Home for Your Holiday: Say Ahhhhh….

By Gretchen Kelly

My job is traveling, so when I want to go on vacation, I stay home.

For most single minded women who work outside of the home, domestic pleasures are not all that common either. There’s something incredibly centering about taking a day off and just staying home. It reminds you of school days when that cold or tummy ache gave you a junior version of a mental health day. Yes, there are times when you can retreat to the pleasures of home, a warm bed and a day off.

File your request for a day off and plan your home holiday in advance. Think of the things you love to get when you’re on vacation: luxurious extras like nice sheets and towels, good wines, French-milled soap and get them for yourself. Imagine your home is your hotel and you are the guest.

Here’s how to get the best room in the house:

Buy new sheets and towels.

Great hotels are known for the high thread count on their sheets and for their deep, soft cotton towels. Go get one set of great sheets and some fluffy white towels with a deep pile. If you can splurge, buy a white terry cloth bathrobe that looks as if you’ve just come from the bathroom of a suite at the Ritz.

scented candles and incense from Red Flower.comLight up your life with scented candles and incense.

Not just any old candle. Get one that smells great. New York-based Red Flower (www.redflower.com/) makes incredible scented candles that smell like real flowers, woods, and precious balms. My favorite is the jasmine which made me feel as if I were on holiday in Thailand right in my own bedroom. Pricey but worth it. After all, you’re on vacation.

Turn off the phone and internet.

No, you don’t need to “check in” at the office. Your friends can reach you tomorrow. You’re in flight, remember? An editor at Conde Nast Traveler once confided in me that to her, the ultimate luxury was not checking e mail. She’d take a day off from the web and felt as if she’d gone to Bora Bora for a week.

Order in.

Unless you love to cook, that is. It’s all about your pleasure. I have a friend who told me that when guests came over and asked for something to eat he’d direct them to his fridge—which was filled with take out menus, not food.

Get a really good bottle of wine or champagne.

The difference between a ten-dollar bottle of Chardonnay and a thirty-dollar bottle of something really good like Rully or Puligny Montrachet is huge. Play sommelier in your own house. Or get a split of great champagne but remember to use real champagne glasses. Drinking a good wine in a bad glass is a criminal offense in France.

Rent a guilty pleasure flick.

A three Kleenex box tear jerker, Gone With the Wind or if you’re really feeling adventurous, maybe an “adult film” or two. Think of it as “brain candy.”

Take down your memory boxes.

You never have time to look at them—do it now. Take out those old photo albums and dust off your old diaries. See how far you’ve come and how you’ve grown. Celebrate your progress in life with a toast to you.

Spend all day in bed and don’t feel guilty.

My most guilty travel pleasure of all time was spending an entire day curled up in a luxurious bed in Venice with the window open, watching the gondoliers go by. We always feel like we should be “doing something” on our day off, but why not take a real day off from doing anything? A day reveling in your new sheets with no phone to answer and no e-mails to reply to is something that millionaires often don’t even have time for but crave more than private jets.

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