Inge Theron was a spa columnist for The Financial Times… until a treatment gone wrong left her housebound… and ready to find a better approach to safe, effective skincare. That’s how she created FaceGym, the treatment designed to lift, tighten, and energize over 40 face muscles. The New Yorker just asked about her business; now we’re asking about her off-duty secrets to holiday happiness. (Two words: truffle dinner!)

What’s the best holiday tradition?

“Dressing the tree party” is my absolute favorite. It’s quite a thing in our house–a huge family production. The planning starts in the summer, when we order our made-to-measure tree (usually 11+ feet tall), and we decide on the creative direction of the decorations. (My daughters and I spend hours on Pinterest finding a design scheme). On the day of the event, we bring in a piano player to sing Christmas carols as we drink champagne and decorate together. Later that evening, we host a truffle dinner for friends… our caroling goes on ‘til very early morning.

This season can be stressful. What’s your coping strategy? 

When life gets real, I get in the bath! As the original “Spa Junkie,” I am obsessed with heat and steam’s healing powers. (I know bathing is not great for the environment, but it’s the one vice I cannot go without.) I spike each bath with nourishing oils, CBD to relax, Nootropics to energize and focus, Palo Santo and Kopal if I feel bad energy, and a double dose on Milk of Magnesium when I have problems sleeping. For the moments I can’t unrobe, I use Unroll Me, an app that helps get rid of the gazillion emails, subscriptions and spam which increases threefold during the holiday. I just unsubscribe to everything over the holidays, and start again in the new year.

Describe your favorite holiday dish.

Because my life-work balance is often tipped in the wrong direction, the holidays have to involve the kids in every aspect, from shopping for gifts to wrapping or baking. My little ones are still under five and believe in Santa, so the whole experience is still magical. Part of our tradition is making Gingerbread houses for the elves… it really brings the Christmas spirit to life.

What’s your ideal Christmas day?

We are a very home-y bunch. My husband is Italian, so we play Italian music, dance around the house in our new clothes, and cook a huge pasta and Tiramisu together.

RAPID FIRE ROUND: HOLIDAY EDITION

Gingerbread or sugar cookies? Gingerbread!

My favorite holiday movie is… Love Actually.

What’s one gift you remember wanting as a child? A remote control car.

One cause I’d like to spotlight this holiday season is: Packaging! It’s terrible the amount of packaging we throw away. Kids toys especially… Where other industries look to improve, I see no signs of their packaging becoming more environmentally friendly.

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