The Home Edit's Clea and Joanna Share How to Survive (and Thrive!) in This Weird Holiday Season

The Home Edit founders Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin may both be Jewish, but they’re all-in on the best parts of Christmas. 

The stars of Netflix's Get Organized with The Home Edit recently chatted with PEOPLE about how they’re handling this out-of-the-ordinary holiday season, sharing how they’re planning to survive cooped up with their families, the one present they both want under their tree this year, and of course, some organizing tips (they happen to be pretty good at that). 

“Twenty-twenty has been quite a rollercoaster,” Shearer admits. “Going into this year we were like, Wow, this is going to be the biggest year of our lives. We have a Netflix show, we have our second book coming out, all these huge things. And it's weird because all that is true. These things have been monumental in our lives. But there's this backdrop.”

“It's the most 2020 thing to have the best things ever happen to you but still just be in your living room,” Teplin adds with a laugh, joking that “2020” has somehow become an adjective.

In addition to launching their celebrity-filled reality show — Reese Witherspoon, Eva Longoria and more are clients — in September, the duo also found themselves on the New York Times bestseller list for a second time, created an exclusive collection for the Container Store, dropped their own line of home and personal care products and even recently interviewed former President Barack Obama about his new book. 

All that means they’ve been busy (and constantly on Zoom), which is why they say they decided to partner with Cointreau for the holiday season: to give themselves and others a reason to kick back and relax. In a collaboration with the liquor brand, they created their own signature cocktails, as well as a holiday hosting guide.

“Nothing sums up 2020 more than cocktails. I think if it was a necessity before, it's the biggest necessity now,” Teplin jokes.

“This holiday season is just obviously so different than any other before,” Shearer adds. “The season is starting earlier, and every day cocktail hour starts a little bit earlier, and I just think we need some joy and we need some comfort.” 

The pair are also bringing joy and comfort into their homes by going all out on their seasonal decor.

“You know, I'm used to hosting a giant Thanksgiving dinner and a big Christmas party and all these things which aren’t happening this year, but that doesn't mean we need to abandon that feeling of festivity and that fun,” Shearer says. “It just means recreating things in a different environment and in a different way, making things a little bit more special in your own home, because that's the only place we're going to be.” 

The pair recommend investing in “stackable storage” for Christmas decor, and ensuring that you’re using padding around any breakables, like fragile ornaments.

And despite being firm believers in “editing” down your possessions, they also want people to know that it’s okay to keep items that elicit positive memories — in fact, they suggest keeping those items safe and separate from decor you put up every year. 

“Keep the things that actively make you happy to look,” Shearer says, noting that we need these little moments of joy now more than ever. “It's okay to have a sentimental bin specifically for that stuff. Like for me, it's so cute that my son made a picture of the Grinch with his face on it — I'm not going to hang it on my tree, but I store it separately.”

Teplin’s family never celebrated Christmas when she was a kid, so she doesn’t have as many sentimental Christmas items as Shearer does, but she says she always loved being a part of traditions with her friends that did celebrate. This year is no exception. 

“I'm Jewish and I'm about to have like, the craziest Christmas holiday season,” she says. “I’m like, ‘how do you turn on the Christmas music in this place!?’ Whatever sounds like a good time, I'm all in.” 

Christmas music also played an integral role in the early days of their friendship. (Fans will know that they decided to start The Home Edit together four hours after they were first introduced.)

“We first met in August of 2015, and in October, Joanna gets into my car, I’m driving her somewhere, and I have Christmas music going,” Shearer recalls. “And she was like, ‘Did I go into business with a sociopath?’” 

“I just loved it because you're Jewish and it was like, October 2nd,” Teplin says with a laugh. “And it wasn't like, Mariah Carey. It was ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’ and ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman.’"

“I just love them,” Shearer says with a shrug. “I love Hanukkah, but like, they just need to come out with some carols.”

While the duo’s list of favorite Christmas songs may be extensive, one list that isn’t long this year is their requested holiday gifts.

When asked what item they’re asking for, the business partners both answered without hesitation: “a coronavirus vaccine!”

"I look forward to seeing my family and my friends again," Shearer says. "I miss hugs."

Teplin adds that she also can't wait to work and travel again, stress-free: "The vaccine is literally all we're wishing for."


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