for lamb, duck or goose, usually pairs with ‘our usual’ flavours a little better – Papa Daisy finds chicken and turkey a little dry for his liking!

  • Hello Rae, I am so happy that I found your blog, I am absolutely in love with it! The photography, the content, EVERYTHING! Definitely going to be a frequent visitor and may or may not take away some inspiration :) you are so much more organised that I am, and all the presents are all wrapped up so beautifully. Your gift receivers are lucky people!

    Grace x

    • rae

      Thank you so much Grace! Your comment means a lot to me! So glad you enjoy it!

  • I’m really rubbish when it comes to wrapping gifts. I really like your selection.

    • rae

      Thanks, Izabela!

  • Agoprime

    these photos are so nice!!!

    I love so much the atmosfere

  • What a beautiful set of photos! I wish you all the love and Christmas wishes you gave others trough this post as well. I hope you have a wonderful time :)

    • rae

      Thanks so much and wishing you a happy Christmas as well and lovely memories with your family!

  • Hot Guys & Kittens sounds like the perfect book to me!! Gorgeous photographs!

    • rae

      Haha, right?! And thanks!

  • Kitty! Your cat is so cute. Perfect photos as well!

    • rae

      Thanks, Isabella!

  • What a lovely read! :) Happy Christmas to you too, Rae! Hoping whoever gets that Hot Guys & Kittens book will love it, I laughed at that time ;) your gift wrap is so earthy and kitsch I cannot even – mine was just a last minute buy from the supermarket because we spent all our money of furniture earlier from moving into a new flat (cough cough)! It’s my birthday on Christmas eve so I’ll definitely try and enjoy it too hehe!

    Cherie x
    say hi at sinonym

    • rae

      Thanks so much Cherie! And yes, I am pretty sure she is going to love it! And wow! Well then Merry Christmas AND happy birthday! Enjoy the new flat furniture!

  • Oh I want that book! Love the pics the whole happy festive vibe!
    Merry Christmas!

    • rae

      Thanks and Merry Christmas!

  • This is such a beautiful post! And not just the photos (which are lovely), but I love what you said about remembering this may be a tough time of year for some people.
    Also – Hot Guys with Kittens may be the best gift idea ever :)
    xo Mil

  • Your cat is adorable, seems to be enjoying the lights! I like the wrapping papers, great choices. Now this book… something I will hunt for my bff.

  • This is so true — it’s so easy to get caught up in the whole gift-giving thing this time of year when it’s really about cherishing the time you have with family and friends. Great post. Hope you and your fam have a happy holidays!

  • Great post! I’ve been lacking the Christmas spirit this year after becoming overwhelmed with the presents side of things, that I slightly regret not taking a step back and remember the important things about this holiday. I hope history never repeats itself >_< Happy holidays!

  • these are awesome! Merry Christmas! :)


  • Oh, I love the warm lighting and focus of these photos! They really feel festive :)

    I find your point about materialism and Christmas so resonant–it’s so true that sometimes the best gifts aren’t physical things at all.

    Wishing you the warmest and happiest of holidays!

    imperfect idealist

  • Doreen’s Style Diary

    Love your wrapping papers. These photos are beautiful. I always make sure to set a budget and stick to it so it doesn’t become super stressful.


  • This is one of the loveliest posts I’ve seen this season! You emit so much positivity, it’s amazing. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas :)

    New post:

  • Okay Rae, you have officially become my BFF (soz you have no say in this..) Thank you for such a lovely post, and it’s the first festive post I’ve come across which doesn’t promote commercialisation of this holiday! (P.s I love Rugrats!)

    Pop over to my blog!