News flash: Thanksgiving is next week.

Which means, officially, that the holiday season is upon us. And while you might think it’s all fun, cuddling, togetherness and games… it’s not. It’s a competition. And we’re going to help you win it, in this new ongoing series we’re calling “Kempt’s Guide to Winning the Holidays.” (Catchy, right? We’ll be tagging it all, so you can find it here.) And for our inaugural post, we’re starting with the utmost basics: your holiday kitsch.

Here are the five upgrades to your holiday kitsch that should prepare you mentally, physically and reindeer-sweater-ly for total holiday domination…

 
Ralph Lauren Reindeer SweaterThe days of the ironically ugly holiday sweater are over. Get yourself one of these instead.

 
Pipe Cleaner Christmas TreeThere’s nothing better than the real thing, but if, for whatever reason, you find yourself in need of a fake tree, make sure it’s one that looks cooler than what your relatives in Florida might have gathering dust in their attic. A giant version of a pipe cleaner tree (nearly five feet tall) should do.

 
The Leg Lamp from A Christmas StoryThe knowing nods of approval from your fellow holiday movie aficionados will be the gift that keeps on giving this season.

 
Mason Jar Snow GlobeIt’s Americana-ish. It’s holiday-ish. It’s a tiny Christmas tree, if that’s all you’ve got room for. You can borrow a few glasses from your local handlebar-mustachioed-helmed watering hole and make your own—or get one from Anthropologie.

 
Whiskey Advent CalendarAnd finally, because you need to know how close to gift-receiving time it is: an advent calendar—that dispenses drams of delicious whiskey instead of stale chocolate each day.

You’ll also want to get a head start on cutting out some paper snowflakes to string up.

—N.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Najib Benouar