We didn’t have any particular license to do a retrospective on 2018’s most joyful moments. But at the end of a pretty grim year, we felt like it. So we gave ourselves an excuse and decorated a whole bunch of miniature holiday trees in honor of them. Here are eight of the moments that made us pause, laugh, and connect. The result is a little weird, a little funny, and a little beautiful. Let us know what you think (and what you think we missed) in the comments below.
1. Year of the Rom-Com
You had us at hello. We had our meet-cute on top of the Empire State Building, we spent an idyllic 500 days of summer with you, and then you were gone—it felt like we lost you in 10 days. We forgot about you for a while, focusing our attention on action movies and remakes. Then, you were back and you look better then ever (like the “after” in a makeover montage). From the over-the-top world of “Crazy Rich Asians” to the high school romances of “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before” and “Love, Simon,” you taught us to appreciate you again. This year, you reminded us that love letters are still the best way to bring two people together. You complete us.
Love always, Apartment Therapy
2. The New Fab Five
Can you believe?! Our brand new BFFs first burst onto our Netflix queues back in February, and together we’ve laughed, cried, and wanted to hug every hero from each of the two seasons’ worth of “Queer Eye” episodes. Tan taught everyone about French tucks and floral shirts; Karamo brought the feels and slayed in a bevy of bomber jackets; Antoni proved he’s king of the millennials with his love of avocados; Jonathan trimmed many a beard and coined many a catchphrase; and Bobby did all. the. damn. work. Their Instagram comments to each other are #squadgoals, and we can’t wait for them to return for season three in 2019.
3. Laurel or Yanny?
It was “The Dress” for 2018. Tens of millions of listens later, the nation remains divided on whether this audio clip is saying Laurel or Yanny. It started on Reddit, went viral, and before we knew it, everyone from Ellen to Chrissy Teigen to Mindy Kaling had picked a side. While scientists work to explain it, one thing we can come together on? The weird phenomenon makes an equally weird but pretty tree. (And it was Laurel, dammit.)
4. Winter Olympics
We’ve got two words for you: Adam Rippon. He was the gold medalist of our hearts for the Olympics (come on, even Reese Witherspoon knew it), and honestly probably should have been the literal star of this tree. But we’ll forgive ourselves. From Chloe Kim’s gold-medal run to Mirai Nagasu’s historic triple axel to Lindsey Vonn’s last gold medal to dynamic commentator duo Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir to all that Virtue/Moir shipping, the Olympics had enough feel-good moments to bolster us through February. (And who knew we kind of liked curling?)
Yes, it seems like every paint company has a Color of the Year now, and frankly, we’re here for it. It can be a little overwhelming to choose between that gray or this red or the blue of the moment—but sometimes a COTY is a good place to start. If all else fails? Admire them all together on a tree. From Pantone’s Ultra Violet to Benjamin Moore’s Caliente, take a look and let them inspire your next decorating project.
After deferring her appearance for a year to give birth to twins Rumi and Sir, Queen B’s highly anticipated Coachella set did not disappoint. The non-stop, 105-minute performance was a celebration of HBCUs (historically black colleges and universities) and black excellence, with everything from marching bands and drumlines, to baton twirlers and majorettes. In between roughly two dozen of her hits (and “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” the black national anthem), there were appearances by Jay Z, Solange, and Destiny’s Child. “I had time to dream and dream and dream with two beautiful souls in my belly,” Bey told the crowd, “and I dreamed up this performance.” And it was perfect.
7. Royal Mania
We’re just going to show our hands here: the Apartment Therapy editors are a little royal obsessed. And this year brought it. A new baby (hello, Louis!). A royal wedding—times two. A little tiara drama. Royal tours. A baby-to-be. Gary Janetti’s Instagram account. Anytime your day needed a little brightening up, the royals delivered (even Pippa had a baby).
8. A Star Is Born
“Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die,” Bradley Cooper as Jackson Maine grumble-croons in this year’s smash hit musical. In this extremely specific instance, the old ways are traditional Christmas decor, and here we’ve replaced it with tributes to Lady Gaga and her brilliant performance—especially on those runs in “Shallow.” Decorate your tannenbaum while marveling at the fact that Cooper does all his own singing and guitar playing (and a top-notch Sam Elliott impression).
Watch These Trees Come to Life!
Styled by: Andrea Greco