Airwalks + Credits + Merry Christmas.

By: Jen Shoop

Image via.

Some days it feels as though my writing manifests like candy floss, out of thin air.

Only it is not thin air at all. It is the sum total of all of the fibrous bits of my everyday life: the conversations with my husband, the midnight hours with sick children, the staring in the mirror, the kind gesture from a neighbor, the heart swells and agonies of a woman moving quietly through her life, trying to do right by the people she loves, including herself.

It is the aftermath of many days of small things: the computation of patterns — both the bruised and the beneficent — in them. Which is to say: I continue to write to make sense of the wild phenomena of living. To cut a codicillary path; to provisionally name the constellations. Ad astra.

I had not known, all those years ago, when I sat down at my tiny white desk in my Georgetown apartment, the one with camel crickets in the basement and my best friend sleeping in the room next door, what I was beginning when I impulsively tapped out the name “thefashionmagpie” and clicked “create site.” What started as unfocused creative effervescence has come to be something else entirely: the firth in which I write to know what I think, and discover, to my continuous shock, that there are other women who feel exactly as I do, or who don’t, and have meaningful feedback on the boat-lengths between us. I do not take lightly your attention, itself a kind of love.

When I wrote that I hope to find more space to stretch in 2024, I should have said that you have paved the way for this ambition. Each time I have pushed myself creatively, I have found a soft landing in you. When I have published wobbly fiction, written about something nearly too-tender to put on paper, aired my dirty laundry in a musing that reveals half-thinking or under-baked assumptions, you have said: “Keep going,” or “Go easy on yourself,” or “I’ve done the same thing.” Thank you for those grace notes.

Christmas is a day of promises come to fruition. We have been preparing the rooms for months now, and are ready for joy’s gilding entrance. When I sat down to write something a propos, I thought first from a spiritual lens but my mind kept wandering over to the foregoing paragraphs, in which I investigate the mechanics by which I have found myself on this test flight I call my creative life. Of how those mechanics are largely driven by your readership. And rather than reform those rivuletting thoughts, I decided to make space for them. So forgive me their possibly ill-timed apparition on this day that is very much not about me, but let me conclude again with a big thank you and a summative, summoning line from Seamus Heaney’s “The Gravel Walks”:

“So walk on air against your better judgement // Establishing yourself somewhere in between.”

Crediting you this Christmas for the airwalk this year, and the past many years, too.


And Merry Christmas!


+The origins of my favorite rally cry (“onward”)!

+”…and then you unzip a pouch and find the now-forgotten selection of rocks your daughter insisted on carrying around for months on end, and you find yourself knee-deep in an emotional archaeology.” More on the agony of watching your children get older here.

+A reflection from a past Christmas.

If you want more Magpie, you can subscribe to my Magpie Email Digest for a weekly roundup of top essays, musings, conversations, and finds.

Shopping Break.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links below, I may receive compensation.

+Love the color of this half-zip. Would go so perfectly with my newest Beyond Yoga leggings and tank set!

+Just saw a chic pea wearing this Acne Studios sweater and lounge pants situation and thought she looked amazing…get the look for less with this Gap top and bottom set.

+These coupes are sparking serious joy.

+Top of my wishlist for spring: a Marni tote.

+Love this bold wool-blend throw!

+Fun hair clips for your mini — also love these star ones ($8 for 10!) for NYE?

+Wait, these skiier mugs are SO cute! A few other amazing Target finds:






+Fun glittery socks for just a pop of flair.

+These “iconically soft,” cult-following tees are going to ship soon — buy now if you want before they sell out again! I’ve also heard amazing things about Leset’s boxy Margo tee. One is on its way to me now!

+I mentioned Tarte’s contouring “sculpt tape” in my recent beauty products post, and then I found this $20 mini kit in case you want to test your hand without making a full investment. People LOVE these products! Also found a similar-product-for-less here.

+Thinking ahead….

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *.

6 thoughts on “Airwalks + Credits + Merry Christmas.

  1. Merry Christmas, Jen. Thank you for always showing up. It is a joy to visit this corner of the internet for what has been years now. I treasure your perspective, your intelligent insights, your creative drive. I feel as though I have a friend “in the trenches” and I appreciate you very much. xx

    1. Oh my gosh – thank you so much, Danielle. I so appreciate the kind words. In the trenches with you for sure. Onward!! xx

  2. Merry Christmas, Jen! Thanks for continuing to share what’s on your heart and in your shopping cart. We love the full spectrum (we contain multitudes)!
    P.S. Sitting here in my new weezie robe(!!!) having coffee and chocolate croissants while my girls build marble runs and play-doh fun factories. Feeling very spoiled this year!

    1. Oh, you got the robe! YAY! I’m so glad you were enjoying that little pause when you wrote this. Thank you so much for being here!


  3. This resonates with me in that I probably always have been a nerd/academic at heart. Being back full-time where I went to undergrad, 18 years ago exactly, has been a source of JOY, pain and wonder. Being in my childhood home this Christmas also has brought back memories and things and also understanding that, I’ve always been interested in x,y, and z. Those interests were developed due to early exposure for some and and also being allowed to pursue. I was a very inquisitive chuld and am very much an inquisitive human, wanting tk grasp the big pic. Prob why i picked Philosophy as my major…not to find answers but to seek and question and find a source for understanding these concepts. These interests were then planted with the seeds during undergrad and cultivated and nourished in grad school and enriched by my professional/paid experiences. And now to have landed back where the Magic all began.

    Merry Christmas Jen!! You are an inspiration and I hope you continue to spread the Good News and cultivate your writing and allowing us lucky readers the chance to savour it!!

    1. Thank you so much, Michelle! Love that you’ve journeyed where your interests and curiosities have taken you. So admirable!!


Previous Article

Next Article