I always put some thought into my nightclothes for Christmas. My mother taught me to do that because so many pictures are taken on Christmas morning while opening gifts. That's not the case in my house now...and I wouldn't allow it anyway. But still, I like having new pajamas at Christmas and since a brand new son-in-law will be here, I feel I can't just wear any old thing.
For winter, there is nothing so cozy as a proper robe but I usually wear a long cashmere cardigan over my pajamas. I love the feel against my shoulders and since I wear spaghetti-strapped pajama tops for comfortable cool sleeping, I need the warmth of a cozy sweater in the morning. I noticed that a lot of designers, including Eileen Fisher, offer cashmere alternatives to robes and they make great cover-ups when the house is cold. But mostly, I choose my nightwear just for me and it is still an important holiday consideration of mine. Call me old-fashioned.
My grandmother gave me a flannel nightgown every year at Christmas. I still remember some them: red tartan, printed gold abstracts on a feminine bodice...and I remember one beautiful flannel nightie I bought for myself. It was creamy white with a wide yoke filled with embroidered flowers. I remember what it cost too: $35 and that was a large sum for a new working girl. That gown is immortalized in my head because of some pictures I have of me wearing it on Christmas morning that year.
Those were the days when nightclothes still mattered. Lingerie departments were filled with luxe choices and saleswomen actually knew the merchandise and helped out. Sleepwear and lingerie was a serious business. Now the largest lingerie store is the local Victoria Secret which always looks to me like an adolescent boy is on the design staff. I do most of my lingerie shopping online. I know what I like and I know where to find it.
This year, I have selected a very pretty set of rose-colored flannel pants and matching sleeveless top. The print is charming with birds and pinecones on branches which contrasts beautifully with the soft color and lace neck trim. It didn't cost alot because I knew where to look and the exact moment to pounce. I'll wear my new set with a white crocheted cashmere sweater and pink wool slippers. I like to match on Christmas. My grandmother would be proud.
I keep my "robes" across the end of my bed at night. Someone told me I do that because I'm a lady and although it was a sweet compliment, it's just an old habit. It's done in almost every vintage film I've ever seen. I don't think I would take the time to put on robe and slippers if my house were on fire but I find it comforting to have these things close by.
PS: if you have any Christmas lingerie wishes, I would love to hear about them.