Van der Pop

VdP’s Graceful Guide for a High Holiday

Marlo Hwang

Who gave December permission!? The holidays are here again, and with them comes the cavalcade of get-togethers; family, work and otherwise.

In the post-legalization holiday landscape, cannabis is sure to be an invitee at many holiday fiestas. For some, she’s been around for years; a non-negotiable part of our well-worn traditions. For others, she’ll be in attendance for the first time, eliciting intrigued reactions from your favourite auntie as you unfurl your latest greatest Van der Pop accessory.


There will be some occasions, of course, where you’ll want to steal away for some quiet time with your friend Mary Jane. The rush of cold air, momentary privacy, and opportunity to take a deep breath are but a few of the benefits of the mid-holiday-mixer sesh.

Whether your holiday sesh is front and centre, or an excuse to get away for some fresh air, the trick is approaching it in a way that befits the formality and cannabis comfort-level of the holiday gathering you’re attending.

Only you know how much discretion is due, and we can’t really tell you how to suss that stuff out. Maybe nobody really minds if you smoke weed as long as you keep it away from any kids in attendance, or maybe the environment is completely weed-hostile (in which case smoking is a weird flex). We’re not your mom. Use your better judgement and try to enjoy yourself without alienating anyone unnecessarily.

Below we’ve listed some pro-tips to help keep your sesh as discreet as you like, so you can sparkle through the holidays without raising an eyebrow, should the occasion call for it. Follow us on instagram for more tips and tricks for a delightful and discreet post-legalization holiday.

Lose the warm fuzzies

Winter woollens naturally suck up and retain odours. While your lovely alpaca scarf might usually be a staple in your seasonal wardrobe, be wary that it may carry a scent if you intend on smoking on your way into a holiday function. Keeping your hair in your hood or hat can also keep your hair smelling shampoo-fresh and discreet.

Clean up your act

Your mouth and hands are often a source of post-sesh odours. Wash your hands after any smoking or weed-handling to avoid resiny digits. Keep mints or gum on you for after as well to help keep things fresh post-sesh.

Bright up your eyes

Red eyes, while festive, are perhaps something you don’t want captured in group photos from this year’s get-togethers. We’re sure we’re not the first to recommend Visine for red eyes, but a cannabis-specific pro tip is to use your eye drops before you take a winter green break.


Keep your cool

Hey, cannabis is great, and it’s legal. In our humble opinion, you have nothing to worry about. People are more accepting of cannabis’ integration into social events, acknowledging its relative harmlessness and potentially use as a wellness tool. Hopefully this holiday presents opportunities for you to stand in your truth, and engage in meaningful transparent conversations about cannabis.

That said, being intoxicated in front of family and coworkers can be unfamiliar territory. In the event you inadvertently overdo it, remind yourself that people are typically too absorbed in themselves and each other to worry about your internal state. They will not lie awake after the party wondering if you were stoned.

Try to ride the wave and stay calm. If you feel weird, find someone you like and trust and giggle with them. Go to the bathroom and give yourself a quick pep talk. Demolish a shrimp ring so your mouth is too occupied to say strange stuff.

All in all, it’s a party! You might be surprised at who endorses or wants to join in on your fun (especially once they see how funky and fresh your VdP accessories are). Everyone is there to have fun, be nice to each other and loosen up, so don’t fret too much.

Illustration by Kenesha Sneed, a multi-disciplinary artist born in Pasadena, CA & raised in the High Desert.

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