Sunday, January 2, 2011


 I don't know if you noticed this year, or maybe you have in other years past, but the closer and closer the calendar date gets to Christmas, the harder it is to just go out and have fun and actually taste and see all the beauty of the holiday.
It's easy for Christmas to taste like scotch tape, receipts, and acid reflux rather than the savored sights of twinkle lights, the deeply inhaled smell of fresh garland, and the perfectly Christmasy way that the flavor of peppermint blends with chocolate.
To be able to truly taste the latter, I'm convinced after this year that it helps to buy a couple extra days by starting a tad early.
That being said, a few of these pictures are from us getting our holiday on even a bit before Thanksgiving.
After all, when Christmastime comes to city, it calls you to come out and join it!

We did a lot of Christmasy things this season in addition to regular life, and, this being my first Christmas having a blog, I didn't quite figure out how to keep up here, so City Lights fell a little quiet.
Maybe next year I'll sneak to the computer with a mug of wassail to update more often instead of sitting in front of the tree trying to figure out what's in all my gifts.
But, for this year, consider this post an explanation in pictures for where I've been, and as you take down decorations, I'll be doing the same, along with posting some pictures of our Christmas and year in review.

{Early Christmas shopping at Oakbrook Mall}

{Taking a break while cinnamon rolls rise}
The Saturday before Thanksgiving, I made the yummiest family recipe cinnamon rolls for Thanksgiving, and doubled the recipe to freeze half for Christmas.
It was one of my more intelligent moments.

{The Lighting of Michigan Avenue}
I have to admit, Neal and I were debating up to the last minute whether we were going to venture out of our warm, cozy apartment into the cold to watch the lighting parade.  
We ended up going, and it gave us both a burst of Christmas spirit.
Stood in the exact same spot as last year.  It's a good spot we've found.

{Foreshadowing of a white Christmas}
The first snow is always the best.
As long as it's not in October.
This one came the first weekend in December, just in time to add its own charm to the festivities. 



{Visiting our favorite little cafe, Third Coast}
Charming as ever during Christmastime.


{Fondue holiday party with our dear friends, the Suttons}
We had cheese and chocolate fondue, wassail, and watched "The Holiday," all cozied up in our little city living room.
I'm thinking tradition from here on out.  Suttons?  You in? 

 {RA Christmas}
Neal had his RA's up to our apartment for a white elephant gift exchange.
I think I also made them chocolate covered peanuts.
I think they liked them a lot.  College boys have got to be the easiest audience to bake for.
{Christmas packages}
These came in the mail from my sweet friend, Ilene.  Sooo fun.
They went under the tree, but I couldn't wait until Christmas to open them!

{Gift Tags}
Found these tags from Papersource, added a little calligraphy, punched a hole in them, and then they were strung onto ribbon to greet their recipients.

I think of my Great Gram, because her gift packaging was special.

{Dessert at the Grand Lux}
One of our 12 days of Christmas dates.


ilene @ muchloveilly said...

these pictures made me so happy!
so glad that it was a good one for you, dear friend.

happy new year. love you!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, how fun!! I think we need to think up a way to make the rest of the year as magical! And, I so need to get ideas for some magical 12 days of Christmas for a place so less magical than downtown Chicago :)
Love you and your blog.