Next to my birthday, this Christmas just might have been the best day of my life. Okay, okay, I’m being dramatic, but it’s DEFINITELY top three! No, this wasn’t just any ordinary Christmas, this was my first Christmas! Yes, you heard that correctly. No, I haven’t been living under a rock. For a Jewish girl who grew up in North Miami Beach, it’s safe to say that Hanukkah is more my thing. However, if you’re alive and well in 2015, you know that no matter what gender, race, height, age, or sex you are, experiencing Christmas is inevitable. You begin to notice the holiday season quickly approaching when they begin wrapping twinkling Christmas lights on palm trees, and more so when you check your bank account before hitting up the sales at the mall to purchase gifts for your loved ones. Christmas isn’t just a national holiday, it’s a worldwide sensation.
Don’t get me wrong – I love everything about Christmas. Family is extremely important to me, so I can appreciate any holiday that brings everyone together, even if it’s only for one day. However, I have never actually EXPERIENCED Christmas quite like the normal person who has made this a yearly routine their whole life. In contrast to those suffering from insomnia the night before Christmas morning because of the presents under the tree that are calling their name, the mornings of December 25th have always been an excuse for me to sleep in. I never had a Christmas tree (shout out to my golden menorah, love you boo), Santa was just a weird dude in my neighborhood who dressed up to make little kids laugh, and I was lucky if I got one present during the season. However, this year changed everything for me, thanks to my girls at the agency.
I was cordially invited by Julz to the agency’s first annual Christmas party a few days before the holiday. Okay, so it was more like a casual convo in our Viber chat, but still! I immediately cleared my schedule. Of course I was going to be there! I couldn’t miss my first Christmas! (Plus, I heard there was a gift exchange, soooo…)
I was told to arrive at 8 pm sharp decked out in my best holiday outfit. So, obviously, I looked for the one item of clothing that had the most sequins on it and threw it on. I arrived to Julz getting her makeup done by (insert name here), who made her camera ready for the million pictures we were about to take (thank you, Jordan, for putting up with us. You rock!). Julz’s apartment was DECKED out in Christmas spirit. A busty green tree encompassed her living room, emblazoned in glitter, snow and ornaments. The base of the tree was invisible thanks to the hundreds of presents piled under the tree. All we were missing was roasting marshmallows over an open fire.
We cracked open a bottle – or five- of Malbec, and began reminiscing on the amazing year YesJulz Agency has had. From Julz hosting Trillectro Music Festival to the life changing experience that was Revolt Music Conference, it’s safe to say 2015 was one for the books. As Julz gave a heartfelt speech, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed with gratitude to be surrounded by strong, driven, and talented women who inspire me daily. We have something both rare and special that I appreciate every day. I may or may not have teared up during the speech, but let’s keep that on the down low. We embraced 2015 and hugged it goodbye, clinking our glasses to the life changing year that is about to begin. 2016, we are going to kick your ass.
As I scoured the tree for my presents, I found two gifts that were in my name (for little ol’ me, really?!). My eyes lit up. I ravenously shredded the wrapping paper to find what was in inside. The first gift was a journal-type novel where you answer questions in every day to learn about yourself, your surroundings, and what you’re thankful for. The next one was a historical photography book on my favorite city, Manhattan. These had to be from Amelia! Only she understands my true love for New York City. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on these.
The next gift was from Imani, where she handed us an exclusive #NeverNotWorking tote – which I use all the time since, btw – that contained a surprise inside. I found a small box that held a beautiful gold plated personalized necklace with my name on it. I loved it so much, I haven’t taken it off since. Thanks, E$! Love you!
Julz then began to open presents that were sent to her. From beautiful outfits from G-Star Raw to baby Yeezy’s for Rin, it’s safe to say she’s got a whole new wardrobe to kick off 2016 with! Stay tuned for the Mail Time blog post coming soon to find out exactly what was under her tree.
Then, once we exchanged gifts and we were all rocking our nameplate necklaces, we hopped in an Uber to head to FDR. This was also a momentous occasion for me because it was my first #FDRMondays! To say the party was LIT would be an understatement. As LTENGHT dropped back to back Future, the ladies were getting ready for the infamous twerkathon. OG Chase B came by and kicked it with us at our table as did the man himself, Usher. I would be lying if I said that when I met him, the song “Confessions” wasn’t playing faintly in my head. We spent the night taking tequila shots, tearing up the dance floor, and laughing until we cried.
This was the perfect ending to 2015. I was reminded that the presents I received weren’t under Julz’s tree; they were the people that surrounded me. Thank you to the girls at the agency who are so full of life, positivity, and ambition that I am constantly inspired to be better and work harder. Thank you, Julz, for the best first Christmas ever, and for proving to me that running on 3 hours of sleep Tuesday morning was SO WORTH IT!
Until next Christmas!
All photos by Jordan Krate.