chicago holiday home living

We LOVE the Holidays!

I’m so happy the holidays are here! I know many think we rush them with Christmas decorations now popping up the day after Halloween. I, however, am of the opinion that Thanksgiving and Christmas, two holidays that place an emphasis on quality time with family and friends, are not enough by themselves. They’re only two days after all. I’m all for extending the good vibes and holiday cheer over the course of a month or so.

I’ve been super excited to maximize this season, create cozy moments and make the most of time of a time of year that seems to make everyone a bit happier.

Here are some ideas to make the most of the season.

  1. Do something fun, festive and local. Regardless of where you live, there’s sure to be some sort of tradition native to your neighborhood, town or city. Years ago, we stumbled on a double feature of White Christmas and It’s a Wonderful Life (two of my absolute favorites) at an old movie theater. What’s more fun than taking in two classics? At the 30th Annual Music Box Christmas Show, Santa Claus leads the audience singing carols before movies get underway. Drinks are served and audience participation is encouraged. 
  2. Workout. Duh. But I mean more than normal. Taking advantage of any and all opportunities to hit the gym, if only for 20 minutes, will help you combat stress, increase your immunity as cold weather sets in and allow you to enjoy drinks and holiday spreads guilt-free. 
  3. Bake. This is fairly typical coming from me. Baking is when I feel the most at home — wherever I am. There’s something about vanilla and cinnamon smells wafting through the house that simply makes a house a home during the holidays. If you’re not a regular in the kitchen, pick up a boxed mix for breads or cookies. I like to throw on a Christmas movie and try my hand at something new. Fauxmartha’s Christmas in a Cookie recipe does not disappoint. If you’re searching for more inspiration, the the Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie issue is packed with simple recipes to get you started.
  4. All the bubbles. Take any and every excuse to enjoy a glass of something bubbly. Enough said. I love these Classic Champagne Cocktail or Rosemary Champagne Cocktail recipes.
  5. Window shop.  I know. Everything your heart desires is now only a simple click away. And it’s much easier to shop for friends and family from the comfort of your own home. But my favorite holiday memories don’t involve surfing the web in my PJs. I love making a day of Christmas shopping, donning a cute outfit, taking in festive window displays and stumbling on unanticipated finds that are perfect for someone on your list. And, don’t forget to throw lunch and a glass of Prosecco in to give yourself a break.

First order of business is enjoying Thanksgiving in all its wonderful pie and football-filled glory.

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