While this holiday season looks different this year due to the pandemic, that is not stopping some of our most beloved shopping Christmas activations. Yesterday, Bloomingdale’s held a virtual benefit featuring performances by singer and songwriter Andra Day, and American Ballet Theatre dancers Misty Copeland, Skylar Brandt and Gabe Stone Shayer. “Virtually, there are a lot of cool, creative things you can do,” Day tells ESSENCE. “One benefit is that sometimes the audience can feel like they’re closer to you, even though you’re not in person.”

Each year, large department stores host Christmas unveilings and, adapting to the time we’re in, Bloomingdale’s stepped into the holiday spirit by bringing a seasonal celebration to their customers. “The performance with Bloomingdale’s was incredible, one of the things I said that day is that it’s been a while since I really enjoyed singing not as a job,” Day exclaimed. During the singer’s performance, she took viewers on a virtual escape inspired by each song, with a special rendition of the holiday classic “Winter Wonderland” in a virtual snowy landscape, and her inspiring hit “Rise Up” in an animated montage of New York City.

ESSENCE spoke to Day about her partnership with Bloomingdale’s along with her favorite holiday style finds. Read below.

ESSENCE: In light of all that’s going on, how are you doing? 

First of all, what a great opening interview question that you never get asked. I feel blessed. I’m also trying to stay grounded and grateful as I see gratitude as the key to our survival during this time. Things are crazy and there’s a lot going on, but we still have a lot to be grateful for. So yes, I definitely feel blessed.   

ESSENCE: How was it working with Bloomingdale’s? 

What’s great about working with Bloomingdale’s is that they had their vision of what they wanted to do and how they wanted to do it, but they also relied on me as the artist to advise on what I thought was cool and what works for me. That type of collaboration is invaluable as an artist no matter what you’re working on. The whole team was wonderful.

“No matter what holiday you’re celebrating. Getting into a heart posture of giving reminds me of why this time is so important. “—Andra Day

ESSENCE: We are stepping into Fall/Winter. What are some of your favorite seasonal essentials in your closet right now?

I have these fleece-lined leggings that are one of my favorite items and not just because they’re warm, but also because they cinch me in. Even when it’s 80 degrees in the Los Angeles winter, I throw them on because they make me look cute.

ESSENCE: Bloomingdale’s has so many good brands and products on their site. Is there anything you have your eye on? 

There’s this Roberto Coin gold cross necklace that I want to get for someone also, the Moncler and Canada Goose coats are great.

ESSENCE: How are you jumping into the holiday spirit? 

I’ve been forced into the holiday spirit because my mother refused to acknowledge Halloween or Thanksgiving. Right now there are reindeer outside of my house with gold lights everywhere and a giant North Pole stand. My mother is basically trying to make 2020 tap out early. No matter what holiday you’re celebrating, getting into a heart posture of giving reminds me of why this time is so important.