For most families, the holiday season is an excuse to stop counting calories, and lounge in sweatpants. For Hispanic families, the holiday season is really “sala season”, a time when everyone dresses in their best clothes and puts on their best face.
To well, hang out in the living room or sala.
Curating an eye-catching holiday outfit can be a thrill for many, myself included. Although it is often haphazardly thrown on in between cleaning the house, setting the dinner table, and cooking, it’s tradition. As is eating turkey on Thanksgiving, pambazos on Christmas and tamales on New Year’s Eve dinners.
Much like a child impatiently awaiting to wear their special first day of school outfit, that will be worn to the same school and be seen by the same classmates as the year prior, “sala season” is just this.
Clothes have the power to not only tell the world who we are but in many cases, who we hope to be. Choosing the perfect first day outfit can help a kid convey their personality for the rest of their peers. Perhaps, even serving as an ice breaker or bonding experience.
Likewise, the right holiday outfit can convey the desire of a life with a luxe, enviable social calendar. One worthy of the sparkly new dress, glamorous shoes and freshly touched-up hair.
If not everything that glitters shines, could there be a downside to putting so much effort into showcasing one’s vanity? Perhaps living rooms are solely intended to be the place one binges countless hours of trashy reality TV, not a personal runway.
“Sala season” is not only a product of being “extra” but continues to be influenced by the pressure to be perfect, as is infamously conveyed on social media.
In the midst of a ‘for the gram’ society, where everything is documented and glorified, mundane things like laundromats, brick walls, and living rooms are the new photoshoot locations.
In some regards, it can seem showing how put together one looks around the holidays is overcompensating for not having a black tie event to attend. However, it should be noted that it is great that this kind of effort is healthy.
One’s sala may not have a VIP section, but that’s okay. Everyone should romanticize their lives, even celebrating the holidays in the same old place as the year before. At its essence that’s what makes “sala season” a holiday tradition. It celebrates the mundane in a way we rarely do day to day.
This New Year’s Eve, more “sala season” pics are sure to pop up across your social media feeds. Keep an eye out for the sparkly fits and backgrounds of worn-in furniture.