Colleen Saidman Yee is one of those amazing women who begs the question: how does she do it all? Run a business, travel the world, and stay grounded and close to her family? In Colleen’s case, with grace, warmth, honesty, and humor. We got her take on her family’s tradition, her resolutions, and how she stays sane through it all.
How do you usually spend the holidays? Do you travel? Stay home?
Because my husband and I spend so much time on the road teaching, we love to stay home for the holidays. Our four children range in age from 20 to 26, and each of them has their own life. We may get them all together for a day or two, but that’s the max. Lucky for us, they’re all great cooks. (Rodney and I aren’t, but we’re good cleaners.) After dinner, we do silly dances and play funny games like celebrity charades.
We both come from large families, and the idea of not having a house bustling with kids for the holidays was not something we were looking forward to. But, as it turns out, we’re just fine, and actually really enjoy the peace and quiet. It’s great when they’re here, and, honestly, it’s great when they leave.
Does your family have any traditions? What are they?
We have a white elephant gift exchange that is hysterical. And, the dinner that the kids prepare is pretty epic!
What are you hoping for this year?
I am hoping for a lot of sleep, and a few days when I don’t have to set an alarm! My goal for this year is to let go of at least half of my belongings. I am on a mission to clean out clutter, and only keep things that I love and are meaningful. This goes for clothing as well!
Do you go to a lot of parties?
I don’t go to many parties. I host the Yoga Shanti (my studio) Christmas party, which gets pretty wild for a bunch of yogis…We get drunk on green juice.
How do you keep your wardrobe fresh? Any key pieces or go-to items?
I do like to dress festively around the holidays. I always have something gold and sparkly, and something red. Last year, I bought a gold lame shawl and wore it over a red dress. This year, I have Chico’s gold pants, a leopard-print jacket, and red boots. I have to admit that I really like new clothes, which is why my closet is bursting at the seams. My husband and I have made a promise that for every new piece of clothing we buy, we have to give away four.
What do you love about the holidays?
I love the opportunity to stay home and to teach at my original yoga studio in Sag Harbor, N.Y. I love bundling up and going for nighttime walks on the beach. I love having music playing all day long. I love having tea or coffee for two hours in the morning. I also love wearing sweatpants (or the equivalent) all day long on some days.
What are your New Year’s resolutions?
I always try to give up sugar and it never works. So, this year my resolution is to not give up sugar! I would like to take a few more days off, to see my 90-year-old father more, to go to more live concerts, to spend more time in nature, and to deepen my meditation practice.
How do you destress during all the craziness?
Easy– YOGA, YOGA, and more YOGA.