Friday, November 28, 2008

Let the Parties Begin...

Holidays in Chicago: A whole month of reasons to party...

Thanksgiving has come and gone. Most of the turkey and leftovers have been eaten. You have both buyers remorse and/or shouldn't-have-eaten-that-last-piece-of-pie remorse. And you're currently hungover or drunk. Congrats... the holiday season can officially begin.
I love this time of year. If I were a teacher or a child of the 50s or 60s, I'm sure I would've owned and embraced a Christmas sweater with bows and bells - and not reserved it only for the Ugly Sweater parties and bar crawls.

There is no question that we love to celebrate in Chicago... and the holidays are no exception. We celebrate sweatpants and fanny packs in October, we embrace Neil Diamond and all his achievements in July... and I even have friends who make an event of walking home from work on a random Friday in August. So when it comes to the winter holidays, it's no surprise that the whole month of December is one blow-out party after the other.

This year I clearly got excited in anticipation of the Yuletide cheer and ordered a real Christmas tree from the church down the street. While I didn't think about the three flights of stairs or the lack of guy friends close enough to enlist as tree carriers, I did think about how a live tree meant another reason for a party (tree trimming!). Also, at the end of the season, I don't have to find a place in our storage room to fit a six foot tree. In my mind... it was a completely practical purchase.

In preparation for my tannebaum decorating soiree, today, on Black Friday, my whole family - mom, dad and brother - packed into the sedan and made our way to Wal-Mart in my hometown of Akron, Ohio. If you knew my family, you would realize this is definitely a rarity. I wasn't as surprised about my mom, but seeing my brother and dad in a retail store - let alone Wal-Mart- on Black Friday - was like finding a four leaf clover in a ten-mile field.

Although we expected the worst as we walked into America's #1 discount superstore, we were actually surprised to see empty aisles and clear lines. I took advantage of the Friday lull and stocked up on discounted lights, ornaments and a state-of-the-art tree stand (let's see how this puppy performs when faced with a crazy calico cat). I can only hope that getting the tree into my apartment will be this easy.

When I get back to Chicago on Sunday, I'll be ready to start the celebrating -- and not to mention armed with cheer and accessories that will allow me to do that in style. So break out the champagne, dust off the ornaments, organize your Macy's coupons, hang the mistletoe and find your sparkles. It's only four weeks... eight weekend nights (i didn't actually calculate that... so give or take a few days). And after December, snow will just be snow, and cold seems even colder. Credit card bills will be paid... and we'll need to start worrying about taxes again. So before we need to make plans for a February 'Hoff Appreciation Day, take advantage of having a real reason to celebrate...
Cheers to the holidays!


My Peeps


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